Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Tyler Pufpaff: my (small press) writing day

A typical writing day for me is when I can be alone or have the feeling of being alone such as when my fiancé is gone to work and I have the apartment all to myself or when she has gone to bed and silence befalls the night. When I can get this, which is frequent enough, I always light a candle just somewhere outside of my peripheral—I think the flame helps me focus but I don’t want to focus on it. We have recently acquired some new furniture and I have fashioned myself a Tyler only production site between our kitchen bar and the living room. This is where I am becoming increasingly more productive. Previously I would find a corner to recede into, as if to shield myself from the world when I do break down the walls and become vulnerable (in craft).

I do sometimes wish that I were a plotter instead of a panster because I usually have huge allotments of time on my writing days that aren’t taken advantage of. Instead, they usually start out with a slow call to the coffee pot, which is drained over the course of the day while I read (books, submissions, social media feeds, articles on whatever it may be that has caught my attention), play a video game (something multiplayer), and run some routine errands until a feeling strikes. This spontaneity in writing, in letting it just flow out of me when it is ready has always come naturally to me. This may last for an hour or many hours. I have never felt an absence in topics of things I want to write about, but I think I limit myself by not trying to force it and just striking while the iron is hot, if that makes sense.

So, a typical writing day for me, is actually one filled without a lot of writing. I do a lot of anything else really. In fact, I used to do a lot of anything else, thinking when I was younger, that I needed to experience the world before I could write about it. And I did that in travel, in seeking out new experiences, and by not planning for an outcome and just letting things be. This happens severely less now but I still feel the same; I want to draw from personal experiences in my writing. I think when we have our writing days we do as much as we can to set ourselves up for success such as making the coffee, withdrawing distractions, lighting a candle, etc. but sometimes a writing day yields no writing and that’s okay. Those days, I like to think I’m building momentum.

Tyler Pufpaff: Poetry Editor at Variant Literature. English & Business student at UNCG. Lover of black coffee and the Godfather movies. Previous publications have appeared or are forthcoming in Torrid Literature Journal, Coraddi, and Poetry Diversified 2019: An Anthology of Human Experience.

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