A little time for rhyme and reason

It has been half a year since my last post, and it was a very hectic half of a year. My son was born and is growing up beautifully. Life with two small kids leaves me with too little time for many things, especially poetry.

I’m weirdly ambivalent about that. It sure feels right to focus on my kids in basically all of the time that I’m not at work or sleeping. I also feel guilty about my very slow progress on what is, after all, supposed to be my Magnum Opus. But on the other hand it’s just poetry so who will ever care. But what will I amount to if I don’t do this right. I’d amount to a pretty good dad it seems. And that’s both obviously enough, and obviously not enough, at the same time.

That said, I’ve been doing some little things. Bits of poetry posted on Twitter. I started writing a second song. I’ve made some preparations to record myself singing the first one. I have a mostly-finished short poem on the side. I wrote like four new stanzas for the fourth Sermon, and had one and a half good new ideas for it. I drafted a third “Inspirations” blog post. Small stuff. Basically stuff that needs so little mental workspace that I can come up with it while doing dishes or something.

Paradoxically, I waste much of the little time I have admiring work of people who are vastly more productive than me, like Elon Musk, Scott Alexander or Ada Palmer. And I think I have learned a few things about productivity from them, and from my wife and my boss too. At any rate I’m definitely more productive than I was five years ago. But little of that is trickling into the poetry side of things.

Well then, here’s a thing I can try. I hereby commit to posting another progress report at the end of this year. If I have nothing to report, I’ll be embarrassed, but I think this might help me pressure myself to actually have more to report, while still leaving room for my other commitments. We’ll see.

(Because I’m really good at following through on things I have actually explicitly committed to. Such as finishing the Sermons, eventually. It’d be good to have time left after, though.)