It strikes me that novel writing and editing promotes routine. Whereas poetry and short story writing often do not. For me, anyway. With a novel there’s the sense of having to get back to it, day in, day out. It’s good.
That’s not to say that I don’t get to the desk every day when I’m not working on a novel or short stories; it just seems to keep me concentrating there for long hours, more so than poetry, which is what I am mostly working on these days.
Yes, I sit down every day, but because of the shortened attention span needed, or the flitting back and forth over the work, I have more room in my head for other concerns: the internet, reviewing, submitting work etc.
There’s a sense of ‘full speed ahead’ with longer fiction, whereas poetry seems to promote a gentler work ethic. Still, once I am writing at all, I am happy. I had been thinking for ages what a gift it would be to have the time/headspace just to work on poetry (normally there are so many fictions cluttering up my head.) Now, in my fallow fiction period, I am getting to do just that and it’s interesting. I am embracing it more as time goes on, reading more poetry than ever, writing more than ever in one big push. It’s satisfying and strange to me.