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.
About the Author: Abigail Browning
Abigail Browning, Founder and Managing Editor, a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, received her MFA in Poetry at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Abigail has poems either published or forthcoming in the Yemassee Journal Online, The Greensboro Review, Linebreak, and RHINO Poetry. In addition, she was honored to receive the Amon Liner Poetry Award, the Noel Callow/Academy of American Poets’ Prize, and was a finalist for the Linda Flowers NC Arts Prize. She also has a passion for jazz music and dance, and teaches swing-era dances in her free time: www.abigailbrowning.com. Currently, she is studying Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media as a PhD at NC State in Raleigh, NC.