Friday, June 19, 2009

Make Your Writing Happen

old books

I'm pushing myself through writing the last three chapters of my book. Concerning this challenge, I was foolish enough to say to a writer friend, 'Well, you know, I can't force this thing.' To which my writer friend said in an annoyingly writerly way, 'Uh... yes you can.' (Advice here to the would-be writer. Don't make friends with people who know anything about writing if you want the freedom to sit on your writing butt and dip violets in sugar, or some other such thing, rather than finishing a project of consequence).

Truth is, you really can't force writing. It takes time to research, to process thoughts, to craft something as lovely as a sugared violet. And, truth is, you really *can* force writing. You've got so much in that head of yours already; you don't have to read one more ancient monk on the 'art of submission' (I'm talking to myself here now, which is a healthy writer behavior). Sometimes it's about altering expectations. Or trusting what you already have to offer. It's about putting away the violets and pulling out the keyboard.

Like right now. I am not inspired to write a poem. I don't want to do it. Truly, I'd prefer to translate French poetry (a new passion), but I am going to prove to myself that a person can *make* writing happen. It may not end up being my best shot, but here goes, based on last week's prompt...

'Holy Writ'

I spied God
meddling with
my keyboard,
skipping from
a to z like He
was some kind
of Alpha and
Omega who
could ply a
whole world,
ex nihilo, presto,
from the chaos.

1600's Books photo, by L.L. Barkat.

High Calling Blogs' Apophasis, or the Power of 'Not'
Monica’s His Delight, His Applause
Mom2Six’s Connecting
Sara's Before it Was Gone
Laura's Red and yellow...
Deb's The Verse
Joelle's Sacred Heart Abbey
Erica's Silver Coin
Simple Country Girl's I Spied God...
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Blogger Unknown said...

These words make me smile, laugh out loud! Then I pray, May His words flow through your fingertips, may He bring a universe of ordered words that will bless from the chaotic thoughts flowing through your mind, may He do it all in time to meet your deadline. :) In Jesus,

11:46 AM  
Blogger Virginia Knowles said...

I want to write a poem for my grandparents' 75th anniversary party tomorrow and told my mom and sister-in-law, "It just hasn't come to me yet." I think I'm just going to have to sit still long enough with a pencil in my hand until it does. I've already got a notebook full of my poems for them as a present, and I'll add this one in -- BY TOMORROW. ~~ Virginia

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

like the end of labor...more pushing than breathing.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Monica said...

August 1? You mean, 2009?
How about I add you to my prayer list?
:) You'll be fine, I'm sure. :)
About the new prompt--a conversation I heard:
Husband: "You're always saying what you're not!"
Wife, after a pause: "I don't think I'm like that."

4:36 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Mom2Six... thanks... miracle needed, yes. :)

Virginia... wishing you a very productive sitting experience... (and welcome, btw, to Seedlings)

nAncY... oh! I'm going to tuck that one away.

Monica... yup. 2009. (Push, push, push, push, push...) :) Thanks for your encouragements.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Virginia Knowles said...

Thanks, L.L. I actually got it done within the hour. I just had to go sit in the quiet, away from a computer and all of the relatives who are filling the house already. I usually write free verse, but thought they might like a more structured rhyming poem at their age. I posted it, along with two photos, on my blog at and linked to your post.

7:38 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

I love this one. Absolutely love it. Thanks for 'forcing' it out.

12:29 AM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Excellent poem, L.L., on the spot!

Yes. I agre with both. You can't, but you can. It needs to flow (although I have to clean up the messes that go with that), but you also need to just do it (and I have to spruce it up, and what-not afterwards).

But that's just me in my limited blog writing. Am looking forward to your book! Sounds like it'll be out before Christmas(?).

1:21 AM  
Anonymous Monica said...

My apophasis poem did not come easily. It came without any flashes of inspiration. I did not lie awake before dawn as words came to me. The lines did not write themselves. I am not sure it contains enough negatives. It lacks the smoothness I hoped for. But, at least it is not unfinished:

12:42 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Making writing happen - this is what I did this week after your prompt at High Callings last week for apophasis poetry. I don't think I got the form, but I like the word anyway. Thanks for the inspiration and stretching.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my contribution for poetry friday...

2:32 PM  
Blogger sojourner said...

personally, i work better under a deadline - this is why i'm meandering through blogland instead of studying for an exam i have on thursday - your poem made me smile because i pictured God "meddling with" the keyboards like a gifted child :0)

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sometimes something simple is the right prescription for the more complicated... I love your poem... especially this late at night. the perfect read!

1:57 AM  

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