The theory of creative statistics is this:
Throw enough shit and some of it will stick.
I know this theory works because I tested it last year. A year of submissions worked because the numbers stacked up. I sent out work again and again, relentlessly. Even when I knew most of it was crap, I just kept firing blanks in the hope that the odd good bullet would slip in by mistake. And they did. Because it is impossible for it not to happen. Keep sending your work out, really sending it, and eventually something will hit target. Keep writing, writing, writing, and eventually a half decent poem has to pop out. This is not about talent, it’s maths, the law of probability. You would think having worked all this out, having understood that talent has very, very little to do with success (at least at the level I am working at, I imagine it is different if you are on genius level but genius level applies to a handful of people who can write a masterpiece like they are making a cheese toastie, I am not one of those people) you would think that I would be heartily applying my theory and benefiting from it. I’m not.
I realised this week I have hit resistance on a massive, massive scale. I don’t know why, perhaps a few different reasons, time, health, confidence etc etc. It doesn’t matter, it is what it is. I am not doing the work. If I don’t do the work then the theory of creative statistics will work in reverse, I won’t get results. It’s not lack of talent anymore than the successes are because of talent, it’s just maths.Watch movie online The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
Last year was simple, I sent out a submission a week, easy. This year I was going to do competitions. So far, so good. But I resent the money, I could buy a book instead, or save up for a course. Is that a better use of my money than entering competitions I can’t win? Or should I push myself to enter so I can learn competitions, and maybe one will stick somewhere at some point, more maths. I can’t shake the feeling that I am not not a competition poet, my poems are plain wee things which is OK, but they don’t fair well at the beauty pageants.
I had two rejections this week, this is another element of the theory. The balance must always tip in favour of submissions out, not submissions in. Last year, of course, I had lots and lots of rejections. It was par for the course. Very rarely did they throw me off course however because I wasn’t counting how many rejections I got or even how many acceptances I got. I was counting number of submissions only. The second thing, and this is important when it comes to the theory of creative statistics, was that there were always so many more submissions I was waiting to hear about and my energy was on them, not on the no that had landed in my inbox. At the moment I have tipped in the wrong direction, the number of submissions out there just isn’t high enough to counter the no’s that I am getting. This is bad maths.
For me the theory of creative statistics is a black and white beast. Last week I failed to learn a sonnet. Guess what happened to the sonnet this week? Sod all. Didn’t even take a look. I am an all or nothing person and the spell was broken. I am still writing a poem a day (draft) no matter what. One a day. Most of them of course are terrible, but I should write at least one good poem this year, I am hopeful for a handful. I am holding on to this spell, one a day, no matter what.
So to conclude the theory of creative statistics says:
You need to throw a lot of shit
You need to focus on the amount of shit thrown not on what is sticking
Some of it will eventually stick
The balance of shit must always be in favour of what is thrown, not what is coming back at you.
Based on my own theory I can see I am not meeting my own criteria. The theory of creative statistics also states that if you have a theory and you believe it works and you don’t stick to it then you are an idiot.
I am an idiot.
Happy poo throwing.