I have a confession to make. I write poetry. Okay, okay, I’m not going to subject any of you to it (today anyway.) but I have been doing it since…well, since someone first put a pencil in my hand back in kindergarten. I like reading poetry–Frost and Dickenson and some of Sandburg and even one or two of Alexander Pope’s and although I don’t go around quoting the stuff, I do think of it on occasion.
But my secret addiction has been good for my other writing. For one thing, writing verse (I’m not good enough to be a poet.) is a warm up sometimes for writing fiction. They seem to segue way into one another. Don’t ask me how.
And poetry forces you to search for the exact word or phrase, to reject adjectives and adverbs when you can find a stronger verb, to take the time to write shorter. It should also work on my run-on sentences, but…hey it’s not a miracle. I do think it strengthens my fiction writing.
As I noted last week, we talk a lot here about writer’s block, and we all have a few little secrets about how we stay involved with the writing. This is mine.
Things such as WordPress’s new Plinky feature might strike an occasional chord because I can turn my mind to writing by…writing. Verse, this blog, quick (but honest) notes to friends, these things work for me.