I have a longstanding fascination with the physical process of writing. I think the tools that we use shape the way our brains work, and the kind of work that we can produce.
I’m not just sharing poetry on this blog – I am actively composing in the online space of WordPress.
There is a tendency to fetishise handwriting (Jordan Shapiro talks about our inbuilt resistance to technology in his book The New Childhood). I’ve always been a stationery enthusiast, so it was with some surprise that I’ve discovered that without a doubt, my favourite place to write poetry right now is on WordPress software.
The answer is simple: infinite scroll.
When I’m writing, I don’t encounter page breaks the way one days on a physical page, or even when writing in the most common layouts of software like Microsoft Word. The white page just keeps flowing as long as I need it to. Layout in poetry is so important, and somehow it feels like this has more control, because the page doesn’t impose the limit on breaking the thought – that is entirely up to me and where I place line breaks.
I suspect at some point the pendulum will swing the other way. The boundaries of the physical page have their own magic. It will be interesting to see what crops up when confined to that space.
Blogging software may not be as romantic as a quill pen, but when I am looking for a place to really get into the flow, WordPress software can’t be beat.
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