When I last posted here (on Tuesday 7-29) I did not know what kind of week I would have. But do we ever? The unexpected death of my dog Berry sent my week into a tailspin and I had intended to do this post on Thursday, but today is the first day I felt that I could tackle it.
It also changed my planned focus a bit. On of the areas that I planned to talk about was creative problem solving. Now I know that I was going to say that I have been experimenting with mind mapping recently and I am seeing it more and more as a way to maybe focus on initiating new creative projects. Mind mapping is not new, but I'm not sure how many people are actually utilizing in their lives.
There are a number of programs for you PC and even smart phone that allow you the use of a template to diagram out your ideas. This can also be done on a white board or a plane piece of paper.
I'm working on a new manuscript project now. It's themed, and rather the culling a variety of poems & poetry drafts together to search for a theme to thread together, I've decided to map out a draft of what this thread of my new manuscript might look like it before I tackle poems for it. Now I could do the same when pulling together existing work, and you may well have done something like this by taking all you available work and grouping them into individual piles on the floor - then arrange them and look for where you might have holes to feel in. Like everything else about poetry, there is no right or wrong way to approach these things. But mind mapping lets you approach it from overhead. It's like looking at you neighborhood in a satellite view on Google maps, you see how one home or street relates to another. In this case, you can envision how one poem or a number of poems might relate to each other or a particular section of the manuscript.
I'm experimenting with this creative approach and I'm not married to it, I don;t have to do this each time or forever. But then again, I may find that this is a great way to resolve that internal conflict of what do I do next, and how do I know when I'm finished?
I've also spent time this week thinking about the outside conflicts that encroach on my creativity. I believe it is important that as we live in the world, we not be isolated from our neighborhood, our city, state or nation, or even our neighbors around the world. I'm often looking for harmony and there appears non. The struggle is to be engaged so that you can be an informed person in the political process and yet not feel that you are drug down by what is going on around you. That is a challenge of mammoth proportions. I will not tell you how you can do it because I have not figured it out - but I can tell you I believe it is important to decide how you want to try to cope with this. How you do it may be something in flux, but I believe we all have to attempt to balance this part of our life. The alternatives are to let the world swallow you or to so totally withdrawn that you become oblivious to the world at large. If we all do that, who will direct this ship we are afloat upon? I want ti try to .minimize conflict where I can but not ignore it where it matters in our art.