Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's not always the right time to share your work

 It is becoming more and more accepted to share one's creative writing—poems, stories, personal essays—online. Still, doing that has its pitfalls, beyond the one that such works are then considered published and may not be eligible to submit to some publications and contests. Another danger is the effect that going public may have on you, the writer.

Bonni Goldberg talks about this in Beyond the Words.

"I often check my motives before I share by asking myself, what I want to get from making a given piece public. I know it's not the right time if my "want" list includes items such as empathy and understanding from my audience or their appreciation and attention rather than the opportunity to voice something I care about or to celebrate what moves me. As you take time to become aware of your motives to go public, you'll notice when it will be more nurturing and respectful to your Writing Self to wait" - Beyond the Words, p. 170.

Goldberg has opened a vein of truth here! I can think of times when I posted something, waited on tenterhooks for a response and when there was none, felt deflated and a failure. It pays to be aware of why we want to share something, and when is a good time. Sharing out of neediness can be a dangerous thing to the health of our creative selves.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Snatch those poetry moments

This blog has been sadly neglected in the last few weeks. I've been busy since the end of September, teaching a weekly class, welcoming my new granddaughter into the world, and celebrating Thanksgiving!

I miss the slower, lazier days of summer when I had time to moodle on poetry. I don't feel myself, somehow, when not tending that part of my writing plot. And yet it's the first to go untended, perhaps because it feels so much like play.

That is probably why the quote I found the other day resonated.

"A musician must make his music, an artist must paint, a poet must write if he is to ultimately be at peace with himself." - Abraham Maslow

I also found this great little bit of wisdom from Barbara Crooker quoted in Your Daily Poem. Speaking about her publishing achievements (700 poems published in more than 2000 publications) she credits her success to perseverance as much as talent and says:

"Writing poetry is not putting down whatever comes into your head and leaving it at that, never taking it any further. Poetry involves layers, and a lot of revision." - Barbara Crooker
Hopefully today I'll find time to write another poem... or revise an old one!