We’re only making plans for…

For the dverse prompt. A haibun about writing plans.

Plans, I have none. I write, and occasionally send out a letter to an agent or a publisher, but always with lead in my heart. I expect nothing to come of it. Beyond disappointment and with no illusions, I write and write. The words form stories, short, long, novels, or poems, bright as gems in dark earth. I slipped out of the mainstream too long ago to know the right phrases or the current TV speak. I shrink and curl about myself and put down on the page what I know, not what the latest trend asks me in such semi-literate, head waggling ways to write. Begone, dull care, I will write what I please and toss it into the cloudy air. I will walk by the side of the high road and watch the buzzards laze across the field and let the bandwagon with its high-pitched laughter speed into the dust of far away.

Field full of silver,

frost in the grass and the air,

hawk spies red heat—swoops.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

76 thoughts on “We’re only making plans for…”

    1. You can and I have. I am published by a mid-sized publisher and have self-published too. You need a lot of energy and time for promotion though, and I don’t have either. So I just write.

    1. Up until a few years ago it was possible to write intelligent stuff and an agent would read it and possibly like it. The stuff they ask for now is junk writing, silly and badly researched. More like TV ads than novels.

      1. Right. I hear writer friends say (before they’ve published their first book) that their aim is to write full time and earn a living at it. Makes me want to laugh in a sad sort of way.

      2. I wouldn’t call myself an idealist. If I could write a blockbuster I would, no scruples. But I don’t have the right cultural baggage. Didn’t go to high school or college, don’t have a TV and never have. Can’t even drive, not safely anyway. I’ve just quietly fallen by the wayside, do my own thing and bugger Bognor!

      3. You’re kidding? I think you’re quite educated for sb with no formal education.
        When I said idealists, I was referring to your friends writers you had mentioned, who thought they could make a decent living by writing.
        Like you said, only blockbusters sell.

      4. When I say I didn’t go to high school or college, I mean I went to a grammar school and university. It’s different. We didn’t have proms and football and all that crap that seems essential for a good contemporary novel.

      5. Aaaa, got it.
        That’s why you’re a writer to make things up. It does not have to be autobiographical.

        Once upon a time there was a princess who got stuck in a thorny bush.
        Don’t worry, in a 100 years, a handsome prince will come to rescue you.

      6. Daddy Pig is not really a prototype of a strong handsome prince. He’s a jack of all trades who brags about knowing everything whereas he knows very little. But, he’s good-natured though.
        So, it’s a different kind of a fairy tale in which
        women are more resourceful than their partners. Very progressive and feminist.

      7. I get seriously irritated with a lot of the French kids stuff. They still seem to be locked into the line where if there’s an adventure, it’s going to happen to a boy, and any explanation of life and the universe is going to come from daddy.

      8. That’s how our patriarchal society works. I am constantly irritated when a salesman asks me about the color, pink for girls and blue for boys. I say, he’s a baby for God’s sake. And then I take pink or red stuff.
        Same with toys, cooking utensils vs trucks. Frustrating.

      9. It doesn’t change. The teachers encourage it too, don’t see the harm they are doing. I bought navy blue and green baby clothes, a bit of red and a bit of yellow. No pink ever. I just don’t like it as a colour, and for babies, it’s about the least flattering colour there is.

  1. Your spirit is invigorating, and your words, your sassy attitude echoes my own. Most of us write because we need to, are driven to. The old parameters no longer apply. We become known through fellowship and participation. My own blog has over a million page views; think of all those bright minds and searching souls we have touched, mostly without feedback.

  2. You have a unique voice, and I’ve learned so much from you. So there is that.
    I love this: “Begone, dull care, I will write what I please and toss it into the cloudy air.”–and your swooping hawk.
    (Isn’t swooping a fun word?) 🙂

  3. I LOVE this:

    “I shrink and curl about myself and put down on the page”

    It reminds me of Sylvia Plath’s voice.

  4. so much admiration, that you just write, not bothering with anything else,that’s what it’s all about in the end, getting the words out there, and you have brilliant thoughts to share. do you often read your own writing?

    1. I’m always reading my writing, Gina! Polishing it and fiddling with it to send to agents and publishers. Most of the time I just polish and pass onto the next manuscript. I have quite a pile of them!

      1. ahhh just like me too then and sometimes i feel the fiddling will never end. I have been quite fortunate to have a my articles published locally for an english language teaching magazine, but i like reading over my words, it has shown me how i have changed and grown or slumped in my writing.

      2. I doubt that you’ve slumped! But yes, it is a salutary experience looking over early work and the beauty of not having published it is that you can revise it 🙂

    1. Thanks Mary 🙂 I feel for the authors who see a trend being pushed and spend months writing what they hope will be the perfect answer, only to find that the trend has changed…

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