follow-up update

©2023 michael raven

I pulled back from my online presence (here and elsewhere) to take a deep dive into seeing if a project I had in mind would stand up to further scrutiny once I focused on it. Sadly, I don’t think it will work quite the way I had imagined.

I developed some really good personal insights, so the time spent spelunking in my brain wasn’t a huge bust. In fact, it was helpful to look at some of these concepts closer and it will help me redefine how I want to approach a modification to the project.

Photo by Jessica Lewis Creative on

My initial idea was to overhaul, revisit and completely rewrite some pieces I had published here a while back that were meant to be a dreamlike journey into the mind and sacred space. There were five or so pieces that I had done and I liked them well enough at the time, but something about expanding them into a full project seems a bit on the off side as I thought deeper about the material.

As part of the prose idea, I was going to intermingle poetry pieces whenever they seemed appropriate. In fact, the bulk of the project was originally envisioned about 1/3 prose and 2/3 poetry.

But, as I hammered out the themes and the conceptual elements, it felt off. I did a bit of a trial piece to see how it might look to me and I didn’t care for the result at all. And so, I might refocus myself in a similar vein, but without the prose elements or the integrated story elements — for I liked the thematic parts that arose as I looked closer, just not the path it lead to under that framework.

So maybe I’ll pursue those parts I liked and dump the part that felt all wrong. Who knows?

I’m still struggling to be as productive as a pen/paper writer, which seems odd and I can’t put my finger on the why. But I am marshaling onward, forcing myself through to the other side. I’m hoping I can overcome that bit of odd disinclination to writing away from a keyboard environment.

16 thoughts on “follow-up update

  1. I find your process very interesting. After years of administration work, I can’t use a keyboard without self editing it to death. Writing by hand allows my creative mind to work better. I still haven’t found a way to write something longer than a blog post this way.
    I am a firm believer in the plan of “keep trying stuff” until I find what works. Thank you for sharing this effort.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. I like challenges and I’m always looking for ways to “break” writing enough that it becomes something that might be unique. Needless to say, a lot of tripe gets written down as part of the effort, but I don’t have sense enough to stop.

      The whole “I’m more comfortable around a keyboard” surprises me more than anything. Like everyone my age, ready access to technology for writing is a relatively new thing, and I started earlier than most because my father was a technophile. Even then, most of my writing until about fifteen or so years ago was pen/pencil and paper. Maybe I thought too hard back then too, but I find myself getting lost in thought, whereas my typing can generally keep up with my flow of thought as it churns through ideas.

      That’s likely it, as I consider it. Writing by hand is slow enough that I lose track of where my mind was going with something and i never get much accomplished, but writing via keyboard can keep up with my thoughts, which is why my mind seems more attuned to it.

      Thanks for giving me reason to ponder this further! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I find it interesting to learn about the creative process of others. Thank you for sharing and best wishes on your projects! I use pen and paper (a journal) to begin poems, then transition to a computer. Most other writing begins (and ends) on the computer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No problem, Michele. Glad you find it interesting.

      I tend to overshare my processes and motivations for writing (prose, poetry and music) without giving any meaningful advice or solutions. I have largely assumed people ignore what I write in these kinds of posts because of it, so it’s always nice to hear when I’m wrong.


      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah, it’s strange how methods change, develop and become almost habitual. For years I was always pen and paper – first edit that way too – before re-editing via the keyboard. I guess, for me, the change really came whilst writing ideas on the bus which is clearly easier using tech. And now it’s how I write nearly everything.
    Has it improved or reduced the quality (?) of writing? Probably not the one to judge really, and after all, perhaps the real ‘quality’ lies in the idea itself and its originality.
    I guess that when you know something is worth it you just find a way through (yes, I know that is in no way helpful to anyone), I suppose that I’m saying the more we dabble the greater the likelihood is that we will stumble across something worthwhile.
    I’ll let you get on now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comments, Chris.

      After what you said, I got to trying to figure out when I might have migrated over and I have a feeling it was just after the internet really became commonplace more than “You’ve got mail!”. Some time after I finished college (late degrees), it became the go-to platform for non-creative writing.

      In ways, I think it has helped me get over my bottleneck between my brain and hands, as I mentioned in other comments. As I think more about it, that seems to be the case.

      As for quality, I think everyone improves with practice. Whether it’s not it has value to another might be a different matter. But I suspect practice trends towards improvement in general. Quality is such a subjective thing and, while I might think something I write is awesome, it might not fit in enough with the norms to be considered quality by other standards.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that your final comment speaks volumes here, Michael – by whose standards are we ‘judged’?
        I am always amazed at how any artist (writer or otherwise) can be propelled or dismissed on the say so of an ‘expert’. Personally I could never get into Burroughs despite his standing (mind you, at the other end of the scale, I’m not a fan of Dickens), so I suppose my point is that as long as you feel it worthwhile then it is and if someone else agrees then that’s a bonus.
        Thinking of this (I may have mentioned this before, bit knowing your background in humour this might be relevant) have you ever seen Tony Hancock in The Rebel (film)?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I am not familiar with that film, sadly.

          Experts in the arts are usually failed amateurs who take everything far too seriously and are only as expert as we lend credence to that title. But what do I know? 🤣

          Liked by 1 person

  4. What a cool idea! I love how you are willing to experiment with form and dive deep into the inner workings of your brain. I’d say trust your instincts. You might have a fantastic idea, but it’s not quite there yet.

    I have a fantasy dystopian novel I started ten years ago. It’s been rewritten about five times and it’s still not there. It’s missing…something. I think as I grow as a writer and thinker perhaps someday I might rise to the level of that idea. To do it justice.

    All this to say, you might need more time to marinate on it.

    Liked by 1 person

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