Where a Poem Begins

All of my poetry stems from my own life experiences, but some of the experiences are more intensely personal than others. What I mean is that some of my poetry is inspired by something I observe: a mellow fall day, a boy playing with chalk on the sidewalk, the shapes that have grown into the bark of a tree, the way the sun reflects off the water, those sorts of things. Almost always, I'll end up connecting those observations to something in my life, but they don't originate with my own lived experiences.

Most of my poetry is the direct result of the who, what, where, why, and how I am living or have lived. They're experiential in that they reflect pieces of myself. I often write poetry to help me deal with and process the things I'm experiencing. Poems help me express the emotions I have a hard time naming and often owning. Writing about my life allows me to live it better. For that reason alone, I wish I wrote poetry more often. Having said this, often my muses are dark emotions that stem from painful things I have or am experiencing and I certainly don't wish my life had more darkness in it.

So when things in my life are going well - as they are right now - I am less inspired to write. I want to write but I rarely feel that surge of emotion and inspiration that I need to feel in order to have the courage to put pen to paper. (Since writing poetry is so intensely personal for me, and I am an admitted perfectionist who is way too hard on herself, it requires a fair amount of courage for me to even begin a poem.) My seeming inability to write when much is right in my world is somewhat ironic as I don't often feel that I process my positive emotions as well as I should. What I mean is, I find that I often have trouble attaching joy or happiness or contentment to the good things in my life. It's something I struggle with because I don't just want to know that my life is going well; I want to feel it too.


Some Posts Have Moved to a New Blog!

I recently decided to separate the original blog posts I had here into two blogs: one for my creative writing (this blog, Fervent Ink) and one for my faith-focused ideas (new blog, Fervent Faith, which you can find here). While my creative writing is definitely inspired by my faith, and my reflective writing is enhanced by my creative writing experience, I feel like there's a distinct difference between the kind of writing I do when I'm considering my faith and what it means to live a Christian life and the kind of writing I do when I'm feeling inspired and allowing my creative juices to flow. Yes, they inform each other, but they're separate genres and therefore warrant separate blogs. I hope you'll enjoy either or both.


The Coming of NaNoWriMo

So the beginning of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is just a few short weeks away. Last year I actually succeeded in writing 50,000 words of a novel in the month of November. I'd like to try it again this year, but I have no good ideas. I thought I had the beginning of one, but I'm not convinced it's a worthwhile one. The problem is, I always think that my ideas have been done before. Every potentially compelling idea I have, I'm convinced someone's already written that story and written it better than I ever could. I have to move past that killjoy inner critic and just let an idea take flight. You never know what could come out of it. That's the beauty of NaNo... you don't have time to listen to that critic if you want to complete the challenge. You just have to start with an idea and let the story write itself. I just hope I can come up with the beginning of an idea that I want to spend time developing.