Can you describe your writing process?

In terms of my writing process, again I don't think there are that many constants - that's partly why I sort of start writing poems around the edges of my life. And in fact I'll quite often start writing them when I'm nowhere near a pen or paper. Some of the best conditions for those early stages are kind of habitual things like driving or washing up, or doing some gardening - and I know that sounds really, really boring but that really helps - when that habitual side of your mind is working for some reason this other part of your mind seems to be allowed to, not exactly wander, but to kind of go off and focus in on the kind of problems you engage in at the start of a poem: what is your entry point? What is the image that's going to hold this whole narrative as one? Once we're past there, the point of actual writing - I do need total silence, I'm not great at writing with music or stuff - I've been known to use earplugs for that. And then the first writing is normally sort of very, very quick - in fact so quick I normally have to type it up soon afterwards because then otherwise I can't actually read my own handwriting. So those are the kind of conditions that help - they might sound quite strange. The other thing that really helps actually is walking - you can't beat walking or running. For some reason you moving the body seems to help move the mind.


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