No, I’m not talking hoarders here! Collecting in excess never served anyone well. It’s so much harder to refine what we bring into our lives than to haphazardly hold on to things and ideas that we don’t need any longer.
This week, we will be collecting mindfully.
As writers, we might collect special objects, talismans. I like this book by Molly Peacock called, How to Read a Poem and Start a Poetry Circle. It was published in 1999, long before I got my MFA. I remember taking it out of the library and thinking, “Wow. Poems as talismans.” So that’s what they are?
I think that instead of collecting things, I tend to collect ideas, wishes, thoughts, and dreams. I write what I want for my family, my children, my husband. I write what I want to achieve as a writer and for my students. I collect images of yoga poses, lines from great poems, and musical riffs in my mind. All good things, but it can get crowded in there.
Maybe this would be a good time to look at what I have collected and release what I can’t possibly hold on to?
What about you? Are you holding on to some mental clutter? Physical clutter?
If you have collected more than feels comfortable, it might be time to relax more and collect less.
Once the palette of clutter is cleared, it is possible to go back and layer the things and ideas that are truly important and motivating.
For this week, collect images. Go to a concert, a poetry reading, or eavesdrop in the local coffee shop. Write down words, images, and ideas that interest you in a list on one page in your journal. Go back to that page during the week and keep the list going. You only have one page so make sure every word counts. When the page is filled, write your poem, essay, or journal entry by using at least twelve of those words.
Just for fun, tell us what you “collect” to help your writing by posting a comment: www.soundcliffwritingspa.com.
Post your poem in the sound cliff writing spa forum for feedback from your peers and to share your process. You will need to “Follow” the soundcliffwritingspa to get FREE access into the private forum and your weekly prompt by email.
Have a great week! – Stef