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Kickstarting the Muses 1: Brief Confession

When I began writing--outside of a classroom setting--I subscribed to the notion that, in order to write, whether fiction or poetry, I had to be inspired. And if I didn't have an ounce of inspiration, well, then I just wouldn't (and didn't) write a single word in my notebooks.

Romantic notion, yes. And one with flaws: as it turned out, I went through long, long periods of "writer's block" and, when I did get a really good idea, the writing came with difficulty.

When, however, I began to consider the craft of writing, and to spend time, every day, with pen in hand, things got better. No, not better in some Hollywood movie montage way--I still had to deal with dryness, bad writing, and pages full of typos, crossed-out phrases, and no resolution. ("So, what did happen, then?")

I read more poetry, more nonfiction, and more books on style, forms, and practice.

I started paying attention to what authors and poets themselves had to say about how, where, and when they wrote.

I started considering the stuff I did cross out as material for other projects.

And I decided to write every day, whether poetry, journaling, or blogging--only an illness like the flu could keep me down.

This hasn't been easy. And it hasn't followed a predictable, linear formula, either. Some days, I can write four or five poems in a sitting. Others, I struggle to scribble a journal entry, or post a micropoem on Twitter.

But when I write, even if it seems to be drivel, there's always something to learn--even, to relearn.