Linda Studley

Can't Put the Pen Down…

Archive for the tag “editing”


Extra words in poems are like the scaffolding
surrounding a building. They support the workers as they go,
helping them rise from one level to the next,
allowing them to bring along their tools and extra materials.

But scaffolding is about the worker
not about the work. It is a buffer
and a barrier, obscuring the work from the world.

It can be a fearful endeavour, this baring one’s soul,
putting it on display for prying eyes to interpret.
It’s hard to be brave when you fear to fall,
it’s hard to be honest when no one has to be honest back, but
never hesitate to tear down the scaffolding that
hides your heart.
Let go of the words the way you’d tear down scaffolding.

Poems rise from baring
one’s soul.
Be brave.
Be honest.
Never hide your heart.
Let go of the words.



Editing – Round One (ding ding…)

I managed to get through a first draft of the book over the last couple of days, whittling it down from 380 pages to 241 (including table of content, no front or back matter). I think that was probably the easy part of the editing – the ‘no-brainer’ cutting of poems that simply didn’t make the grade according to my gut. 

Now for the second run through.  My gut exhausted, I am now forced to use my brain (and anyone who has read the poems I’ve written about my brains knows that, on any given day, it’s entirely likely that there are squirrels in charge up there.) So what criteria should I use? My estimable partner, Bill, suggested that the poems that garnered positive response from readers should definitely stay in, and I agree. Thank you all for that feedback!

I’m going to leave in the ones that make me cry; the ones I still have trouble reading out loud. These seem to contain a fragment of soul and so should be given precedence.

There are vers libre, haiku, form poems (a couple of forms that I’m pretty sure I invented along the way). I don’t think form should be a deciding factor.

Unfortunately, cost of printing may end up becoming a factor, as the price obviously goes up with the page count. But I’m thinking perhaps I can turn this into a positive thing, a spur to be more ruthless, to pare the content down into a lean collection that will stand on its own merit.

Round two (boxing ring bell sound fx) of editing coming up…

Hope you all are enjoying holidays – or if you don’t observe any of the many holidays that seem to collide at this time of year – hope you are simply having a lovely day!


Linda (the poet at the bottom of the well)


Now What? – Not a Poem…

Now What?

As of Dec 24th I will have hit the elusive 366th poem in 366 days! Something to be proud of numerically at least. But I hope that within that deluge of literary litter there may lurk enough “good” poems to equal a reasonable book of poetry. I won’t be writing a poem on Christmas morning – not on purpose anyway – and I’ll probably take a little down time after that (possibly a day or two).

What then?

Editing. May not sound really exciting, but I’m going to share my experiences with the editing process. (You know I’ll post new poems too – I’m too compulsive to completely let go of the writing process while I’m editing). My objective in writing a poem a day for a year was to short circuit the inner critic and I think, on the whole, I’ve accomplished that. I’ve managed to crank something out EVERY day even if it wasn’t exceptionally inspired. Those of you who have been subjected to haiku written five minutes before I had to leave for work will attest to my tenacity and willingness to share my mediocrity as well as my strokes of (clears throat and blushes modestly) genius. Well the objective now is to accept and, dare I say it, enjoy the process of editing. I believe that editing can be as creative and rewarding a process as writing and I’m going to explore it (but I sure hope it doesn’t take a whole year!).

And Then What?

From there I’ll be exploring options for publishing. Amazingly, there are no publishing houses beating on my door insisting on publishing my humble book of poetry. Ah well, I guess I’ll just have to do it myself. And there’s another journey. I imagine that I’ll be writing about the research I’ll end up doing to get the book printed and distributed. A subject that could be quite dry unless I keep my rather odd sense of humour about it all – which I certainly intend to do.
So here we go, the final week of the “Poem a Day for a Year” series of self inflicted foolishness.
I will write you more poems.
I promise.
And songs too and maybe even paint you some pictures.

Love to you all


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