I used to write poetry. I say this, not as an attempt to find an excuse to inflict any of it on you, or because I'm trying to look arty, but because of those words "used to". Just a few short years ago, I took it into my head that I was going to be largely a poet who also did other things. I studied formal and free poetry, I wrote computer files and notebooks full of the stuff and I set myself goals about trying to write a poem a day.
I know this because the other day, I found my files full of poems. Many of them are silly, while some of them really aren't. While all of them represent a strand of writing that I don't really do today. In the course of about five years, I've gone from writing lots of poetry to writing none.
This is, I suppose, a post about the ways in which we all change. As writers, but in general too. You know that awkward question they always ask in interviews: where do you see yourself in five years? Isn't it true to say that we don't know? That no one knows? Think for a moment about all the things that you used to do, as a writer or more generally. They probably felt like the most important things in the world at the time. Now, what you're doing feels more important. A few years from now?
I used to be a poet. I used to write urban fantasy. Maybe I'll look back one day and say I used to write comic fantasy. Looked at like that, it seems almost silly to say "This is what I am and what I do", doesn't it? Because who knows what we'll say we used to do tomorrow?