Monday, August 24, 2009

Inspiration and Rituals

Things I do when I want to write, but am not feeling inspired.

-- Read my favorites poets or a poem from a favorite book or one that inspires me. Currently, this book is Carolyn Forche's Blue Hour, but I'm also still inspired by much of Christine Garren's book of poems.

-- Go for a walk listening to a podcast of an interview with a writer (New Letters On The Air)--they currently feature Aimee Nezhukumatathil.

-- Force myself to write: Do a writing exercise based on a line from a poem.

-- Do 7 minutes writing exercises where I choose a line from a poem, or word, or title and just riff on it.



40 minutes of wasteful time -- Many times before I actually write, I spend 40 minutes sorting through email or being distracted with coffee and treats, or visit writing blogs. This is kind of a "wind-down" period before I jump into my writing. I am working to only have this be a 10 minute session of wasteful time--my goal for next year.

Coffee-- until noon. Must be available.

Atmosphere - I try to bring in something from outside to put on my desk. In the fall as I've mentioned to start off the season, I have blue hydrangeas and non-pariel chocolates (okay, these are from Central Market, but something that makes me feel rich, as do small bottles of Perrier with a lemon twist...) In the winter or colder months, I pick springs of rosemary to bring in. Sometimes I find a bird's feather. Anything to help me stay connected to earth.


  1. One day I hope to have rituals. Sigh.

  2. poet Dannye Romine Powell gave a talk where the theme was - learning to waste time. I like that you included that in your ritual :)


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