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creative writing prompt

NaPoWriMo Writing Prompt

April 2, 2011

Pretty yellow leavesAlthough I’d not thought much about it in advance, I decided to participate in National Poetry Writing Month this year. Maureen Thorsen quoted a writing prompt I created that she found via Mary Biddinger. We’re all one cozy family here in the Poetry Blogosphere.

Writing Prompt

If your personal well of inspiration seems dry, never fear. I will be posting poetry prompts here from time to time. Here’s a five step prompt to help get you started, via Mary Biddinger by way of Deborah Ager:

1. Use a color as your title.
2. Write against what people associate with that color. If your color is yellow, write a sad poem. If your color is blue, write a cheery poem.
3. Invoke the name of a poet they way you’d invoke your own name in a ghazal.
4. Take a look at the Wikipedia page on poetic forms and choose a form. Write the poem in that form.
5. Use a form of water in your poem– ice, drop, drip, drizzle, mist, etc.

I’m on a high after completing a poem this past week. After a busy month full of various life events—that meant little poetry writing—I was asked to read a poem at a funeral for a person in a family I consider my second family. I’ve known this family for about thirty years and adore them all. I glanced through my book, Midnight Voices, and none of the poems said what I wanted to say at this funeral. Then, I turned to Hopkins and pondered Dylan Thomas even though I knew the request was to hear my words. As great as Thomas and Hopkins are and may be, they have not known this family for thirty years. Off I went to my studio—certain I could not and did not know how to write a poem—and out I came with a draft of something that was exactly how I want to be writing in the future. The future became the now.

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Years ago, I offered a creativity course online. It was free. Someone recently asked if I’d put more creative writing prompts on my blog, so I thought I’d oblige by including some of my lessons from my Creative Mind Adventure.

“In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities, but in
the expert’s mind there are few.”
–Shunryu Suzuki-roshi, Zen master

LESSON POINT: Cultivate beginner’s mind to unleash creative
power and possibilities not yet discovered. Allow our expert
to relax and take a vacation.

DEBORAH’S DREAM-A-TIVITY POINT: I give my expert mind a
vacation and keep myself open to new ways of creating
my work.

The lesson is on the next page… [click to continue…]

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