Automatic Poetic Transmission or Manually Shifting The Creative Gears?

Years ago, or perhaps decades ago, I subscribed to the concept of automatic writing. The idea was most famously endorsed by Jack Kerouac. Perhaps someone else came up with it prior to Jack, but this isn’t an academic kinda blog. Anyways, what appealed to me about it was the improvisational rawness of it all. By passing the restraints of conscious thought and analytical mind and tapping into the subconscious and raw emotions. Not unlike the jazz of Coletrane or Monk or Davis. I saw editing and re-editing and drafts as more of a noose then a tool. I think it a lot of ways the idea of automatic writing related to the ire I felt toward the corporate world and the world of academia which seemed over controlling and generic in their taste for creativity. The idea of editing seemed more like a marketing ploy and conformity then any thing else.

Now that I am older, I see the point in editing and rewriting. It’s not a noose, but more of a compass. A finely tuned poem or story roars like a V8 engine, or sails like a galleon through the vastness of the Pacific.

I think there’s a fine line between over editing, however. Too much tweaking and adjusting and you turn a bull charging through a proverbial china shop into a steaming pile of dog food. There’s a certain rawness and power to the spontaneity of a first draft scribbled in a notebook that has to be maintained through editing. Cause if it is lost, then nothing will recapture that fire. Maintaining that fire while editing is perhaps more of an art then most people think it is.

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