Discussion # 3 Questions

Today, I’m just going to ask some questions:

1. What and who influenced your desire to write?

2. What and who influence that writing in this present moment?

3. Do you have rituals or talismans attached to your writing process?

4. How did you get involved in the poetry/writing circuit online?

5. Do you have a specific goal you are aiming at with your writing?

6. What topics do you find yourself writing about most frequently?

7. Can you write on the run, or do you need a stable or steady environment to do so?

8. Have you taken writing courses, programs, etc., and did you find them helpful?

9. What authors do you read most often?

10. Do you collect quotes?

You can answer one or two, or all of these if you like. I intend to simply join in as just another respondent.


About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here: http://1sojournal.wordpress.com/ http://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/ http://claudetteellinger.wordpress.com/
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14 Responses to Discussion # 3 Questions

  1. anl4 says:

    I think my desire was to be able to “sort” out my thoughts. I want to know what I am thinking.

    I love quotes. Sometimes I write them down, I read them, but don’t always keep them.

    I try to read as much as I can, but cannot say my writing is influenced, maybe it is, but I’m not really aware of that influence.

    Getting involved, was all an accident or part of some secret plan?

    I write best in the quiet early morning, when I am alone.

    I want to be able to write a clear thought.

    I was thinking, writing is such magic. It is as if it is a barrel of words, or letters to make words, and we really don’t know what we are going to write next. It is like painting, it makes the world we “see” visible, and words make the world we experience concrete, no longer just a passing thought that we don’t remember. Writing allows us to know ourselves a little better.

    I think I write about art the most. I have been thinking, working, looking at art for almost as long as I can remember. To write about what I am doing, helps me to understand, what is beyond my understanding.

    Once out of school I don’t think I have taken any writing courses. But have been involved in writing groups, and I liked them.

  2. Pingback: Friday Freeforall: Poetry Prompts to Keep You Going « Margo Roby: Wordgathering

  3. Irene says:

    Elizabeth, I started writing poems after stumbling onto blogging and the poetry prompt circuit in 2009. I find the stimulation of like-minded people a nurturing environment in which to write. My poems, I personally feel, have improved by leaps and bounds, simply through constant writing. I believe the act of writing is infinite, just like god is infinite. I’m so happy that I’m able to connect with readers through my poems. I feel writing is a bottomless creative expression. The topics can be anything under the sun, but mainly love, death and humanity.

  4. Elizabeth, my husband Michael influenced me to write, and to continue. He himself has written and published short stories. My life is surrounded by discussions of writing and editing,. He has had a huge impact on how I look at my writing. I believe that answers some questions, lol.

    I love re-reading old classics, i.e. Germinal, Old Goriot, however I have come across some new novels, that I have enjoyed. I don’t have a particularly favourite author, I love many. Admittedly, I don’t read much classic poetry. I read them mostly in school, as a requirement. I do love reading others on their blogs. Each day I learn something new. There is a lot of talent in the blogsphere.

    As for my environment it has to be tranquil. I don’t like confusion or hysteria. I turn on the news for that, lol. Living in a foreign country, I have very few people who I can share my work with and have them understand it. (sometimes what I write is too obscure, even for me) Imagine the language barrier.

    As for quotes I don’t collect them, but I have some favourites. One of my favourites is Marquis de Sade, but his are about religious matters. I really try to steer clear of writing about religion. I know it can offend people. We don’t all believe in the divine in the same way. Spirituality is individual to each of us.

    oh my, this is a bit convoluted, but I think I covered some of the questions, 🙂

  5. neil reid says:

    1. Old history but true. One prayer (not about poems) (or call it meditation if you like, whatever satisfies). In a practical and personal manner, one man, one poet – William Stafford.

    2. The same. AND more poets than I can name, but including blogging companions like Carolee Sherwood and Dana Guthrie Martin (anyone who shakes the cobwebs loose).

    3. No rituals.

    4. Once upon a time looked poorly upon blogs. Designed and coded my own website from scratch (too much work). Then put my toe into blogs as an “easy” way to be public instead. The interactive nature of blogging totally won me over (I consider this being “published”, for real). And specifically, Read Write Poems cemented this relationship.

    5. No goals. Purpose instead (on-going, no end in sight, you know). Oh, write more good too!

    6. I write about whatever lands in my lap. Although much seems to be personal in nature (guess I’m not “over myself” just yet), and relationship (looking outward).

    7. Yes and yes. Lately, I write in moving cars (dangerous, carefully), in parked cars too. Don’t ask why. But yes, internally, I don’t write much without a deeper sense of calm. (I’d like to learn how to write when I’m upset.)

    8. No formal poetry education. Creative writing in college (open, then closed for many years). But our world is so rich and full with opportunities (what need for a “school” when the world IS a school?). And I rather like learning by the seat of my pants! Although I’d be amiss not to credit the books (Poets on Poetry series) by Stafford sharing about the craft and experience of writing; they were essential to me as I began writing seriously.

    9. No most oft read authors. Tastes keep changing. But anything Terry Tempest Williams writes I will read (prose not poems, but she reads like poetry). And the translation work by Stephen Mitchell much impresses me, like his poetic translation of “Gilgamesh” (incredible).

    10. Nope, don’t intentionally collect quotes (but you never know).

    Thanks Elizabeth.

  6. pmwanken says:

    Great questions, Elizabeth…

    1. What and who influenced your desire to write?
    I think the desire was always there…it wasn’t until December 2010 that a friend poked enough times that I actually strung some words together in the format of a blog.

    2. What and who influence that writing in this present moment?
    December 2010 still feels like “this present moment!” But, besides the original poker/prodder, I have been deeply encouraged by the online poetry community. If not for people like you (yes, you…the one reading this blog!) I would not have kept going.

    3. Do you have rituals or talismans attached to your writing process?
    Nope. Unless you count the fact that my cats are almost always at my side, waiting for their turn on my lap (once my laptop is put away).

    4. How did you get involved in the poetry/writing circuit online?
    The person who poked and prodded to get me writing had a blog. I followed his lead and started a blog. One of my earliest posts was a poem. And from the magic known as “tagging,” random people started showing up at my site…and following rabbit trails, I found prompt sites. And have been hooked ever since.

    5. Do you have a specific goal you are aiming at with your writing?
    I have been silent (not writing) for so long, just getting my words out was my first goal. Then, I discovered I like to write poetry. So my goal for poetry has become: to learn about poetry! (More on this, further down in these Q&As.)

    6. What topics do you find yourself writing about most frequently?
    Lately, a broken heart. Most of my writing has been about my own life circumstances (do they call that “confessional?”), except for the occasional wordle poem that takes me into another’s story, of sorts.

    7. Can you write on the run, or do you need a stable or steady environment to do so?
    I think on the run. But generally leave my writing to the end of the day. I have, however, used a lunch hour at work if I felt like I wasn’t going to be able to hold onto my thoughts long enough to make it to the end of the day.

    8. Have you taken writing courses, programs, etc., and did you find them helpful?
    No…I haven’t taken any courses. Not really. I did have a writing class in college–but it was more of a course to help me with writing assignments for other classes. It wasn’t a “creative writing” course. Which is why in one of the questions above I referred to needing to learn about poetry. I have heard/read several times in the past couple weeks some variation of “you need to know the rules before you can break the rules” in regards to writing poetry. I don’t know the rules. Yet.

    9. What authors do you read most often?
    Poetry? I haven’t been…except for the other poet bloggers! Novels? It’s been a while since I’ve had the time to sit down with a good book.

    10. Do you collect quotes?

  7. 1sojournal says:

    Strangely enough, the two people who influenced me most were not writers. My father told me that I could do anything I set my mind to. I set it to writing many years later. And secondly, a Catholic nun who told me I had understanding and a way of seeing things that others often miss. Once I started writing, I often thought of her words, especially when people would come to me and tell me that they had found something in my words that touched them deeply.

    My influences in the present moment are you, my fellow bloggers. I love learning, and this circle of writers is an ongoing education, free and completely flexible, and I love it. This is better than college and I don’t have to worry about being graded. Makes the learning even more fun and easy. And Paula, the learning never ends. I’ve learned more in this last year, than in any semester of creative writing I ever took.

    No real talismans, although my desk is full of small gifts I have received from my students. Rituals, maybe a few that have more to do with my own peculiar process. But, that can and does change in the moment. My computer is in my bedroom, so I just head to it when an idea occurs. I make notes and save them. Keep a legal pad close at hand and do a lot of jotting: ideas, phrases that come from other sources, quotes that interest me, or go off somewhere unexpectedly.

    I like being comfortable when I write, but can do it almost anywhere. Napkins, programs, envelopes inside my purse, all of it is fair game if I need to jot something down. Never used to do that, thinking I would remember, but realized quite quickly that I often remember that I had a good idea, but it’s been several hours and although I remember that I had it, I can’t really connect with it anymore. And it’s often interesting to go back days, weeks, even months later, to find something in my own handwriting that fits the bill in the present moment, but haven’t a clue why or when I jotted it down. But, again, that is more a part of my process rather than ritual. I do have one and that has to do with breathing. I will often sit to write but take the time to do some deep breathing first. It’s almost like a signal I am sending to my subconscious that we are going to do this thing again.

    I do have a degree in English with a writing concentration. And spent ten years helping others to get and stay on the page. I consider that time more learning than teaching. I did the assignments I suggested in class, right along with my students. I also said that I’d go back to school in a flash if someone paid me to do that. I did, even though others defined it as teaching.

    I got involved in the prompt circuit because a couple of blogs I visited had banners up for Big Tent Poetry. I went and investigated, but didn’t really think I would ever do that. I really had a mental block about prompts: felt they were for individuals who didn’t know how to find inspiration in the moment. Sorry, if that offends, but, at that time, that is how I felt. Then my mother passed away and I suddenly had a lot of time on my hands. I went back to BTP several times, and finally decided to take the plunge. Haven’t left since then. And then actually got invited to write some prompts. Was flattered, and did so for several months, but found that it somehow inhibited my ability to respond to the prompts. Still occasionally offer one or two when they occur to me, but they have become few and far between. Much too involved in responding again.

    As far as plans or dreams about where I want to go with my writing, that is sort of up for grabs. I’ve done a great deal of the things that I wanted to do already. I’ve published, both poetry and prose. Have done a few chapbooks, and at present am procrastinating at putting a book together. Not sure if I have real future intentions. Am very involved in my blogs and find them more than satisfying to that need to reach out and have an audience. I’ve thought about teaching online, but that would sort of tie me down and I like the flexability and freedom I have found right here, where I am in this moment. Enough for now and thanks for listening,


  8. margo roby says:

    1 As a new teacher in 1991 I felt uncomfortable with teaching the analysis of poetry. Didn’t know enough about the topic. I asked a colleague, who was also my best friend, and a published writer, if I could take his creative writing poetry class along with his high school students. I figured I would learn what went into the writing of a poem and would then be able to teach analysis. That turned out to be true. The bonus: I discovered writing poetry. My friend became my mentor.

    8 Along with that semester of writing classes, I took an adult class he offered a few years later that met once a week for the school year. I would like to attend a writing retreat at some point.

    2 Now my desire to write is fueled by my need to write.

    3 No rituals or talismans.

    4 When I returned to the U.S. last year I had been on a writing hiatus of three years. I didn’t have the energy to write and teach. I retired because I needed to write. I knew that never having been a part of the poetry scene here that I needed to investigate it. I don’t remember the epiphany moment that led me to start a blog, but it was to connect with other writers. Luckily I quickly stumbled across the Big Tent; I found a river of stones; and Poets United was started.

    5 My goal is a chapbook. I have one that is like the original form of chapbooks. Now I want one that is the modern form of chapbooks.

    6 I was going to say I write about anything and everything, but lately, my focus has been the natural world.

    7 This made me smile. I can, and do, write anywhere, on anything, with anything [but prefer pen]. Being on the run or stable doesn’t enter into the equation.

    9 Mmmm…Reader’s Digest and Bon Appetit. I know, but I am too tired for sustained reading. I read poetry most days and my tastes are eclectic.

    10 Not particularly. But I have written down a couple that struck me, along with words, phrases, and things people say.

    This was fun, Elizabeth, both to write and to read others.


  9. pmwanken says:

    I agree, Margo, this WAS fun. I enjoyed reading the responses…getting to know my friends a bit better. 🙂

    And thank you, Elizabeth. I agree that the learning never ends. You, Margo, Viv…and others…you’ve all been a great inspiration to me regarding that…being new to EVERYthing isn’t quite so daunting when I know that everyONE is also still learning SOMEthing. 😉


  10. Pingback: Friday Freeforall: Poetry Prompts and More Poetry Prompts « Margo Roby: Wordgathering

  11. 1sojournal says:

    Thanks again for coming forward and letting all of us get a bit more of a peek at how you work as you write. I find, again, that there is something in each of your responses that I don’t just relate to, but fully agree with and have experienced or practiced. And again, it is great to know that I am not alone or so different that I will always be on the outside looking in.


    • margo roby says:

      That may be the most value of the online poetic community, Elisabeth. We discover we are not alone, or so different. It’s a good feeling.


  12. Mike Patrick says:

    What influenced my desire to write? I was forced to write in my job (cop), and it was stylized, with very little deviation from hard facts. Couple that with being an almost compulsive reader and I soon realized there had to be something better to write than police reports. I’ve loved Shakespeare and classic poetry since I was in high school, so the direction of my writing was a no-brainer.

    My strongest influence since I’ve been posting has been Viv, as in http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com/. She was kind enough to encourage me when I first started my blog. Since then, she has gently urged and guided me into improving my writing.

    I strongly believe every poet who finds the courage to make that initially post, needs a mentor. The poet needs someone to verbalize that his or her poetry isn’t horrible, and then take the step of pointing out mistakes with the delicacy not to crush a would-be poet’s fragile ego. I thank God that Viv had the skill, the knowledge and the courage to broach the subject of my weaknesses.

    Since those days, my poetry circle has widened, and several others have offered guidance; most prominently right now, Margo Roby. It is so helpful when more experienced poets offer advice. I wish there was a site (maybe there is) where a novice poet could post a poem knowing that a group of experienced poets would read it and HARSHLY critique it, pointing out every scrambled meter, missed rhyme, shaky theme, or anything else that detracts from the poem. Of course, I wouldn’t want to do this for every poem, my ego is not that strong . . . but every once in a while would be great.

    • Mike, you do me honour I feel I don’t deserve, but thank you anyway. I understand what you say about not wanting EVERY poem put up for critique. It is hard to have something, about which we feel deeply, dissected. Sometimes it is better to say “this is MY poem, warts and all.”

      During the whole of my CW studies, peer criticism was the method of choice, and I acquired a bunch of honest, respected critiquing friends, so that it is now second nature to give and receive suggestions for improvements. The hardest thing about the non-critiquing nature of poetry prompt sites for me, is to keep it buttoned when I see a basic error of grammar, spelling or rhythm! This is why I specially value our interchanges and your positive reactions.

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