Sunday, July 24, 2016

Kit Kelen - Progressing the Topics - on to Topic 3 - Projects Beyond This One

Progressing through the topics.

Dear all,
               I had delayed going on with my list of topics for discussion because I thought it would be good if participants had an opportunity to do little self-introductions first, and to hopefully, through this vehicle, better define what it might be that we wish to discuss. But I don't want to stand in the way of a possible dialogue either... so this is to resume the process of working through topics, on the basis that people can throw in their personal accounts at any point they like.

Now to pick up Anna's take on what might be next with the question - can this (i.e. Project 366) become a permanent thing. This is more or less my Topic 3. So let me open discussion on this now.

Topic 3
Projects beyond 366 – Project 52, Project 12, Project 1 ?

I personally don't think an automatic continuation is the right way to go, basically because it might doom the project to entropy. But I do think continuations of various kinds could be good. But each continuation with a 'natural' limit, and requiring effort to extend beyond/renew.

For instance, I think a Project 365 would be good for next year, though I'm not sure how many current participants would wish to be in that? It is quite a commitment, the daily doing-it for a year. On the other hand that might be a commitment some of the 366 guests this year might wish to take up for next year. In any case, it would be good if there were a crew doing it daily for next year. I'm not sure if I'd want to be in that crew, but I am sure I wouldn't wish to organise it. Maybe if there's a new group, it should invite the old-timers as guests or sporadic contributors. Could this be a good collaborative project among Creative Writing classes? For instance in different parts of the world?

I have another idea though, for next year, that might appeal to those who are doing the whole year this year. That is Project 52 – in other words a project where participants post something weekly for the year. Thus producing a body of 52 works/texts by year's end. This could be a nice way to make something like a book-length work. It would be a less pressured exercise and it might result in more polished work. It could even be used to return to 366 drafts and polish them, for instance towards a collection. It might have different feedback mechanisms, mentoring procedures/relationships. Being a little less frenzied, probably all sorts of different things might be possible. So I throw that idea out for discussion. And who knows – after Project 52 then Project 12 (?), to be followed by Project 1?


  1. Funnily enough I had already started wondering if we could do a once-a-week project next. If so, I'd like to be involved, for the whole year. I can do the blog admin stuff if that's any help. What else is in the organising? Finding writers?

  2. yes Rosemary - all of that I guess ... there has to be enough interest to make it worthwhile ... I'm a little disappointed with the way the conversation doesn't seem to be happening now

  3. project 52 is a terrific idea Kit. A chance for some spit and polish or to expand or develop concepts.

  4. Well, I dunno. Maybe it's not doing what you had hoped, Kit, but I find something valuable and exciting that I don't in any of the other communities I'm involved in. It's hard to define what, exactly. It's not that the others don't include some wonderful poets.... But anyway, I have too many commitments to actually organise a Project 52, but as I said, could do some of the blog admin stuff with ease if necessary. And certainly interested in ongoing discussions now as to what shape it might take.

  5. I really like the idea of projects 52 through to 1! I do wonder though whether a lack of rigour will still be possible - dashing off a poem in the last few hours of the week. Or am I the only one who does that?
    Perhaps to get more commitment or more energy from the participants we need to be clearer about outcomes. What is it we are actually trying to achieve?

    Beyond forming a solid daily writing habit I think there needs to be some result that we are aiming for - to create a writing community, to foster collaborations, to appreciate cultural perspectives, to collect work on certain topics, to produce a publication...

    Our purpose at the beginning of the year was to simply write and we are all doing that, if you want more then you have to challenge us to do more. I think there would be some value in revisiting every poem from this year every day next year. Being forced to review, edit, completely rewrite on the same topic or even simply advocate for your original words from the distance of a year is something I would find very interesting. It would be a valuable exercise in honing our editing skills and would perhaps be of more interest to writing students - to be able to look at the progress of a poem from draft through to something more finished.

    Perhaps we could also appoint an editor to review the work and compile a collection of the best of Project 366. The prospect of some critical review and/or even an online publication would certainly sharpen some flagging spirits.

    Also could we not plan for an actual real life event? If we had enough lead time to plan the travel, we could aim to meet up and have discussions, readings from the blog, etc. Could we tag it onto a writing festival somewhere?

    I also want to thank you Kit for the work you have done in organising this project - trying to herd so many wayward poets in a similar direction is tricky! I do understand the frustrations of such an exercise and apologise for not being able to answer your call for assistance with it - I have committed to too many other projects at the moment to be able to help. If the project falters at the end because you cannot continue and no one else will take it on then I think you can nonetheless be proud of the achievement. xMikaela

  6. well I'll be happy to set up Project 52 for those who are interested ... but someone else will have to set up a Project 365 for next year, if they want that ... it might be nice if that were an almost completely new group ... or for instance if some of this year's monthly guests got that together...

    time now to move on to next topics ... but first I'd better write today's poem draft!

  7. I'd be happy to contribute to a Project 52.