What prompted you today?

Inspiration just strikes you, not out of nowhere because it’s everywhere.

Prompts are everywhere. I’m starting to feel more creative as I unblock myself, but I can’t control when a burst comes out. I started to write that a character has allergies. This is not too much of a stretch. Pollen is high and I am waking with eyes streaming. Also, this young woman has moved from her urban life to be out in the countryside, she may even encounter hay.

Corn field in sharp summer light, my nose is running just looking at it,

Instead of writing this into a scene as I set out to do. She has run off into the fields, which I suddenly feel like I am making a political point about Theresa May which isn’t really what I intended. When I sit to write, a short poem comes out. Poetry class was probably one of the hardest things I have ever tried to do. I was privileged to be coached by poet Mary Salter, who also happens to edit and compile every English student’s favourite the Norton Anthology. You would be hard pressed to get some one less knowledgeable.

As well as puzzling over my challenging grammar, apparently you don’t usually just leave it out of poems unless you are masterful like ee cummings. I am not. It was eye opening and I tried to work harder at learning the rules. Breaking them intentionally now. My US classmates were so much better because they are taught a very rigorous programme on grammar and punctuation throughout school. Mind you, that may have made me worse. I hated with a passion doing Hayden Richards at school (anyone else remember him?) despite English always being my favourite subject. I think I have years of sentence naming etc. ahead with my son’s schooling so I will probably get a few more lessons. It can’t hurt.

What poetry class really thought me though is the immense power in word choice. Always read aloud, the meter but also the depth of each word chosen could send you off in endless editing circles. So, a page of poetry instead of prose this morning. It is very poorly constructed – no doubt the commas in the wrong place, but also peppered with a pleasing number of crossings out as I decide between sunken chest rib. The pleasure in writing poetry (and no doubt pain) is the luxury to mull over every word. As I edit the damn draft, I can stop and chose the crucial word, read out loud and choose what feels perfect for me. If I do ever get it into the hands of an editor, they can help me do it all over again, many times over.

I will be publishing my update on the Artist’s Way programme tomorrow, here‘s what has happened before. I think I can see already that I am being more creative and it has been powerful giving over to the inspiration.

What’s inspired you today?

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