Skip to content

Winter Word Clearance

January 22, 2013

An alternative title to Winter Word Clearance would be ‘how many words can you fit into a Daewoo Kalos three times over?’ The answer is countless millions. Yes, I too am surprised by how many words I have written over the years.
My process is to start by hand, reworking this initial draft until I have tweaked it as much as possible. I then word process it, put it aside for a while before rereading and redrafting. Unfortunately for the trees I print and amend each draft on paper before making changes to the word doc. versions. I have also fallen into the habit of hoarding each draft. So, this year I decided to have a clear out.
When I started clearing through files,drawers,cupboards etc. I began to realise how many words I had gathered over the years. Over the past two weeks I have been to the tip three times between bouts of winter weather. Just in case you are worried I am giving up writing, I would like to confirm that I am not. On the contrary, I am creating space for new writing – and my study is twice the size already.
I remember reading recently that Simon Armitage has undertaken a similar clearance, except that his drafts, half-finished poems, notes and ideas are now being held in an archive in Leeds. I have hung on to drafts of work yet to be published but decided that I did not need to keep different versions of writing that has reached an audience or online platform.
This feng shui style Winter Word Clearance has already inspired a new poem. At the same time as I have been clearing out I have been reading the autumn edition of NAWE’s Writing in Education magazine. The magazine contains an article by Robert Vas Dias about Writing the Prose Poem (available online from
In the article he mentions a translation by John Ashbery of Rimbaud’s Solde (Clearance) and suggests that writers interpret this concept to produce a prose poem of their own such as Elke de Wit’s Gone. This gave me the idea to try my hand at a prose poem entitled Winter Clearance that encapsulates the type of words I have been shredding – not all of them my own as I have also cleared out school reports, appraisals, and old love letters! I leave you with that thought.


From → Poetry

Leave a Comment

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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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

Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors

Advice on Writing, Publishing, and Book Promotion

The Task at Hand

A Writer's On-Going Search for Just the Right Words

leaf and twig

where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry

Poesy plus Polemics

Words of Wonder, Worry and Whimsy

The WORLD discovered

the ramblings of a backpacker exploring the world by foot

A Writer's Path

Sharing writing tips, information, and advice.

sheila sea

like thalassic velvet

Porkbelly Press

made in Cincinnati, Ohio

101 Books

Reading my way through Time Magazine's 100 Greatest Novels since 1923 (plus Ulysses)

Scarborough Mysteries

Crime novels set in a small coastal town on the North Yorkshire coast

Northpenninegallery's Blog

...searching for me

The Blog

Welcome to my writing world


Dark Fiction Author

A Rhyme and a Reason

original poetry by yours truly, all copyrighted.

Kerry-Ann Richardson

Crime Author, Blogger and generally nice person :-)

thirty summer

carving words out of willows


Welcome to my writing world

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

Creative Writing Tips and Authorial Support from Fantasy Writer Victoria Grefer


We may see things that we don't even imagine.

%d bloggers like this: