Side projects and procrastination


side projects ver 1

from Austin Kleon’s Steal Like An Artist (Workman, 2012)

I’ve been making a lot of stuff lately, not just found poems but collages to compliment them, even a found poem in a box (see below). I loosely term all this stuff ‘composite fictions’ and last week I started to realise I’d got quite a number of these pieces. So, I’ve created a gallery page on this blog where you can view them under that heading.
Sometimes, the cutting and sticking has felt like it’s taking over from the poetry all together, but I’ve kept at it, in the belief that that you learn through doing, and completing, things. That’s not to say I’m happy with every finished piece, but completing is a stage in the process. Unfinished work makes me feel uncomfortable. What would it have been if I’d got round to finishing it? Good or bad, I’ll never know – unless I complete it. And it’s reassuring to be able to put one project aside in order to concentrate on something else, then go back to the first one later.

side projects 2

from Austin Kleon’s Steal Like An Artist (Workman, 2012)

Viewing my poem collages as side projects has been helpful. It’s stopped me feeling guilty about not doing ‘real writing’ (I still write, but less so than say a year ago). The fact that the ‘found’ and collage work may take over and become a new direction is also fine, because why should we push on with work we’re not really enjoying? Maybe these collages are the work I really need to be doing? That’s why I included Jessica Hische’s quote at the start of this post, to get you to think about the direction your own work is taking.
Below is a little ‘poem box’ that has pretty much taken up every spare creative moment I’ve had for the last three weeks, but has given me so much pleasure I had to continue with it. In truth, it’s not completely finished, in the sense that I still want to add a couple of things but haven’t found the right materials yet. Still, it’s a project I can come back to …
swan edited



6 thoughts on “Side projects and procrastination

    • Thanks Zoe – I’m in the process of adding a chain to ‘lead’ the swan out of the frame so to speak (and am awaiting some stronger glue that will do the job). I did want a crown for the swan too, but haven’t worked out how to do that yet. As you can see, it’s really taken up a lot of head space!
      Julie X


  1. Repeating myself, but I’m really enjoying your posts! You’ve inspired me to dabble in some collage work but I’ve realised that I wasn’t respectful enough to my dabbling time – I am adding it to my list of things I want to do. Good idea to set up a gallery.


    • Hi Josephine, you’re right, this sort of thing can become very time-consuming. I never have enough time to do everything I want to do. However, I’ve found that once you’ve settled on a few texts (from which you will obtain your cut-up lines) they seem to form a core from which the found poems emerge. I then add to this ‘core’ from newspapers and magazines as I like the pull between different text types. Hope this makes sense.
      Julie X

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s