Last year I wrote a poem for a friend for her poem project (to give her a little break). She has been writing a poem every single day for almost four years now. There were some days where she just wanted to quit, but she kept going. She had a determination to write a poem for a specific amount for time, and she was going to do it, no matter what.
I have been watching her progress over the years, and have deeply admired her staying power. I also love her use of words. The exactness of them. And her unfolding imagery is really quite wonderful. I also love that she writes poems in a wide range of ways, not just sticking to one or two specific formats.
Anyways, I stumbled across the poem I wrote for her recently, and thought I would share. I wasn’t really into writing poems when I wrote this. In fact, for years I shied away from poem writing afraid to give it a shot. But when I saw what Hannah was doing, she inspired me to give it a try.
Since writing that poem for her last summer, I have dabbled in writing poems off and on. I have found that I like the challenge of finding exact words to convey a meaning, and this practice has made me a stronger writer all around.
So here it is below.
I see you are having a bad day.
I see that frown.
I see those hunched shoulders.
Don’t snap at me. I didn’t do it.
I know this sucks.
I know you’re hurting.
Don’t you know? It’s going to get better.
Maybe not today.
Maybe not tomorrow,
But it will.
How do I know? You ask.
Because I’m your angel, Dear One.
And I’ll be right here,
Each step of the way.
You are not alone.
If you have the chance, check out Hannah Six’s #1462PoemsProject. She posts links of her poem project on multiple social media formats (Twitter and Instagram) are the ones I follow), but you can also go directly to her blog and see all her poems.
As a writer, I am always learning. I think that’s what I love most about writing––the learning never stops. I am either learning something new about myself and writing as I write, or I stumble across new information as I am looking to learn more about writing. This time it was the latter. Recently on Twitter, I ran across a book recommendation for plotting that I loved so much I had to share it here.
I definitely believe character development is a key element in a story. The more a reader can relate with a character and feel for a character’s journey, the better the book becomes. And this method certainly will help with that!
This book also helped me realize that I’m a Tweener (I always thought myself a straight up Pantser). I do love writing by the seat of my pants. That’s how I get some of my best ideas, but I also know where I’m writing too as well. I have a loose idea of events I need to reach and about where I need those events to happen. Also, I find already knowing my ending is a necessity to writing, even if I don’t know specifics. Just having a good idea of where I need to stop gives me a clear goal to reach for. But after reading Bell’s book I have an even better way to approach my writing. Start in the middle and Pants my way to the beginning and end. I’ll still have those events and goal posts to reach, but I think it will be far easier to get there knowing exactly what the character’s journey should entail.
And you know this book couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I’ve become somewhat stalled on writing the first draft of my second novel. I think this technique will get things churning quite nicely. Thanks Bell. 🙂
Books. They amaze me. They captivate me. They are true magic. Imagine this.
You get a new book to read because someone recommended it to you, or the cover just looks freaking awesome, or it’s a promising jewel you happened to stumble upon. It sits there in your lap eager to be read, but the cover, the title, the words splashed across the pages are meaningless. It’s just a book. Like all the other books taking up space on the bookshelf. But you open the cover and begin to read anyways, because it’s calling to you. There’s this pull to open it you can’t quite explain. So you do and you begin to read it.
One of the first pieces advice I received as a young writer (about eight or nine years ago now) from multiple sources (mostly from writing books and sage advice from published authors) was that to be successful at writing one must join a writing group. I was told writing groups would make me a better writer by giving me a place to talk and learn about writing as well as put me around other like-minded individuals for the support I needed to keep writing.
I took that advice to heart and joined a writer’s group two years after I began my cool hobby of writing, because I wanted to take my cool hobby to the next level.
It was the best decision of my life.
Until that defining moment of joining my first writing group, writing was a fancy. Something I did in my spare time. I had big ideas of being published, but it was a pie in the sky kind of thing. Joining a writing group made me realize that writing isn’t as romantic as I first thought. It’s lot of hard work (and a building of strict discipline and great effort), but work that had a hell of a pay off in the end (and I’m not talking about being published).
Through the help of my new writing friends, I learned that writing was not just something to do or some passing fancy for me, it was a way of life… my new way of life. And for two years, I went to every single writing meeting religiously (every other Saturday afternoon). And no sickness or excuse would keep me from going (okay, so if I was running a fever I wouldn’t go, but you get the idea).
Then I started getting restless. Something was wrong, very wrong and I didn’t know what it was. The meetings weren’t as fulfilling anymore, and more times than not I would come home from a meeting totally frustrated, wondering why I’d wasted hours talking about writing and other things that had nothing to do with writing (because my writing group did love to get off topic a lot).
Now this is an interesting little chart I stumbled upon as I browsed Facebook. This post from the Writer’s Circle. I often enjoy the posts this page puts up, but this one made me stop and think. And the question that popped in my brain was… What would be the most common phrases in my writing?
An argument could be made for the listed words and phrases as being too simplistic and possibly boring. But considering the intended audience (young adult), is that really a bad thing? And it opens the question… is simplistic writing possibly a better way to go? After all, these series are best sellers.