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How do you write?

On a recent comment about someone's poem that described how they write, this appeal was left

'I wish everyone would write a poem explaining how they write, I find it fascinating. I really want to know more about how everyone works'.

Do any WOL'ers want to let us in on their methods?
Wed, 9 Oct 2019 05:18 pm
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Quite often I think of a line or come across a line which I adapt and build up the piece around it. The line could be a first line or a final line, it's not normally in the body of the piece.

I try to start a piece with a line or a couple of lines that encourages others to read on. I also like to have a last line that provides an amusing, thoughtful, or at least a natural ending.
Wed, 9 Oct 2019 11:21 pm
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For me, the idea has to present itself. It might be via something I read, something I hear on the radio (I have stopped the car before now to write something in my notebook) something I see, who knows.

I then follow the advice of most writers, get it down on paper. When I have several ideas around the subject I transfer it to the computer screen and save it as a draft.

Each work has to work hard and lots of editing has to refine the lines. Never be satisfied. In the past I had the notion that once released a piece couldn't be changed. Not now, edit edit edit!
Wed, 9 Oct 2019 11:41 pm
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Ellaphant

shouting into a loud void on the internet in hopes for loving echos back.
Fri, 11 Oct 2019 05:35 pm
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I like to tell a story, so I usually start with the story in mind. If possible I like to have a first line that is going to grab the attention.

I like to try and inject some humour, and if it works I like to have a line or two repeated throughout.
Sun, 13 Oct 2019 08:53 am
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Inspiration comes in many ways. For me, as Graham stated, it can be something seen or heard that sparks an idea. Sometimes the idea flows freely and presents itself quickly. Other times it takes a few or even very many drafts and the completed piece may take weeks, months, or even years. I write in many styles so mood and environment often play a role. A dictionary and thesaurus are also very important. Write on my friends!
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 10:54 am
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I used to jot ideas down but only be able to craft my poem at a proper keyboard where I could easily play around with text.

Nowadays I don't have a keyboard so it on a phone emailed to myself.

Something would have to irritate, or bemuse me. I don't tend to write when I'm very happy. I do like comedy though and would like to write more funny stuff. Something has to spark that though. One of my favourite funny poems was sparked by someone else's poem - a riposte. That's why it's so important to listen to each other.
Wed, 16 Oct 2019 07:29 am
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Try to remember to always carry a notebook and pen with you. There will be things you see on the bus or train, or more likely overhear. I was on the train into London a couple of days ago, and fuming at having to listen to someone's personal life at top volume in the quiet carriage. Suddenly they started talking about foraging for edible mushrooms, and I found it so interesting I had to jot it down. So conquer any temptation to tell them off, and just keep listening!

What a nice surprise to see you on here, Isobel!
Wed, 16 Oct 2019 03:44 pm
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Awww that's kind of you to say Greg. I'd be your worst nightmare to sit next to on a train though. We speak loudly in my family and we chat a lot 😃

I've enjoyed dipping back into WOL. It was a second home for many years!
Thu, 17 Oct 2019 07:06 pm
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Any idea that comes to mind is recorded in my workbook. It may be a formal prompt or something I've seen or heard. I put time on one side to create a page of notes on and around the topic. There is often then a gap of several days. I go back and add anything else I can think of. At this stage it could become a poem, flash or a short story/memoir. I go back to it and edit again including gaps. Eventually it either dries up, or tells me how to proceed. I will spend weeks over what I think could become a good piece. From time to time I read years old stories and see alternative ways to rewrite or develop them.
Every poem except Haiku or Limerick begins as prose.
Wed, 30 Oct 2019 08:23 am
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Write or wrong

I write, but I may be wrong

So I cross things out as I go along

Sometimes I will uncross too

Go back, revisit, start anew.

I write, but I may not know

The proper style or way to go

To free the feelings that I feel

And portray them true, with zest and zeal.

I write, but sometimes I ask

What is the purpose of this task?

Does any body realy care

To see and hear what I have to share?

Bits and pieces of me, my soul

Writing helps to keep me whole

It's such a never ending plight

I may be wrong but I love to write.

4/2019
Fri, 1 Nov 2019 11:04 pm
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Well, yesterday I wrote some comments, with care, and the whole, flippin' thing just vanished. Because I do like the question, I'm trying again. I've not read anybody else's input to avoid being influenced, or scared witless.

I totally believe that writing poetry is a creative art form, using words as tools with long proven techniques to achieve best results. Great easy-to-read books are available from all book stores at reasonable cost. Wanting both clarity and musicality in my own work, I refresh my mind often, with real pleasure

There is no short cut or excuse for a lack of vocabulary; so a dictionary and a thesaurus are always at my fingertips. A quick dip, and an elusive word just 'fits', for vision, sound, contrast, clarity of thought. Not always, but often.

I first compose with a pencil and paper. I would not scorn toilet roll! Perhaps because of my age bracket. I need my stream of thought in the medium my brain finds most friendly. I enjoy the keyboard, but it's impersonal. Not my own script. ME!

I revise a lot. I have to see a print-out, the product that readers will read on paper or screen. Many short-comings scream from a first print-out.

Poetry must SING! Learn the skills. They are empowering.

Mon, 4 Nov 2019 03:14 pm
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It would be a great move to bring up the entries of 2013-14 on virtually the same topic. Some of those opinions are pure gold! From fine minds.
Wed, 6 Nov 2019 11:42 am
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It does't happen often but I admit I've sometimes found inspiration through mishearing a song lyric and think 'oh that sounds good' but realise I've got the words wrong (and therefore can use it myself), it's a nice method because it comes supplied with a melody or rhythm which helps me find the next lines...

...I also love that feeling when two ideas collide; you might have some words down and you're not quite sure what comes next or where it's going so you put them to one side. Then you'll be walking down the street and a great title pops into your head that unlocks the words, shows you what to write next and perhaps even injects some ambiguity into the meaning. That's one of the most exciting parts for me.
Thu, 7 Nov 2019 01:01 pm
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For me writing is a bit of a mixed bag. Every so often I will think up a line or two that I like, scramble for either pen and paper or my phone (whichever is closer to hand) and note them down. I will then try to compose a poem around them, putting such lines to poems I can be somewhat proud of is a fantastic feeling for me. I also used to perform poetry a great deal after taking a keen interest in poetry during college but that has unfortunately dwindled in recent years.

Beyond this, a lot of what I write is resultant of either observation of certain events or introspection. (I'm sorry for how tired and hackneyed that probably sounded but it's honestly the case. ) I'm also frequently undertaking writing exercises to try and keep what creativity and acuity I possess at least largely intact.

I also look for writings in quite a few mediums that strike me as particularly inventive or otherwise interesting. To cite a few examples in poetry, one of my favourite compositions would be Alice Oswald's 'The Mud-Spattered Recollections of a Woman Who Lived Her Life Backwards', whilst for novels Paul Auster's '4321' would be my immediate choice and in the vein of songwriting I have drawn quite a lot of influence from the work of Phil Ochs.


Hopefully this answers a lot of the how and why I write but if I left anything unaddressed, I will amend this accordingly.

Thank you for reading.
Mon, 11 Nov 2019 03:02 pm
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I find it best to put one word in front of another...

No but seriously...

Writing for me might start with a phrase or a piece of writing done in a workshop or something found in advertising or newspapers or even on television.

A lot of my poems incorporate some or all of the following: collage, cut-up, personal reflection, found material, memory, stuff (language) lying around in my head.

I use techniques like 'creative linkage', isometric writing (counting words not syllables), free writing, and I'm quite free to do anything to a poem necessary to get it to become something living as opposed to a set of dead words. Recently, I rewrote a poem back to front in order to open the poem up rather than close it down with a neat little 'insight.'
Wed, 13 Nov 2019 11:35 am
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No matter what I'm doing alone, I'll make up a story to keep myself company about what I'm doing at that point in time. Grab pen and paper and it just comes out. I like your question.
Sat, 23 Nov 2019 06:57 pm
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I've recently taken a creative writing class on Poetry in college, and I get the most interesting sources of inspiration from my Professor and her methods of teaching. She's taught us the concepts of imitation in erasure poetry, syllabic poetry, acrostic poems, sestinas, Ghazals, and multiple different forms and I think the best way to wrack your brains into writing something when facing a writer's block is to draw inspiration from an established poet and imitate their work, because ultimately, your piece will be as unique as your mind wants it to be. I think it's a genius way of making yourself try something new without bordering the lines of plagiarism or anything of the sort.
Try it sometime.
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 01:59 pm
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In my shed.
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 10:33 am
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I started writing at around 12 years old when my Brother passed away, I wrote a piece called Magpie as on the day he died a tree he'd planted some time before had a few sat on the branches. From there I wrote on various themes and have recently started writing nonsense Children's verse, I love to get up early and listen to the birds as I write and tend to let my mind run wild with ideas of animals doing silly things. I also write short stories and have done from being 11 years old, I love sharing my work and reading others.
Fri, 15 May 2020 10:11 pm
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Writing for me is mostly inspirational but after the inspiration, I knead it to my taste. I do a lot of thinking and going back to the work until I find what I saw before writing the poem.
Sun, 7 Jun 2020 08:38 pm
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Emeka, I so agree with you. But we are the minority, I think. I find the 'going back' as thrilling as the original thought, seeking to best capture that first 'vision'.
Tue, 9 Jun 2020 01:20 pm
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Nicola Beckett

Sorry about your brother x
Sat, 13 Jun 2020 11:57 pm
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Nicola Beckett

I like the poems of Rumi, I have been published in two Anthologies, I was a founder member of WOL, along with HOVIS Presley, Dave Morgan, Julian Jordan, Steph Porter Smith and an old friend John Gilroy xxx Blessed Be
Thu, 18 Jun 2020 07:20 am
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Nicola Beckett

Emeka Collins, in the ordinary, we find the extraordinary, Inspiration arrives in many forms
Thu, 18 Jun 2020 07:22 am
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Hello and welcome from Po.

I don't have any set method for writing poetry.

Reading all the above, I agree 100% that it is an excellent plan to have a pen or pencil and a note pad always to hand, even by your bed. A must for me as often I awake with a poem in my head and have to write it down straight away or else it is gone!

I do seem to differ from a lot of poets in that I usually never go back over a poem and hardly ever change any of it as I go.

My pen just hits the pad, and off it goes I say off 'it' goes because often I do not know what the poem will be about or where it is going as I write it.
I often think I know where it is going then I'm thrown a curveball, and it shoots off entirely in a different direction to a destination that can quite literally stun me.

Making me laugh, making me cry. Stopping me in my tracks to think about the words and their ability to touch me.

Sometimes I see an image in my mind that gives me a starting place to start writing. Sometimes it can be a song, another poem posted here at WOL (I seldom read published poets or famous poets) I do have a few books but tend to write whatever comes to mind.

I often write words that I do not know or use in my normal speech.

I do know that we are all unique in our ways of not just writing poetry moreover in the interpretation of what we read.

I often will reread a poem here and see a different meaning from my first impressions.

The most enjoyable part of writing poetry for me is hitting the post button.

I am sending out into the ether of cyberspace.

Po
Sun, 28 Jun 2020 06:31 pm
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Katie Wilson

When I write
I often find
the words just
appear in my mind

now I’m not one
trying to be clever
that isn’t anything
that I would never ever
try to do

At the end
Of the day
I just write
how I feel

and my friend
seems to seal
the deal

and whatever problem
was on my mind
I think you’ll see
has now declined
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 07:45 pm
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Music is poetry in melodious motion.
I gain inspiration a lot of the times from the lyrics or general sounds in the music i listen to that evoke a strong emotion in me. I connect these feelings with something going on in my own life or something I notice in the world and I put them to words.
Fri, 17 Jul 2020 06:10 pm
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Katie Wilson

Mine just come from within , from the soul I suppose
Fri, 17 Jul 2020 09:25 pm
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