Over the years of dabbling in many genres and styles, I’ve come to love poetry and find the most satisfaction and inspiration writing poetry. After graduating with my degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing, I lost the structure college provided and I found myself at loose ends with how to continue my writing practice. I turned to Natalie Goldberg, Myth and Moor, and read my favorite poets for inspiration. Finding a rhythm as a writer is one of the hardest habits to form, but writing every day is so important! I found wisdom in Terri Windling’s words about “the rituals of approach” and how perhaps we must look at writing not as something to dive into suddenly, but as something we must tip-toe towards, warming up like a runner before a race. Read more here at Myth and Moor about how to create a rhythm for writing.
Since reading Terri’s wonderful thoughts, I’ve created my own little rhythm. I make some tea, read something from a book (I agree with Terri that online reading is too distracting and doesn’t create the same kind of mental space) and then I do 10 minutes of timed writing. Sometimes if I have more time on my hand I’ll do 20 minutes of timed writings. The rules are simple – no editing as you go and absolutely don’t stop your hand from moving across the page. These timed writing exercises are all from Natalie Goldberg’s book Wild Mind, which I definitely recommend checking out. Timed writing is SO useful in breaking down the layers of self doubt and fear that can deter us writers (read more on that in this post). Then I try and pick up where I left off and hunker down to do the hard part of the work.
As for sharing my work on this blog – though I love this space, it’s not the right place for me to share my work right now. With aspirations towards publication and grad school, I don’t want to publish anything online as most publications aren’t interested in previously published work. I wholeheartedly support anyone who chooses to use their blog as a platform for sharing their work, it’s just not right for me at this time in my life. If you would like to read my work, here’s a link to my poem that won the Academy of American Poetry Prize in 2015: Bill Cody by Taylor Cornelius.
Finally, I thought I’d share some favorite poets / books of poetry, as nothing is more inspiring to writers than reading!
Here they are in no particular order:
- Tarfia Faizullah – Seam
- Mary Oliver – American Primitive
- Louise Glück – The House on Marshland / Faithful and Virtuous Night
- Sylvia Plath – Ariel
- John Keats – Collected poems, specifically “To Autumn,” “Ode On Melancholy,” and “Ode to a Nightingale”
- Seamus Heaney – North
- Ansel Elkins – Blue Yodel
- Claudia Rankine – Citizen
A few more resources for writers:
- Terri Windling’s website. An absolute delight. Probably my favorite blog out there!
- Natalie Goldberg’s “Wild Mind” (and so much more). I’m about to start “Writing Down the Bones.”
- Lighthouse Writers Workshop right here in Denver! I’ve participated in a few workshops through Lighthouse and all have been wonderful!
- Poets and Writers is a great resource for MFA info, grants and awards info etc.
- Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert is a really interesting podcast about creativity and writing featuring many wonderful artists.
…and so many more poets and resources! Of course this page my change and grow as I read more and discover more about writing. Thank you for stopping by!