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:
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.”
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
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.