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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Practice Makes Practice

I've been writing this poem for what seems like forever. Every day it is as good as I can make it; I had that sensational moment of knowing it was done about 3 weeks ago (and this was after months of working on it). And then the next day I read it just to make sure, and there was one word that hung me up when I spoke it aloud, so I changed it. Okay, now it was done. The next day I reread it just to enjoy it, and oops, how about if I smooth this out? It was just a  little change, deleting a syllable in a line so that it read absolutely smoothly and now it was done. Until the next day when I fixed something else and then it was done. Really, I believed this each time. But every time I read it again, some small snag caught my attention and I smoothed and smoothed.

It's been done without any changes for about five days now. It feels really done, but it has felt that way before.

I know Malcolm Gladwell said to get really good at something you have to spend 10,000 hours practicing, but I'm pretty sure he didn't mean to spend all 10,000 hours on one poem. I may not be getting any better at poetry, I'm getting really good at writing THIS poem. I think. I'll let you know tomorrow.

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