The Application of Brainpower

I have always had a feeling that if I could direct all, my thinking to one thing at a time I could do great things. These days I feel that if I could direct all my thinking to just one thing I would still have trouble remembering what I had for breakfast three days ago, or that I had to write a blog post before midnight.

Somewhere in my head that simple instruction still exists, just as it did for every one of the 24 consecutive days that WP flagged up. In the past it has served me well in reminding me to blog for many months of consecutive days. But somehow I have allowed it to become less preeminent. Over the last week or two I have been struggling to finalise some submissions for the end of the month. I’m never sure whether it’s best to get in at the start of a submission period or at the end, but I do know it’s important to make sure you submit at some point. So that’s one set of deadlines. I also have the 10 haiku a day target, which is wandering about all over the place. Some days are good, some days are hard. I’m also behind with that too, but well ahead on average. I’m concerned that binge writing isn’t really the best way to improve my haiku writing. On the other hand, it’s better than not writing at all. I know this from past experience. The “not writing” phase can easily creep up on you and you soon find you’ve been a month without writing. This hasn’t happened since I started blogging, but I know it’s still lurking . . .

To return to my original thought, all those other deadlines seem to have replaced the blogging deadline in my head.

Then, I admit. there was sentiment. It was Father’s Day at the weekend and though I have no great attachment to what is basically a made-up and superficial day devoted to merchandising The kids rang, which was nice, but reminds me that it’s a long time since I saw either of them, and for the first time in my life, I had no father to visit. All in all, a bit of a mixed day and a lot to think about.

Finally, just before going to bed. I had an email from the USA – two senryu and a haibun accepted for Failed Haiku. I like it as a magazine (a) because it accepts my work (which is always a plus) and (b) because both the editors are accomplished and interesting writers. In my mind there is a hierarchy of acceptance. The best acceptance is one from a writer you admire in a magazine that publishes good writers. That’s what I aim for these days, because I want to feel good about seeing my work in print.

That was how I decided to proceed when I started writing haibun. In my previous life as a poet I had originally targeted magazines with low standards and after two years and a dozen acceptances, was just starting to get poems in better magazines. This time round I decided to start at the top and see what happened. What’s the worse that could happen? A sneering letter of rejection (yes I had one or two), but so what? It’s not like anyone would know. People wouldn’t point at me in the street and laugh. So I went for it, and it seemed to work.

I really must try training my mind to think of one thing at a time, then do it before moving on to the next thing. That way I will avoid leaving a trail of art-completed projects behind me.

There was something else I was going to add, but I seem to have forgotten it. Considering what I said earlier, this is probably an appropriate place to end the post.

16 thoughts on “The Application of Brainpower

  1. Clare Pooley

    I never celebrated Father’s Day when my father was alive – he always said he wasn’t bothered by it – but of course as soon as my Dad was no longer around the day took on a new meaning. My husband enjoys the day having come to fatherhood later in life than some men do, after thinking he would never have children. It is good to indulge him and also have a day set aside to remember my father and my ex-father-in-law who I liked an awful lot. I never met my Richard’s Dad who died the same year my ex-father-in-law died -1988 – such a long time ago. I’m glad your boys got in touch with you on the day. 🙂

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      It’s the old curate’s egg problem isn’t it – good in parts. Yes, it was nice to hear from them as they take after me and are therefore charming, witty and good company. 🙂

  2. Lavinia Ross

    Congratulations on the acceptances!

    I am sorry your father is gone, Quercus. It was a hard way to lose him last year, and I knew Fathers Day would be a hard one for you this year.

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      Because I don’t really celebrate it, I hadn’t thought about it until it hit me by surprise on the day. My Mum died on Christmas Day, but a couple of years later we were back to celebrating Christmas. Things mov on . . .

  3. derrickjknight

    It looks as if you are progressing in the write direction, but 10 haikus a day seems likely to nudge out anything else. I never remember Fathers Day – then, as this year, two cards from daughters arrive on the Friday before and I think they are early birthday cards 🙂


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