Too Many Ideas Syndrome

It isn’t called ‘Too many GOOD ideas syndrome’, I notice.

Just sat down to find a blog that I’d earmarked to read that promised to give me skills on getting a smooth flow from idea to either  (a) ‘discard’ or (b) ‘do’ stage. I couldn’t find the blog but found this blog instead ‘9 Ways to Overcome Too Many Ideas Syndrome‘ from the Writer’s Digest website. Useful, I think.

It’s a gift and a complete joy to be met with juicy ideas to the left and the right but a curse to be haunted by vague memories of ideas that weren’t even recorded. I try to remind myself that if I didn’t get the idea on paper there was a reason for that.  But still…    Somewhere I’ve written a not-so-good poem called ‘The poems I didn’t write were great’.

Is it me, or is it all a process of translation?  Getting the ideas, sifting through them, find ones to focus on, finding they go on their own journey.

A word of thanks from me to countless individuals who create really rich content blogs about the writing process. I adore finding out about how others face the writing process. It occupies the no.1 spot on my list of things to do to procrastinate in the face of bringing ideas to the page.

Those self-same skills

I had intended to write every week; and I didn’t intend to post any of my poetry. This overdue letter is in the form of a poem. I had been thinking about Lady Nakatomi writing tanka and collecting shells and a walk I’d taken with my sister at Tyrella beach.

Worse again – it had originally been a poem about writing and ended with the lines ‘I talk too much; don’t listen enough / were you thinking that about me’ but that didn’t work out either. It is strange how things take their own direction. Perhaps that’s what I’d been thinking about… and ghosts.  The good news is that I am to have two poems in Abridged 0-17 due out the end of July. It’s a visual arts / poetry journal  on the subject of ‘Time’ – really looking forward to hearing it. Anyway here is ‘Tyrella’



one part of the beach is covered

in tiny shells; precisely made

as tanka; fine lines of ochre

and lilac etched on ivory.

I select some as reminders

though I know their lacquer will fade

without moisture. There is nothing

 on the water, not even a

liner out on the horizon –

and what seemed to be shifting sands

is a low mist rising. I move

through it, as one might gently touch

the surface of old love-letters.