Behind a Curtain of LEDs

I’ve been thinking a bit lately about how I could better integrate my writing
with the technology that we all use every day. One of the things I’m thinking
about doing is live streaming some poetry writing session. Short stories and
novels, at least how I’ve been working on mine, start out so rough and straight
up horrible that I don’t think that would be interesting at all. Maybe if
people tuned in to episodes and watched the entire process over time, but I
don’t have that kinda of viewer/reader base. When I sit down to write poetry,
though, it’s a more improvisational process. The final product is almost exactly
what my first draft is. It’s less complex and probably a lot more fun to watch,
kind of like those folks that stream their coding sessions on Twitch.

It seems like a lot of the writing process for poets and authors is still so
hidden away at a desk or laptop. Maybe I’m wrong because I haven’t been looking
hard enough. Either way, I think live streaming poetry sessions with audio
discussing the writing would be a great way to improve the craft. It may not
end up being as intimate as a small poetry reading, but it definitely could be.
I’d toyed with the idea of feeding my writing to a bot and seeing if it would
be able to mimick my voice after reading my first three poetry collections.
That seems interesting, but a bit gimmicky. Also, it looks like there are at
least a handfull of bots out there writing poetry. In addition to that, it’s
really cyber punk, but removes almost all human element from the art. I’m not
sure that’s a bad thing for an experiment, but it may end up being kind of
boring.

Other than the live streaming and bot writer, a lot of my ideas sounded even
more gimmicky. I thought it would be clever to write my poetry in the style of
one of the more popular languages. Again, super cliche idea once I thought it
through. I may still do some poetry in the style of technical writing, with
illustrations and such, but that would be a small collection of work. I think
the idea of having technical illustrations to tie the whole theme together
would be pretty interesting if I could stylize my writing properly.

All that said, I’m not really sure how to update my writing process. The really
funny thing is that I enjoy poetry mostly when I’m writing on my typewriter.
Maybe live streaming that would interest folks more than typing in Vim. Either
way, I think it would be good for the community to start experimenting with
these kinds of practices. I’m of the opinion that there is no magic between
chair and keyboard. The mystical aspect of writing, at least to me since it is
a pretty personal ritual, happens all in the meditative state that I get into
when I’m really on a role. Maybe live streaming and have notifications pop up
constantly would pull me out of the zone. I could see getting a little weird
with replies to live comments, too, while in the state of mind I get into
while writing poems.

Anyway, I feel like this topic is exhausted for now. I may experiment with
Twitch streaming or something, but this seems to be something that requires a
lot more analysis before moving forward. Posting prewritten poems to instagram
is cute once in a while, but I feel like my original content gets lost in the
sea of trash that’s out there. When I figure out what I’m going to do to update
the interaction people have with my writing, I’ll definitely post about it
here. Hopefully it’s something that other people are interested in.

Leave a comment with what you’d like to see writers doing with the tech that’s available to us, or what you do as a writer to engage your more tech savvy readers!

Author: A. M. Langston

Poet and Novelist

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