“You can’t use up creativity.
The more you use, the more you have.”
– Maya Angelou
Write With Verve
Make your intension – To write a poem
Read poems by other poets – Write in your journal
When the Epiphany strikes – Write it down pronto
no matter where you are, or what you’re doing
stop (even sleeping) and write it down,
bypass the advise of your brain
take short hand directly from your soul
First thought – Best thought – No judgement
Now, read what you have written out loud
Ask yourself, ‘what is this about?’
Write down your answers in point form – pronto
Use images whenever possible Three:
Rewrite your piece – Read it aloud
Think of the music, the flow
Remove bumps, blurps & hiccups Four:
Read it aloud again and again
Play with ideas – riff & jam – make changes
Read it to your Vivid Listener
Find a Vivid Listener
The first time you read a new poem aloud – the poem is fragile – so be choosy about who you share it with.
It’s important to read your work to someone who gets you. For instance, if you read your work to a stern humorless troll, it’s going to be a much different experience than reading it to someone who’s a receptive soul-artist that inspires you.
If you read it to someone and they ask, ‘is it supposed to be funny?’ or they say something like, ‘I don’t really understand poetry.’ Then never read new word to them again. But if someone says, ‘I like where you’re going with this,’ or, ‘that piece is really worth developing, I love it,’ then read new work to them again.
For me, a good listener is someone who encourages me to go deeper in. My Vivid Listeners are open-minded positive people who challenge me to look into unique and interesting realms.
Receive Feedback Without Pushback
If you ask someone you respect for their feedback,
when they give it to you, try to receive it without pushback.
After you have worked on your piece and it is no longer fragile, it is important that you get out of the way of yourself, so you can receive feedback as a gift instead of criticism.
The point is, you are the writer and you get to pick and choose
every aspect of your work – you get to receive and reject every idea and possibility given to you. It is up to you to receive all the possibilities that are given and then weed through them and decide which ones should grow.
If you expect your editor to tell you, ‘you’re a genius,’ please stop writing right now. You will always be disappointed and you will likely attack the people who you ask to help you.
If you don’t want feedback – Don’t ask for it!
It may be helpful for you to hear suggestions as possibilities.
Two Ways to Edit
One: On the page for the page (editing eyes)
Two: Off the page for the stage (editing ears)
One: Usually you give your text to an editor and they share their editorial ideas in and around the text itself, and they give it back to you for you to read and make changes.
Two: The text is edited orally. Usually I hire actors to read the text aloud to myself and the editor, and the editor takes notes much like a dramaturge would. The editor then gives me feedback orally. This is also how I work with people who ask for my feedback.
When I hear the text read aloud, it is a much different experience than reading the text on a page. The voice creates another level to the actual poem, which appeals to me as an oral traditionalist.
There are no rules. Everyone is different. And it is important that every writer explores their own expression.
Acknowledgement of Remedios Varo
“Still Life Resurrecting”