being a little smug worked to my advantage

rob mclennan: How did you come to poetry first, as opposed to, say, fiction or non-fiction?

Adrienne Gruber: Let’s be real, I came to poetry because fiction and non-fiction scared the shit out of me and poetry seemed like the easiest and safest way to express myself. I’ve always had issues with intellectual confidence and for some reason I envisioned poetry as this shortcut to expressing myself – short-term pain for long term gain, kind of? Weird, I know. In a way, I’m grateful for the naivety I had in those early years of writing because it shielded me from psyching myself out. I wrote poetry prolifically all through high school and in my early twenties, thinking I was cheating my way into being a writer because I could sit down and whip off two or three poems in an afternoon and call it a day. By the time I fully realized that writing poetry – good poetry, that is – is hard work, excruciating at times, I had been writing for over a decade and had already written my way through a bazillion poems that sucked and managed to rework a small handful of pieces and get them published in literary magazines. So being a little smug about being prolific worked to my advantage in a way. It allowed me to write through about a decades worth of clichéd lines and suffocating imagery and build my revision skills.

- Adrienne Gruber, in conversation with rob mclennan over on his blog. You can read the whole thing here.

No comments: