Creative Consensus

A number of years ago, I was involved in a poetry anthology that was edited by consensus. [This, not uncoincidentally, was also when I learned to spell consensus, which has a startling lack of c’s]. My job was mostly copyediting, which I have to say was not done by consensus. It was done by me. But the larger editorial  decisions were made by a team of people collaborating by email from various states and countries.

One of my co-collaborators happened to live at the other end of my state. So one summer I drove up to her house and introduced myself to a person I had never met before. We could not stop talking. It was painful when I had to leave. Since then there have been many visits at either end of the state and in places between and we have not stopped talking since.

We just keep finding each other at poetry events. We’re either reading together or going to readings together. We’ve been on panels so often together that we have to take next year off so the major state-wide poetry event organizers don’t get suspicious. We needed to find something else to do together.

So we’re collaborating on an article. Our processes are both similar and different. We don’t know where we are submitting this article yet, so we’re just thinking and writing. We are comfortable with uncertainty. Our interests diverge and then converge in surprising ways. Or we’re poets so we find connections everywhere. We try to out-connect each other. She is one of my smartest readers.

One of the joys of not having a major writing project active at the moment is I can tackle the things I’ve been meaning to do for years.

What are your minor writing projects?

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11 responses to “Creative Consensus

  1. I’m terrible at collaborating, even with myself. I have a half dozen stories that are all somewhere is early development, writing, but most of my attention is working on my big project (the well-named One-Match Fire, WITH a hyphen). I can’t seem to compartmentalize my creative brain to shift between major and minor projects.

  2. I wrote a micro-essay (298 words, including title and references) for one of the top medical journals.

    Thank you for helping me to figure out how to spell concencus, I mean, consensus.

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