When you wrote my favorite poem “How Men Die” did it feel like this? I’m guessing the answer is no.

Hi, Kris! The difference between writing poetry VS fiction or even longer non fiction stuff is a helpful exploration here, I think. I am admittedly a very slow writer. An average poem for me, from first line to feeling like it’s ready to send out, is usually an investment of at least 10 hours. Sometimes more, very rarely less. But what the heck, what’s ten hours ? Not much, really. I’ve invested more hours binge watching Netflix. I don’t struggle to justify a ten hour investment, as opposed to, say, committing several months to writing a novel. Which offers really a very good insight. I do feel a lot freer and more “at play” writing a poem, in large part because, in my weird mind, it doesn’t have to be “Great” to justify 10 hours of time and effort. That’s a stupid calculus, but I’m beginning to see that’s what’s going on behind the scenes in my brain. I can sneak a day here and there to play at poetry, but longer term than that, what I’m working on has to be “Great,” or at least potentially great, for my brain to accept the investment. I should see a shrink, seriously. It seems pretty clear now, having thought it through in some depth this weekend, that what I really want is to feel free to write everything the way I write a poem, with a light heart and no real concern about changing the world or joining the Literary Canon. Thanks for a piece of the puzzle, Kris. I’ll figure this out yet.

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