if you want to write

“I want to assure you with all earnestness, that no writing is a waste of time, – no creative work where the feelings, the imagination, the intelligence must work. With every sentence you write, you have learned something. It has done you good. It has stretched your understanding. I know that. Even if I knew for certain that I would never have anything published again, and would never make another cent from it, I would keep on writing.”

Brenda Ueland, If You Want To Write 

~

this is true for me. it wasn’t always. 

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submitting poems is like pulling teeth (my own teeth). this one poet i like has been sending out submissions all summer and i wish i’d done the same, maybe i will do the same, next summer, or winter break maybe.  i don’t care about it like i used to; then again, when i was just starting out, i so badly needed the encouragement of poem acceptances. without them, i don’t think i would’ve gone for my mfa. well, or gotten the job i have now, so they have proven useful.

lately, if i send out my work, its usually to a magazine where i’ve read someone i like, and i haven’t sent out much to my dreamjournals this year. its hard to find time for both the writing of poems and the sending out of poems. 

~

i’m learning that, personally, there are two things that i must do everyday: read scripture and write in my journal.

not for legalistic reasons, not for obligations, and i know it is not for everyone, but, for me, if i want to be a sane and balanced person rooted in God’s truth and believing who i am in HIM, then this is a must for me.

~

i’ve written everyday for about twenty days now. out of the twenty days i think i’ve written six or seven poems, three of which are form poems, something so completely different for me.

i am loving my class; my teacher is smart and helpful, and my classmates are too, it makes me miss workshopping oh so much. so far we’ve studied the blues poem, villanelle, pantoum, and ghazal. the villanelle took me a few revisions to get it right, the ghazal was very difficult for me, actually the most difficult form i’ve tried, and the pantoum came pretty naturally.

i don’t know why i have been afraid of form all this time, it has been lovely and refreshing to study a new aspect of my craft. i think that i might even…maybe….start writing form poems outside of assignments….

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12 thoughts on “if you want to write”

  1. Awesome quote. Totally agree. And your class sounds so good…I wish I could afford to take one of those classes. Do you know when they post the new schedule of classes? Maybe I'll try to take one of the cheaper classes. I so miss learning.

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  2. Awesome quote. Totally agree. And your class sounds so good…I wish I could afford to take one of those classes. Do you know when they post the new schedule of classes? Maybe I'll try to take one of the cheaper classes. I so miss learning.

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  3. i'm not sure, i did email the person who runs it (i was toying with the idea of teaching a class with them–still not sure on that one) and she said she's putting together the schedule for next year. some of them are free classes or very cheap. you know, if you are wanting to see if you would like it, i could let you borrow my screenname/password and see what it looks like.

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  4. i'm not sure, i did email the person who runs it (i was toying with the idea of teaching a class with them–still not sure on that one) and she said she's putting together the schedule for next year. some of them are free classes or very cheap. you know, if you are wanting to see if you would like it, i could let you borrow my screenname/password and see what it looks like.

    Like

  5. I like that quote, too! It's awesome that you've been writing so consistently. I've thought about doing a 30 day writing challenge, but I think my problem is that I don't have a focus to my writing. I'm not working on a novel or trying to write so many poems in a time period, and so I feel like my writing doesn't have a point. Does that make sense? It's why I haven't written in a while. I don't really know where it's going. But maybe I don't need to know where it's going, I just need to do it?

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  6. I like that quote, too! It's awesome that you've been writing so consistently. I've thought about doing a 30 day writing challenge, but I think my problem is that I don't have a focus to my writing. I'm not working on a novel or trying to write so many poems in a time period, and so I feel like my writing doesn't have a point. Does that make sense? It's why I haven't written in a while. I don't really know where it's going. But maybe I don't need to know where it's going, I just need to do it?

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  7. its hard to do it some days but i am always glad when i have done it. i Don't write a poem everyday–sometimes its just ramblings in my writing notebook, or a list of words i like, or little descriptions of things.

    maybe you could start there—just keep a notebook where you write down descriptions, thoughts, dialogue, words you like, and see what comes of it. its ok to not know where its going–i always write whats on my heart, whether it fits in with my manuscript or not (and sometimes it doesn't).

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  8. its hard to do it some days but i am always glad when i have done it. i Don't write a poem everyday–sometimes its just ramblings in my writing notebook, or a list of words i like, or little descriptions of things.

    maybe you could start there—just keep a notebook where you write down descriptions, thoughts, dialogue, words you like, and see what comes of it. its ok to not know where its going–i always write whats on my heart, whether it fits in with my manuscript or not (and sometimes it doesn't).

    Like

  9. Good luck on the form poems! I didn't start writing those until just recently, and you're right about the ghazal. I wrote one, and I'm still struggling with getting emotion into the poem. Might need to just give it more time.

    I've also tried different things for submitting. Now, I try to make sure at least 20 submissions are out in the world at a time. Right now, I have 33 out, mostly because so many journals have been dragging with their responses. Since I'm only submitting a little at a time (usually after I get a rejection, I'll send another submission out), it doesn't feel as overwhelming.

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  10. Good luck on the form poems! I didn't start writing those until just recently, and you're right about the ghazal. I wrote one, and I'm still struggling with getting emotion into the poem. Might need to just give it more time.

    I've also tried different things for submitting. Now, I try to make sure at least 20 submissions are out in the world at a time. Right now, I have 33 out, mostly because so many journals have been dragging with their responses. Since I'm only submitting a little at a time (usually after I get a rejection, I'll send another submission out), it doesn't feel as overwhelming.

    Like

  11. that is a good idea–i think i might start doing that just so i have Some poems in circulation!

    i'm glad i'm not the only one that has trouble with ghazals–the form looked so much easier than it was

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  12. that is a good idea–i think i might start doing that just so i have Some poems in circulation!

    i'm glad i'm not the only one that has trouble with ghazals–the form looked so much easier than it was

    Like

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