Reckless Writing!

You never know in what dilapidated eyesore corner of your mind you’re going to find a store of sweet ideas for your poems.

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a brief hiatus from Hearth Bard these past few weeks. A technical writing contract and a convergence of familial special occasions drew me away  for a while. What Hearth Bard musings have been floating through my mind while I’ve been eyeball-deep in the real world?

Write with Wild Abandon

My last post explored the benefits of placing restrictions on one’s writing in order to develop it more fully. Now reckless writing deserves its moment in the sun. There is a time for writing without assessing. When you are generating ideas, you should check all logic at the door. Allow yourself to pour those random mental meanderings out onto the page without restraint because you never know which ideas will prove useful later, even if they only function as stepping stones to more useful ideas.

Grow Your Intellectual Capital

Until I started studying the craft of writing in earnest, I never realized how valuable all those ideas flitting through my brain could be. Those scraps are my intellectual property! If I capture them and build a collection, some will gain value and force as they mature. Thoughts need not be edited or “final” to be of value. Some thoughts simply provide snapshots of the writer at unique moments in time. Others add to the great dialogue of human experience.

Don’t sell your ideas short. Collect them on ragged envelopes, crumpled notepads, sleek (or toddler-gooed and fingerprinted) iPads or Kindles, stained napkins, and trusty laptops, and you will build a treasure trove that you can dip into any time in the future when you have the urge to produce something powerful.

Today’s lesson? Those gnarly ideas that well up from within might shine when polished, might stun when made over! You can always edit later. Get it down before you forget it!

Exercise: Reckless Writing

  • If you could write about about anything at all, without reservation, what would it be? Make a list of the poems you are afraid to write (you can list them as topics, titles, themes, etc.)
  • What are you really into right now? What do you spend most of your time thinking about? Write about it for five, ten, or twenty minutes. Do not edit yourself as your write. If it moves you, it most likely moves others, as well. You can always make it more crisp, unexpected, and coherent later. Now is the time to see what you’ve been wanting to say by letting yourself write unencumbered.
  • Is there some zany topic you’ve been keeping in the wings for a while? Get it on paper. See how it plays out when it’s actually written out in front of you. Maybe it’ll come to nothing, but what do you have to lose but a half hour of your time?
  • Make a list of things that are dearest to your heart. Make a list of things you think would be hardest to write about. Make a list of things you think would be easy to write about. Now pick one item from each of these lists and try to write a poem about it. Do not edit yourself as you write. This is the creation stage! Let your creativity do its thing!

About Lesley Clinton

Lesley's poems have appeared in the 2016 Houston Poetry Fest Anthology, the 2017 Texas Poetry Calendar, Sakura Review, Haiku Society of America members anthology, Euphony Journal, Frogpond Journal, and others.
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