Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Writing Prompt: Summer

Lily pads at Georgetown University the other morning

Applying suntan lotion to my son the other morning, the smell reminded me of last summer and how small he was. Senses are powerful and offer many memories in quick succession. 

For this writing prompt, describe a summer morning while paying particular attention to your five senses. Summer, in the city or by the sea, has a particular smell. What does that morning air taste like? How does the sunlight change your vision? What does the landscape look like through your sunglasses? How does the heat feel on your skin? What are the sounds you hear first thing in the morning?

Set a timer and write for ten minutes. Don’t worry about spelling or writing in complete sentences. Just jot down ideas as them come to you. If you can’t think of anything, write, “I don’t know what to write” until you get bored with that and start to think about something else.

The prompt might lead you in a different direction and your result might not have anything to do with the five senses or even summer. But that’s the idea – it is a prompt to get you started.

I’d love to hear where you end up, if you’d like to share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Summer Writing Plans?

What are your summer plans? Hopefully you’ll rest … and write these next few months. Use your calendar to block off time to write, revise, submit, read and, perhaps, research your subject. Set specific goals and tasks for each week. 

When you think of writing as a job, you’ll make time for it. Block of specific hours or days to work on specific tasks. Turn off your phone and maybe even the internet, too, in order to focus.

If you tend to get swept into one aspect of your project, like researching or brainstorming, set a timer to make sure you reserve time for other aspects of the creation of your work.

You are a writer. You will be an even better writer if you write regularly and take your writing seriously. Make the time and take yourself seriously. 

This is your summer.

If you need some extra support and guidance, I’m available to work with you as your writing coach. Click through for more information.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Crossroads Between Poetry & Prose

I'm looking forward to reading poet Tracy K. Smith's memoir, Ordinary Light. Her article What Memoir Can Do That Poetry Cannot in Lit Hub was really beautiful and clear. I hope you'll read it. Here's a favorite moment in that piece:

A poem is often concerned less with telling a story than it is with perspective, disturbance, the irresistible allure of what sits barely decipherable in the distance. A poem soars over the landscape of memory like a bird of prey. When it sees something living, something with heat and texture and blood in its veins, it dives down and lifts the thing up, disappearing. Then the poem becomes something else: the tree to which the bird returns; the clouds overhead, roving in wind; the ground from which a figure squints, looking up.