I use the following as a handout for discussion in creative writing workshops I present. It is great for youths and adults. It’s a compilation of motivational advice I have given and have received over the years. It’s a simple direct way to keep yourself on task when embarking on the path of The Writing Life. More can be said, and I encourage others to use and amend this list.
Writers write. Writers read.
Fall in love with a dictionary.
Vision—it takes courage to see.
Face the blank page or screen.
Don’t wait for inspiration.
Practice and play. Make mistakes.
Observe. Pay attention to life.
Experiment with language.
Write to express, but even more write to see and make others see.
See, hear, taste, touch, discover and know.
Bring the reader into the world of your poem with concrete images.
Dream journal –peer into other worlds, seek out unconscious connections.
Write your responses and impressions of poems you like.
Free write to music. Free write to static.
Write “in your head” then write it down.
Fight for freedom on the page.
Keep a journal.
Cultivate the desire to write.
Get out of bed to write if an idea strikes you.
Write what you need to write.
Say what you need to say.
Listen for your voice. Befriend it and trust it.
Uncover the processes of your psyche.
Aim for tension in the words.
Write from the depths of your experience—the writing itself will deepen experience.
Free write and then control the words with form.
Strive for a precision of language.
Nurture your discipline.
Do not punish yourself.
Give it time.
FIGHT FOR EVERY WORD.
© 2014 Clare L. Martin