Stuck? Try Writing Poetry

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any new writing. There is a reason for that: busy, busy, busy relaunching my first book under my own name, busy revising the sequel so it might be ready in the new year, and well, Life keeps happening. And another thing: being in this writing group of mine has really done a number on me. 

Being primarily a genre writer it was a stretch for me to jump into a group that consisted mostly of lit-fic writers. But I wanted the challenge; I wanted to see what I could glean from the experience. It has been great, and I have learned a lot. But it has also been confusing. “Rules” that have been drilled into my head in all my learning over the years and which apply generally to genre fiction (“No head popping”, “cut out ‘to be’ verbs as much as you can”, “show don’t tell”, “pacing is key”, “make sure you hook your reader in the first chapters” amongst others) seem to be thrown out the window in favour of the story–at least that’s my take. I’m also being exposed to different types of writing I’ve not come into much contact with before (creative non-fiction, for example). So, when it comes to thinking of writing a story, suddenly I’m bombarded with a slew of  questions before I even begin: why am I writing this? Is there some larger application or meaning to this and how can that best be shown? Can I even figure out how to blend the old and the new into a comprehensive story?

None of this is bad. It’s just taking time to figure it all out and turn it into a language (voice) I can use. That’s why that ‘silly’ writing experience last week was so important to me: it reminded me why I write. I write because I like it, not because I feel I have something to prove. Since then, the stress has diminished.

Today, I wrote two poems. I don’t consider myself a poet but when Life Happens, as it has in drastic fashion over the last few weeks, I find poetry helps unblock me. They might not be great but at least creative expression is flowing. Oh, and I usually write poetry by hand. This is a tactic I usually hate, since I think faster than I write, but for poetry I find refreshing. I’ve heard it said that handwriting uses a different part of the brain and forces the brain to slow its thinking. Perhaps this is what contributes to that ‘unblocking’ alluded to before. Anyway, since this is a writing blog here’s the second of the two poems written today. Enjoy, or not. I told you, I’m not a poet 🙂

Compulsion

 

Goodbye
is holding a palmful of water,
watching crystal rivulets trickle back into
the pool from whence they
Came.

Goodbye
is standing on a mountaintop,
listening for an echo only to find
it’s been dispersed
by trailing winds.

Goodbye
is me
standing,
waiting;
while your shadow,
my essence,
passes me by.

The pieces of us
Are scattered on the floor.
I pick them up
Put each one in their designated
place.
Only they fall.
Some things
just aren’t meant
to stay together.

I dig, shovel and stack
grains of sand.
Destined to ruin
no binder
no glue, my constructions
always collapse.

Our castle I will build,
this habit I will tend.
And this goodbye,
petty and ridiculous
as a house built of sand
will remain
unfinished.

Copyright@ 2014 Dyane Forde

From completehealthcircle.com

From completehealthcircle.com

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About Dyane

Dyane Forde’s love of writing began with an early interest in reading and of words in general. Writing has been a life-long passion and she writes all types of things, from short stories, novels, flash fiction and poetry. Dyane writes to communicate, meaning that writing becomes a means through which she seeks to connect with people on a level deeper than intellect.
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13 Responses to Stuck? Try Writing Poetry

  1. denmaniacs4 says:

    Carl Sandburg said, “Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.” Well done, Dyane. Occasionally my poetry is like an echo stepping on the toes of some poor shadow I am taking for a twirl.

    Like

  2. I find pursuing other art forms often stirs awake the creativity sleeping inside you. You wrote a beautiful poem.

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    • Dyane says:

      That is so true, Tanya! There was a time I took to drawing when my batteries ran out but still wanted to create (without words). What do you do?
      And thanks 🙂 Always nerve-wracking, posting poems

      Like

      • Sometimes I catch up on my LONG list of home improvements and other TO-DOs. Home improvement isn’t exactly “art”, but there is an art to rearranging a garage mess of 10 years into an organized system. And when I don’t feel like doing those things, I catch up on my TBR list. I just read until my inspiration comes back. Maybe taking a moment to appreciate your art, even if its created by someone else, helps invigorate your muse.

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      • Dyane says:

        Absolutely! And reading is fabulous for inspiration. Thanks for writing back!

        Like

  3. This is a very tight and emotive poem. The difference between good poetry and good prose is that most people expect to like prose. 🙂

    By the way, the main thing I’ve learned about the “writing rules” is that they’re mainly good for saving on paper and cutting down the publisher’s costs. “Show, don’t tell,” is the most overused. Show what’s important; tell what isn’t. Authors who show everything are like Stephen King, 1000 pages for a 400-page story. I think the only rule show be “tell your story in your voice.”

    Like

    • Dyane says:

      Bill! Where have you been?! Its been ages!
      Yes, you are right on both counts. Following ‘the rules’ has been helpful in setting a foundation but I do like to play with my words, lol I’m just looking for balance 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by. Hope you’re doing well!

      Like

  4. I really enjoy your poem. You are so right about writing how it slows the process down – and that really can be a good thing !

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  5. Well done, I find that poetry gives thoughts and emotions a voice 😊

    Like

  6. Pingback: Never Say Never, or You Just Might Find Yourself Writing Longhand–Shiver! | Dropped Pebbles

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