how to put into words the reason you write

Why do you write? You may find the answer to that question by first looking into your past…

~ your first poem

What is the earliest memory you have of creating poetry? For me, it was when I was eight years old. I wrote a poem about being lost in the desert at night.

Maybe your earliest memory of writing poetry is years ago. Maybe it’s from last week. Think about that moment. Remember as many details as you can. What inspired you to write that day? What sparked the poetry that flowed out of you? What made you want to write?

~ your most recent poem

Now think of the last poem you wrote, the most recent one. Think of all the details surrounding that moment. Did you specifically set out to write, carving out time in your schedule, or was it random and impromptu? What did you write about? Why did you choose that topic?

The last poem I wrote still isn’t finished. I wrote it one evening after using my journal to get my thoughts flowing into words. The poem uses dancing as a metaphor, a topic a friend and I have talked about at length. I wanted to express the beauty we had discussed in a poem.

~ the #31poems challenge

Consider why you are reading this post. What drew you to the #31poems challenge? What has inspired you to develop your writing skills?

I created this #31poems series as much for myself as for you. I want to develop my craft as I help others develop theirs. I want to discipline myself to write more frequently and with consistency. I want to become a better writer so that I can express what I want to share with the world.

{today’s exercise}

Reflect on these three things: your first poem, your most recent poem, and why you’ve decided to join #31poems. Why do you write? Compose a poem about what drives you to write poetry.

{my process & my poem}

Over my years of writing poetry, I’ve noticed a pattern emerging. I write to process the world around me. I see ugly things, and I write about them until I can discover what beauty is hidden there. I can’t help but write; even when what I produce seems pointless, the process helps me to wrap my mind around something in a way that helps to settle me. As in the poem below…

sometimes the emotions are too much
the words spilling onto the page
may only be understood
by the heart that bled them out

too many thoughts
none of them reasonable
disorderly feelings, memories, images
I’ll keep writing and wait for something worth sharing