I had a feeling joining my new course Approaching your writing with a beginner’s mind would be a positive step and I was right. Since it started I’ve had a prompt each day, and each day I’ve been writing. Now you may be wondering why I need a course, when there’s so many writing prompts available online. The difference is the structure and style of prompt we’re given, and the fact that I’ve got a place to share what I’ve written – there’s not masses of feedback but being part of a group that’s working to the same goal is a cool thing, especially for an isolated soul like myself. The prompts aren’t especially complicated, but they have the effect of making me write from the heart. Combine this with the non-threatening, non-competitive nature of the group, and I feel happy to write and share my work, regardless of what state of “finished” it is. I’ve written a sonnet, several slightly chaotic free writes and have two or three pieces that have “got legs” as it were. I look forward to the prompts each morning, and already feel like I’ve regained some of the joy in just writing, that seemed to have deserted me at the end of last year. As well as interesting prompts, we look at new thoughts and ideas in poetry , and how we respond to them as creative people. It’s a gently challenging course, and just exactly what I need. You can find out more about Wendy Pratt’s work and the courses she offers here https://wendyprattpoetry.com/about/
I’m also working through The Ode Less Travelled, Stephen Fry’s book that uncovers the intricacies of meter, rhyme and form. In many ways I wish I’d worked with this book years ago. I may not suddenly start creating poems built entirely from dactyls and amphibrachs ( I truly won’t), but knowing the correct terms, and working with them is building my confidence. I also find that I enjoy the puzzle, the thinking of the right word to fit the form and convey the meaning. It’s restrictive, but that restriction is kind of freeing. It takes me away from simply writing and forces me into a structure, which draws on a different type of creativity.
Finally, I’m well enough to do some bits and pieces of work – nothing exciting, just product description and a few travel things, and the pay is woeful, but it’s got me back into it and again built up that fragile confidence. I’m hoping to be able to stay well enough to start approaching local businesses about providing content for their websites this year – a bit of gumption and a spot of luck are needed I think.
The year so far has been both terrible and wonderful but I feel like I’ve turned a corner.
Thanks for hanging in there, the very fact that folk read these posts delights me