Monday, May 11, 2009

Quick Rules for Writing, Part 4

This is a repeat of sorts: Practice daily and practice specifically. I think it was John Keats and Leigh Hunt who spent afternoons in sonnet competitions-- they knew the forms, by heart. Charles Wright was the first to impress upon me the need to write every day. He reminded that the concert pianist practices hours a day at an art no greater than my own. We have to treat the art as an art, one that is demanding and never fully achieved. Treat yourself as an artist. For periods as long as fifteen months I have written daily. The result is that I am a far better writer and a far quicker writer. Little of it is really good but a greater percentage of it is decent and I am certain I never would have written as well without the practice. Additionally, practice specific things whether forms, meters, styles, etc. Spend a month copying somebody else. Spend a month writing sonnets. Spend a month writing nothing that rhymes. Spend a month writing about a single topic. Exhaust your inspirations.

Remember that the discoveries will be the unexpected seams in your mind, the little spaces where poems reside. Days when you are certain you cannot possibly write will blossom into your most productive. You need not spend a lot of time-- I typically averaged thirty minutes daily, usually in the morning although I urge you to also learn that you can write at any time if you will.

Bottom line: If you want to write, write. Second bottom line: If you want to write, read.
Tomorrow the fifth part.
So long for now.

No comments:

Post a Comment