The Ipod as Writing Tool (Don’t Worry This is a “Clean” Post)

Posted by @ 12:00 pm on October 21st, 2009

My Ipod’s become an instrumental (ha ha) part of my writing.

Charles Simic said something like “Chance is the key that gets me out of the prison of myself. Well, then in this way and in others also, my Ipod’s a key.

First, I use it to generate poems. I record bits and pieces and save the files on to my Ipod, organizing them into appropriate playlist. Bits of the news, pieces from magazines. Bits of fiction and pieces of poetry. Things I’ve heard people say. Descriptions of landscape. Whatever. Etc. Then using the Ipod’s shuffle feature I generate 10-12 piece units (the number can and does of course vary). This is a starting point block of text that I then manually edit on the page.

I also use my Ipod for editing pieces that I think are done or close to. I record these pieces and put them on a playlist. Then (in bed or walking around or using the bathroom–damn, this was supposed to be “clean”–etc etc) I listen to them and make the edits in my head.

When I’m stuck manually revising and need a bit of color for example (like Jean Follain said) I’ll use the Ipod’s shuffle to generate me plenty of word/phrase/image options from which to choose. And then I’ll play around with those “colors” and see if I can make something work.

Of course I also use the Ipod to listen to music while writing or revising.

And the Ipod’s also useful when I’m organizing a book or chapbook. I put the poems (pieces) in a playlist and then using the Shuffle I get these strange and sometimes useful sequences that I would have trouble coming up with on my own. And, in the end, I sometimes use some of these orderings the machine creates. At the very least it’s amusing.

I’m wondering who else may be using the Ipod in similar ways. Or differently?

And I’m also interested in knowing what other methods of chance composition you guys (and gals) may be using to lead you out of the prison (or into the labyrinth) of the self.

(Simic I think just used to randomly take books off the shelf and open them to random pages. And sometimes did this with James Tate. Perhaps in the nude, with pastries. Perhaps.

Damn, this was going to be “clean”!!!)

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