Jack Kerouac once said that things we feel find their own form. In my very early years as a writer-for-hire, I worked with clients and form was decided for me. There was no room for feeling. But writing thirty-second ad copy demanded economy of expression, bang for buck delivered in three different versions designed to win client approval. Not a bad method for reining in over-writing and killing the author.
I enjoyed writing ad copy not at all, although The Client always seemed happy. Maybe all those years writing with restraints on has made it easier for me to attempt to write in poetic form.
What a delight to find so many poetic forms to play with. I’m still looking for the right form for what needs saying. Poetry has demands similar to ad copy – to say in a short space a version of the truth. I have yet to test the theory out, but it feels like a fun thing to try.
- maria popova: jack kerouac’s list of 30 beliefs and techniques for prose and life (blkcowrie.wordpress.com)