Happy Friday Everyone!
I’m writing this late (It’s almost not Friday anymore!) and coffee has turned to wine. It was a red blend of sorts I am not even sure how I acquired it, but one glass was enough. If you have any suggestions for excellent wines, let me know.
“No matter what you write, a bit of poetic license can be a valuable asset to any writer’s arsenal.”
Robert Lee Brewer
The last discussion I talked about overcoming writer’s block. I mentioned that poetry was in part, how I overcame it and I want to talk about it. I was inspired by the above quote that I got from the most recent Writer’s Digest. I agree I feel that every writer can benefit from some elements of poetry.
Poetry for me has been the building block of my creativity. I quit poetry five years ago because I was so discouraged by the negativity I found in my local poetry scene. I can’t help but wonder if leaving poetry had to do with my writer’s block. It’s like stopping took the wind out of my creative sails.
What happened was I looked for a mentor in a poet who deemed himself an expert in the city where I live, and it ended very badly. Portrayed himself as a willing person to help up and coming poets. Come to find out he had an insufficient understanding of how poetry should be and hurt me very badly with lack of support all the way to harassment. There is more to the story but not needed for this post. I quit poetry because to me I thought it was nothing but drama.
A few months ago I was sharing some of my writing with a friend, and I snuck in a few poems. She read my poetry and asked why I was not writing poetry. I gave her the answer that it was too much drama. She kept asking questions and it she helped me see that I had quit because I was wounded. She strongly encouraged me to start again. It made me think and meditate on doing just that. I processed through the hurt and worked through forgiveness and it got me ready to get on the right path.
A poetry site that I had been a part of just happened to send me an email to come back, so I did. I found 171 poems that I had written and forgotten. I mentioned this last time I saw a lot of writing I had squirreled away when I thought I had writer’s block. I went through the poems, and it took me three days to find them all and get them organized. Then I took up my pen and started.
When the poetry started flowing, I felt freedom. All these years of writer’s block are now only a memory. When I write poetry I connect to a depth of myself I pour out on paper. It not only makes me a better writer but a more consistent one at that. I feel like poetry puts the heartbeat in my prose.
The brevity of poetry makes you focus on the poignancy of your word choices. There are also other poetic devices that help with flow and rhythm. When you train yourself to do it on a small scale, you naturally do it on a longer piece like prose. Poetry is my training ground, a prelude to more powerful prose.
Your prose is what most people are going to see. When you do poetry on the side, it’s helping you do the work behind the scenes to strengthen your narratives. If you get into poetry, you can use the poems you generate as another genre to publish in. Poetry itself at the moment is not a big money maker, but it is a satisfying way to get your work out into the world if you so choose.
As Robert Lee Brewer says “a bit a bit of poetic license can be a valuable asset..” I mean it has been for me, and I suggest you try it. There are some great poetry sites online that can help you learn more about it. I am currently taking some free courses on Allpoetry.com If you need help figuring out how to get to the classes message me and I’ll be glad to help!
Whatever helps you to get your words on paper do it with boldness.
Do you have experience with poetry?