Listen to Jason:

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Posts Tagged ‘self-imposed/self-directed writing retreat’

But is it usable?

Monday, September 10, 2012

jason poole, accidental hawaiian crooner, writing retreat, nyc, molokai, halawa valley

View from the bus window as we head back to NYC.

I’m writing this while sitting on a bus.  Bound for NYC.  Heading back to the craziness of city living after having a few days to write and reflect and try putting my thoughts into words on the page instead of the having them blow around like illusive strings  in my mind.  (And most of the time, those strings end up colliding and tangling and forming impossible knots.)

The other day, someone asked me if I am any closer to getting something usable.

Well, I guess it all depends on what you think the word usable means.

While I was on this retreat, I’ve had time to sit and think.  That’s one of the perks of being away from my desk and my responsibilities back in the Big Apple.

I’ve been showing up to the blank page and setting the timer and writing like a mad man.  Doing sensory explorations of the chosen word.  And I’ve come back with a notebook full of words and ideas and images that, quite frankly, kind of amazes me.  I’ve been calling ‘em word paintings. (Please click HERE to see a video about part of my writing process.)

And some of those word paintings have played over and over in my head—sometimes while I was sleeping and other times while I was awake and out walking around.

And from those replays have come some song starters.

(I’m stoked!  Stories!  New songs!)

So that brings me back to the question: Is it usable?

Absolutely.  Yes.

Even if they don’t result in the songs that I’ve been experimenting with.  Even if they don’t form themselves into the shapes that I’d originally intended, they’re usable.

I’m learning.  I’m exploring.

It’s all part of working on a way to preserve Hālawa Valley–and my experiences there.

I’m so very grateful for the experience.

(And believe me, I can’t wait to get these stories and songs in readable/singable forms so that I can share ‘em with YOU!  Let the revision process begin!)

Right on.


Our very first VIDEO BLOG/VLOG!  I’m so excited!

I’m away at another fantastic self-imposed/self-directed writing retreat–gathering stories and writing songs.  So I thought I’d give you glimpse inside the process.

Happy Aloha Thursday!


Wild (and INSPIRED) Days

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Some days are just plain WILD.

Days where I start out with great intentions of tackling a project.  I begin the day with what one of my friends calls “laser beam focus” on completing that one task.  And then, hours later, I find that I’ve started a million projects and completed none–not even the one I originally set out to finish.

That’s been the day today.  And it would be easy to beat myself up for not getting things “done.”


I’m only mildly frustrated by the lack of completion/closure with the million projects.



They’re all related.  It just appears that I’ve lost my focus–but in reality, I’m really focused on a lot of great things!

(I just need to be a little more disciplined in my time management.)

Here’s the scoop:  I started out the day with the idea that I would write a lot of “sketches” as part of my big writing project.  And while I worked on that, songs seemed to call out to me–like they were begging me to learn them.  (I managed to avoid picking up the ʻukulele for a full 30 minutes. And then I felt like I’d explode if I didn’t at least figure out which keys I wanted to sing the songs in.) Those songs inspired a search for the origin of some of the place names mentioned in the pieces. And then I spent time researching some of the songs’ lyrics in the dictionary.  And that lead to researching MORE stories.   And then…  And then…  And then…

(You get the picture, right?)

So it’s an “unfocused” kind of focus.  I have a lot of great information.  And a lot of cool ideas.  And a lot of projects that are now “in the works.”

And yes, that means I have a lot of loose ends.

But I’m grateful for days like today.

Wild days inspire me.

How about YOU?  What inspired YOU today? 


Writing and Rhythm

Thursday, September 29, 2011

thomas the cat, writer, jason poole

Thomas the Cat is a fantastic writing companion. He reminds me that naps are important to the creative process. (NYC 9.29.11)

I’ve been up to my eyeballs in writing these days.

The Self-Imposed/Self-Directed Writing Retreat that I did last month was incredibly beneficial.

(Please click HERE and HERE to read more about that.)

Let me tell you, locking yourself in a hotel room with nothing to do but WRITE for a couple days can be a really effective way to tackle a project head on!  It got me to put my ʻēlemu (buttocks) in the chair and put my pen to the page.  I generated a TON of short pieces–rough drafts and sketches to be used in what is now lovingly known as “Jason’s memoir-esque project” or “Jason’s writing thing.”

But it also opened up some old wounds.

Some things that I haven’t thought about for a long time managed to find their way into the stories. Long-buried memories started digging their way out.  It’s been wild.

So now I’m really going.  I’m writing.  And creating.  And discovering.  And REdiscovering.

And it’s awesome!  (Most of the time.)

And sometimes it’s terrifying.


I’m still trying to find my rhythm.

I mean, there are days when I start writing and I can’t stop.  I put all other things on the “back burner” and give in to the muse.  I become OBSESSED with writing.  And those days are a lot of fun! But at the end of the day, I see that I’ve neglected all of my other “duties.” (And that can be problematic.)

Other days, I manage to do a little writing, but it’s rough.  I stumble.  I stammer.  It doesn’t flow–it barely gurgles.  (And sometimes it’s just downright painful putting one word at a time on the page. Like my writing arm is wrapped in heavy metal chains.)  And that seems to affect other areas of my life that day, too.  Everything becomes a chore.

And then there are days when it flows freely–I write with a sense of purpose.  I manage to get at least a rough draft of an idea down on the page.  A sketch of story.  And then I can go about the rest of my day and take care of the things that require attention.  A day when I’m in the FLOW.

I know it’s not unusual.

It’s just new for me because this whole “writing thing”– the “writer’s life”– is new for me.

And I’m figuring it out as I go along.  One day at a time.

To use a musical metaphor: it’s like not being able to see the whole song–and taking the piece one measure at a time.

But trusting, all the while, that the finished piece will sound great.

I mua!  Onward!

Right on.

How about YOU?  How do you find your rhythm?  Drop me a line!  I’d love to hear from you.