I spent a large portion of last semester trying to think of a hip concept for my manuscript. I wasn’t trying to be gimmicky, or thinking about how to “sell” my project. Rather, I thought a clear concept would provide me with a clear vision & keep me motivated. It’s worked in the past but I quickly started to realize, it wasn’t going to work this time.
The moment I figured out what I thought I was writing about, I would have a mental block. Sure, I could come up with a fancy concept, but I couldn’t write the poems. And wasn’t it supposed to be about the poems in the first place? I ended up changing my “concept” every other week. I was frustrated & unhappy with a lot of the poems I was producing. Some of the poems were viable, but they didn’t connect or inspire me to write the next poem or the next..
At the beginning of the summer, a good friend told me that I needed to stop worrying about the “concept” and just write. Essentially, he explained that I was too young to be putting myself in a box like that. It was simple guidance, but exactly what I’ve needed to hear. So..
Instead of focusing on the concept, I’m simply trying to write poems that speak to one another. The poems relate in different ways: imagery, mood, subject matter, persona. Sometimes the connections are more explicit than others, but the connection is genuine & organic. Ultimately, my goal is for all of the poems to function as lens into one other.