Where and when to write

I am lucky in that I am seldom short of an idea to trigger a poem-I generally have a backlog of raw material/creative ideas to work from so my priority is always to find an appropriate space and state of mind which facilitates the creative process.

When i was in full time employment I had to fit in writing sessions at 5.30 am or in a 30 minute cafe slot on the way home. Since Christmas I have established a a routine-on the days when I am not diverted by teaching or lecturing jobs-which consists of a brisk walk to my gym, followed by a short but vigorous weights and bike session and then a recreational coffee with iced water.At this point I appear to be in the optimum receptive state for producing the critical first drafts of poetry. The ‘finishing’-the term used by Master Cutlers in Sheffield, who were producing steel products up to the middle of the 20th century- can be completed in less perfect conditions, being a much more practical, and almost mechanical part of the creative process.

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