Life With Horace

poetry & essays

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The creative wars: staying true to your voice

In poetry writing years I’m not even a toddler, but after my first year of writing some truths stand out. It’s important to write for myself, at my own pace. Writing from a prompt, or for x number of days in a row does not come naturally. I did that in April for the poetry challenge, and it was an agony by the end. I think about writing every day, but don’t sit down to write until a poem begins in my head.

There is the constant battle with the desire for approval. Not about quiet satisfaction or even pleasure that my poems are appreciated. Writing for “them” is one way of putting it, and it turns my easy creative flow into a flat mill pond.

A word or phrase prompted by something seen or felt will make itself known and that’s it. The title (rarely changed), or the first line of the next poem. The first draft is always in longhand, messy and exciting. Most of the time I feel certain when it is done. The poem will let me know.