It’s 2014 and while I have been encouraged to start a blog for my writing over the years I often said things like, “what is a domain?” [Actual text with Gale Thompson this week: GALE: I recommend finding a good wordpress layout, not a dumb one. ME: I don’t know what’s dumb.] But, Kate Litterer asked me to do this really cool Writing Blog Tour and since “That sounds great but I don’t have a blog” was an embarrassing answer, I got my shit together and started one. And honestly, after all the laying-out, etc. (which was “easy” the way some people say Ikea is easy or jerks say volleyball is easy) I don’t know what the hell to write first. So, I’m going to copy something I wrote for the H_NGM_N tumblr a couple of years ago, part of their Notes to a Young Poet series. I’ve just moved across the country (from shore to mountains) and am trying to settle back into good writing habits, so I could use my own advice now. But before we get to that, make sure you check out Kate Litterer’s contribution to The Writing Blog tour, due out on her blog sometime this week. Alright, here goes:
NOTES TO A YOUNG POET
Forget where you end and your poems start. Confuse your work with your wellbeing. Need words like actual nourishment. Read to be sated. Find poems that are friends with your poems and then be friends with the people who wrote those poems, even if those people are dead. Wallpaper your heart and your brain with poems.
Sometimes you will dislike the things you make. When you and your poems are the same, that can hurt. Let it hurt. Make another.
Often you are wrong. Be wrong. Make another.
Sometimes you will realize someone already said it. Make another.
Today you are in love with poetry and tomorrow you will want to be in love with poetry. Keep wanting to love poetry and you will keep loving it. Read every book on your shelf and then look at the books on your friends’ shelves and ask them nicely to borrow them. There are too many things to read and you are getting older every day! Don’t panic! Just read!
Sometimes you will feel like you’ll never do it right again. Make another.
When you do it right, that will be enough to go on. Write your heart and brain and spleen and then read them out loud to your friends in bars. Use your senses like collection baskets. Find everything that makes you happy beautiful nauseous funny miserable forgotten etc. etc.
You must risk admitting the things you think.
You must risk believing the things you think.