Quality or Quantity?

Today I came across an email with the title, How many poems do you write? Quality vs Quantity.  As a moderately interesting subject heading it seemed worth a couple of minutes perusal as an accompaniment to my breakfast of coffee and pandesal.

The email asked if poets and readers favour the raw poem as first written, or an edited version, which may be technically better but dilutes some of the immediacy of the original writing.

It then went on to mention that a question often asked is how do I get published in the print journals? The short and underwhelming response to that bein; nobody really knows, its all subjective, people on blogs and websites won’t be judging to anything like the same criteria as journals.

It’s a shame there was no real point to the email, as asking and then avoiding any real exploration of the question (but inviting you to hop over to the website to discuss it) just wastes everyone’s time.

There was, however, also included a bunch of poetry books that could be purchased so I suppose if you really squint hard, there is some sort of poetry in the commercial nature of the email.

From a WordPress perspective, some bloggers manage to knock out multiple poems a day, whilst others are less prolific.  I myself publish rarely, and find it hard to be inspired to write, and when I do the words usually languish a long time before they are finished.

The interesting thing I find in my reading is the balancing of the quality and quantity between those types of poet bloggers.  And moreover taking into account the style, as well as the substance of the posts.  It sometimes becomes an obsession when I have time to spare.

6 Replies to “Quality or Quantity?”

  1. Funny how this topic appears every now and then. Personally, I find that I have had periods of intense poetic activity, where a poem or two a day for a couple of months isn’t unusual, followed by months (or in some cases, a couple of years!) of inactivity on the poetic front. I guess I have to have a muse.

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    1. I always wonder how it is for poet bloggers that manage to post more than one poem every day, it is a constant muse thing, a want to create, or sometimes just a need to keep up the amount ploughed out. I signed up to a site for poetry, posted a couple but my inspiration has dried up for the moment…again. Hopefully it won’t take a few years to reappear again.

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  2. I hope everything’s been going well with you! This made me smile about there being no real point to the email because really what all writers and readers need is more time to read and write the things we love. I guess quantity vs. quality is tricky because the more you write, hopefully the better it gets. It’s true though that it might not be the same with poetry when it’s based more on raw feelings.

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    1. Honing talent is great, and I agree with the more one writes (and reads) the better prepared the author will be to express themselves, with the quantity approach though, I allows wonder how much quantity I have to get through before I get to those quality pieces. I find it very rare that quantity writers can keep up a high level of quality but I suppose in the end it is all subjective to the reader.

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