Fiction Brain vs. Poetry Brain

I’m deep into editing my little sci-fi middle grade novel I wrote last summer. I’ve been putting it off and putting it off, believing it was not worth coming back to—but I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find it is not complete trash! I rushed the end, ready to be done with it, but up until those last 50 pages, I’m fairly pleased.

I wasn’t sure if I was ready to delve into fiction again because poetry has been the most healing writing for me with grief. Poetry allows me to examine events and my feelings about them in a structured, beautiful, in-depth way. It’s something that I really needed, especially in the first few months of this year (I typically write 2 poems a month—I wrote more like 5 a month in January/February).

But there’s also an expansive absorption in writing fiction.

I dreaded entering back into the novel because I thought I’d find such a hopeless mess there that I’d never untangle it. Instead it’s been more like street-sweeping, tidying up, trimming hedges (moving whole blocks to whole other blocks, but not as much as I’d expected). My biggest challenge has actually been getting TOO into it—there’s something about editing and writing fiction that sucks me in completely, where it is all I want to do! As much as I love poetry, I can give it 15 dedicated minutes and be done—fiction could eat up my whole day if I have a whole day available.

Do you write fiction and poetry? Do you find the writing processes very different?

thoughts?

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