Sunday, September 9, 2012

Poetry Challenge Tip 6

My writing, both poetry and prose, has improved at least ten-fold since I began the writing practice of stream of consciousness writing, primarily through Julia Cameron’s morning pages or Natalie Goldberg’s timed writings.

It doesn’t matter what you write, you just write. You just move your pencil.

Some people turn from this practice.

Some people say they can’t do it because they are afraid of what might come out on the page.

Today my daughter and I were talking about the power of journaling. “It is like talking on paper, Emma. The page will always listen to you.”

She looked at the floor, “My friends never listen to me.”

Her friends talk a lot. They do the talk OVER thing, where she starts talking and they excitedly chime in before she has had a chance to have her say. I know this well because I have certain friends who talk over me, too.

TIP #6: When you start writing stream of consciousness style (just write what comes into your head without editing) you might feel awkward. Cool, write “I feel awkward. I feel more awkward than my first school dance in the seventh grade when I realized I had the same dress on as Laura Taylor only she looked much better in it than I did.”

Do you see the potential in that winded sentence to be made into the start of a poem?

Pluck nuggets from it. “first school dance” – “seventh grade” “same dress as Laura Taylor” “Once again, someone looked (sounded, was smarter, danced) than me.

It’s emotional, even years later when we give into it. Emotion is the stuff poetry is often made of the most.

Don’t believe me?

Set a timer for five minutes and write anything on, “I don’t believe Julie because….” And see what you come up with. My best guess is some great lines to weave into a poem once OctPoWriMo begins. Its getting closer and closer!

Here is what some other people say about writing stream of consciousness style. First a Wiki Page with a step-by-step how to approach to stream of consciousness.

And some examples of stream of consciousness style from literature are found here, including from the novel I am currently reading, Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf!

Julie Jordan Scott

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