Last week, I inched toward a final draft of a poem I have written and re-written for six years. The seeds of the poem are more than seven years old, and there are at least a dozen drafts. And just because a draft is newer doesn’t mean it’s better. This has been the kind of writing process where things get worse, sometimes much worse, before they get better. Poetry is the only thing in my life that gets this much of my patience. And it’s not because of the poem, really. It’s because of the thing I’m scraping at within the writing, using the poem like a hammer to break it open.
When we write in pursuit of something, especially a small moment or a memory that calls to us, there’s often a pause when we step back and wonder: Is this worth it? What am I chasing, and why?
More at Voice & Vessel
Over on the Voice & Vessel blog, I wrote about the memorable, tough-to-shake moments that drive us to write. How do you follow a "shimmering" moment until it becomes a strong poem, essay, or story? I'm sharing what one stubborn poem taught me, plus three writing prompts to help you write into the idea, memory, or moment that won't let go. Click here to read the full post.