Writing Utensils

Inspiration is a fancy word for dedication.  Poetry has the power and stigma of being a mystical art. How must one sit down and fill a page?  Here are three tools for getting something on the page:

1. Music

I always write to music.  Music takes pressure off of the silence. I am comfortable staring at a blank page if Aretha is singing in the background or Dizzy Gillespie is swinging eighth notes. I like Pandora for non-stop music of a genre of my choosing. Sometimes I listen to my Sam Cooke station (like now), while others I spend hours in the soft bright sounds of “Acoustic Bluegrass.”

2. Pressure

Sometimes I meet with another writer in a coffee shop that will be closing at a certain time to give myself more purpose within a time frame. In addition, if we’re both writing,  I have the sense of competition. I’m pretty competitive, so that

Darwin's Finches

type of trick works.  Or, if you’re crazy like me, you can challenge yourself to a goal you’ve never tried before–20 poems or 2000 words in a night.  You’ll amaze yourself with what you are capable of producing–both gorgeous lines and poems about dog farts.

3. Unique Source Material

Instead of another book of poetry, grab a random nonfiction book off of your shelf.  Something on Darwin or String Theory.  New words and new situations from those books will get neurons firing.

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