Friday, June 30, 2006

More on "writer's mediation"

Since this blog is about the process of writing, particularly poetry, I wanted to revisit my blog entry from last year about Gail Sher's book titled One Continuous Mistake - Four Noble Truths for Writers. The Four Noble Truths she refers to are:

1. Writers write.
2. Writing is a process.
3. You don't know what your writing will be until the end of the process.
4. If writing is your practice, the only way to fail is to not write.

It's my belief that writing regularly is important, whether it's a form of recreation or a profession. I do both, but I don't find it too unpleasant...actually I could do it all day and often do. The hard part for me and maybe for others (and the reason I'm writing this) is to write as part of a recreational regimen, like exercise, meditation or reading. Darn, it takes discipline! Some days I have to force myself to give myself the gift of "recreational creativity" - getting my butt and my notepad outside when I'd rather be doing something "more important", to quiet the "thoughtmonkeys" that squawk about everything that I need to do, and to just write creatively.

I think this applies whether writing a poem pulled out of nowhere or a painstakingly researched novel that starts with writing the first chapter the way the journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step. The practice starts with doing it. So I keep telling myself when I drag my sometimes unwilling carcass to the notepad. The nice thing is that even if I end up with a few lines of something worthwhile, it's my incentive to keep doing it.

My advice is to not approach your "creative time" with expectations. Only then can you surprise yourself.

Here are a few quick pieces I ended up with even during those times I couldn't come up with anything more involved:

If we could only fathom what a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience life is, perhaps we would pay more attention to it.

young woman on cell phone
not available
for conversation

play hide and seek
behind swaying palm trees

This butterfly
can’t decide
which flower to land on

Telephone wires -
birds’ bellies
colored by the evening sun

On its side –
a toy boat
in a drained bathtub

evening trees
etched by
crows' calls


Post a Comment

<< Home