Daily Distraction: Saeed Jones opens up the creative process with 'Werk-In-Progress'

In a newly debuted newsletter, the Columbus author intends to share poems and essays, along with related writing prompts and discussion topics

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
Poet Saeed Jones in the Short North neighborhood of Columbus

Saeed Jones' newest creative pursuit, a newsletter he intends to publish "two or three times" a week via Substack (you can sign up for a subscription here), was inspired, in part, by a deep exhaustion that set in amid the ongoing pandemic.

"Every morning, I felt like I was rebuilding myself from the ground up," Jones writes. "Waking up was hard. Getting to my desk to write was hard. Taking care of my body was hard. Remembering the point of it all was hard."

In experiencing the anger and exhaustion of that moment, Jones said he came to understand that rebuilding himself each day and finding the resolution to carry forward was part of the work, a realization that brought a sense of clarity to his existence, leading to what he describes as "the beginning of one of the most fruitful creative eras of my life."

With the newly debuted  "Werk-In-Progress" newsletter, Jones said he aims to share his creative process with readers in real time as a means of spreading the joy it has brought to him amid the darkness of modern life.

"You’ll receive new poems and essays from me, along with writing prompts and discussion topics inspired by that work," Jones writes. "I might share and compare drafts of my work; I might send you a voice note as I think through a project. My dog Caesar will surely make some cameos. Good chaos is coming, y’all."