Out on a limb

Alby in oak tree
Alby in oak tree

New haunt, new grounds,

Makes an old dog run around;

In his way is a big tree,

Up he goes to have a pee!

Yes, folks, that’s my best attempt at poetry.  I know, I know, I should be embarrassed, but I’m not.

Poetry is not my thing.  I admire those who can turn a neat, poignant phrase and make it rhyme, but I am not one of these gifted persons.  I’ve tried, and I’ve even been known to have written a poem or two that wowed a high-school English teacher, but those are anomalies. Fantastical blimps in an otherwise flat, boring landscape of prose.

You may be asking yourself at this moment, why is she writing about poems?  What does this have to do with writing and/or finishing up her novel?

Yes, it’s time for another tip from (big voice) the Writer’s Digest 25 Ways to Improve Your Writing in 30 Minutes a Day article!  The fifteenth piece of advice goes something like this:

15. Creativity
Creativity is the secret sauce of the writing life. Its ingredients are different for everyone, and may change over time, which can make it difficult to keep the cupboards stocked. When you get stuck, take 30 minutes and try one of these:

  • Switch genres. Write a poem before diving into a narrative piece.
  • Review incomplete writing for a scrap of idea or language; let it lead you in.
  • Burn kindling. Keep a file of art, poems, quotes, pressed flowers—whatever ignites your imagination. Sift through it when you need a spark.
  • Grow your own list of triggers. Repeat what works until it doesn’t; then try something new.

—Cohen

Well, I’m not sure my attempt at poetry sparked anything except a deep appreciation for those who do write poetry, but it was fun trying.

What do you do to keep your cupboard stocked?

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3 thoughts on “Out on a limb

  1. Whenever I try my hand at poetry, I tell myself doggerel is an art form, too. 😀

    When I’m feeling stuck, I like to switch it up. I write in longhand, or I’ll do a scene as if it’s a script, sometimes I pull out the colored markers and roll of butcher paper and screw around with maps, text clouds and sketches. If all else fails, I go bead. There’s nothing like the hypnotic quality of weaving one 15/O bead at a time to stir the subconscious into a veritable firestorm of creativity.

    1. Doggerel! I have a name for it now – cool. Fitting, isn’t it?

      I’ll have to try beading. I like wire work, but the patterns and textures of the beads could be soothing and inspirational.

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