Sunday, September 18, 2016

OctPoWriMo 2016 Countdown - Writing Dangerously

Today in my jewelry making class, my professor made a profound statement about sawing metal that immediately ignited a fire in me. She said "Get as close to the line as you can without crossing it." I couldn't help but laugh because I feel that's how I live my entire life - seeing how far I can go without crossing the line.

This got me to thinking about how the statement applies to writing poetry. We can play it safe and write about simple things like the beauty of an autumn sunset or the smell of good cooking wafting through our home. We can compose our poems in standard accepted forms. Or we can take risks.

I prefer to write about complex emotions and human relationships. I want to write poems that challenge how the reader perceives their own world. I want to open the door (or perhaps just a window) to allow the reader to see a different point of view.

As you think about writing your 31 poems in 31 days, try to find the perfect balance for yourself - the balance between safe poems and those poems that "get close to the line ... without crossing it." But once (or more if you're so inclined) I want to challenge you to go ahead and cross the line. Find something you're so passionate about or so emotional about that your writing become raw and visceral.

Go ahead and write dangerously! I dare you! (And you may even thank me later.)

I wish you many glorious words,
Amy McGrath

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