Tag Archives: hard work

Thoughts on Watching TV

I just spent an hour messing about with thoughts and coming to no real conclusion. At that point I thought I’d give myself a deadline of 20 minutes. In that take I have to write something and do all the tags and stuff so I can post before midnight. point.

\it’s a useful target and cuts out all the woolly thinking. What happened was that I watched a TV programme about social media. It was a poor programme in many respects but did give me a few things to think about, including the mixed messages being sent by a presenter who drifted from one thing to another without any real thread to it. I cancelled Facebook years ago and felt better for it. I don’t use Twitter, except to announce new posts, though I’ve had  a message coming up recently that indicates that might not be happening. I’m not really bothered and haven’t followed it up. WP, I regard as writing practice rather than social media, and that’s my lot.

The most interesting bits were the rage/jealously segments. It seems that one Tik-Tok user had his car and house burned by people who took exception to his posts. I really can’tb understand why he became so popular, but I definitely don’t understand why someone would set fire to his car. I think it’s all down to the modern desire for fairness and equality. It breeds envy. Instead of looking at a successful person and finding out how they made their success, people just moan that it’s unfair.

Life, as I was always told, is unfair. But it’s also what you make it, and if you want to make it a place of misery and envy then you are free to make that choice. It’s just that no matter how bad my life becomes, I’d rather use my time to enjoy it than moan that other people have been luckier than me, and don’t deserve their success. Strangely, the people who moan most also seem to be the ones with the least talent and work ethic. I wonder if there could be a link . . .

I’m now going to use the title of this post for a poem. Looks like I’m back in the game.


Talent, Resilence & Patience

There are three things you need for success in life, whether you are talking about writing (as I do) or anything else.

(By the way, I’m about to invent a new form of poem, so stay alert till the end.)

Despite the title, talent isn’t one of them. Research has shown that if you divide a group of children into two lots and praise one for their talent and the other for their hard work the results of one group will gradually decline and the other will increase.

The problem with praising someone for their talent is that they begin to believe that their talent will run out, where the other group starts to believe that the harder they work, the better they will become. This seems to be borne out by the actual results.

It is all laid out in a book called Bounce by Matthew Syed. Reading the review, as I did whilst looking for a link, it looks like there’s a lot more in there too – I really should read it again.

Talent can, to be honest, be replaced by practice and work rate. As long as you have a basic grasp of what makes a good bit of work in your field, you can work on improving the quality of your work. If you write a lot and submit enough pieces of work, success will follow. Once you have some success, more will follow. It’s like Roger Bannister and the four minute mile – once he broke the four minute barrier others followed. Barriers are mainly psychological, and once broken can be broken again and again.

Resilience, I have covered several times. Rejection is merely  the opinion of an editor at a certain point in time, and does not constitute a damning judgement on you or your work. If several editors share the same view it still isn’t that bad, just take it as a hint that you need to alter a few things.

As an aside – write haibun. I have always felt fortunate that a number of editors have taken the time to give me pointers about my haibun, which isn’t something that happens in a lot of fields. It seems to be a field where we are blessed with a group of fine editors. When I was a more traditional poet I rarely met with helpful comments – it was a case of yes or no, mostly no, and no clue as to what needed altering.

Stone on the Floor

I thought I’d put the poetic rocks half way down as it isn’t really a poetry post.

Finally, patience. No editor of a small poetry publication is in it hoping for fame and fortune. They are often overworked, under appreciated and blamed for the varied failings of authors. Some people even write sarcastic haibun about them. These people should be ashamed of themselves.

If you are a guest editor, as many are, the under-appreciation must be even greater.

However, it doesn’t stop me getting twitchy when they take a long time over their answer. I’m waiting for an answer from a magazine that says it may take 6-8 weeks to answer during busy periods. IT’s had the submission for 54 days now, which is just two days short of eight weeks, and I’m becoming twitchy. Another, with a target of two weeks, has had my submission for sixteen days. Two weeks is an excellent response time, so I’m not complaining, but I’d love an answer.

You just have to sit back and wait. It’s difficult not to be impatient, but just think, if it was you, would you appreciate impatience. I think not.I keep telling myself we are lucky to have people to do these jobs for us. If you left me in charge of a magazine it would soon degenerate into confusion and Limericks.

There was an old poet called Quercus,
whose efforts, often, would irk us.
He loved to declaim,
and would often exclaim
that he’d much rather work in a circus.

And that is my new form of poetry. You have prose and haiku, which are haibun, and prose and tanka, which are called tanka prose. Well this – prose followed by a Limerick, is a Limmerbun.  I add the double m to make sure it is pronounced correctly. Unlike the other two, a Limmerbun can be utter nonsense.

My Orange Parker Pen

I’m still hoping for some freebies from Parker. They are obviously not reading this blog.

Edited next day to tidy up a typo, remove a repetition and tinker with the Limerick.