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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Free Your Mind

Hi everyone.
Last time, I chatted about how I'm managing to keep things fresh and bursting the bubble of complacency to avoid stagnancy in my work.
Today, I thought I'd concentrate on one surprising area that has really helped my imagination to soar free...poetry.
Yes, I said poetry.
I've been interested in verse for quite a few years. From an early age, I would get friends to pick a subject, and within seconds, I'd be able to come up with a witty little limerick that would make them laugh. When I studied English at school and college, it was one of my favourite subjects. I still remember the titles we studied as part of our A levels.
Dooley is a traitor by James Milne, Macavity the Mystery Cat by T.S. Elliot, and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge being my favourites. I can almost recite them from memory, even now.
Looking back, however, I can see how my views were coloured by what I studied. And no matter how hard I think, I cannot recall a single one that didn't rhyme. So of course, to me, rhyming verse was natural. Anything else...well, it wasn't poetry.
How my view has changed.
As I mentioned previously, earlier on in the year, I really submerged myself into this medium once more, and now have more than seventy poems recorded and listed. And the number is growing. And do you know what? I'm shocked to see how the vast majority of them are free form and free verse. And I especially love Haiku.
Because I've discovered this form of poetry really stimulates my thinking process. It's almost as if I'm living a waking dream and have the opportunity to write about anything. So I do...
Things that are happening in the news. Life, death, and tragedy. Happiness, joy and loss. How I'm feeling, what I'd like to do. Animals, plants, festivals. Pop singers, politicians, and characters from history. Fantasy and science. Anything and everything.
And having managed to write it all down, I was amazed how poetry refined my focus in relation to flash fiction and short stories. Good examples of this medium are difficult to find. Your language has to be concise, the expressions pithy. The word pictures you paint have to be full of colour and expressive. So I was inspired to try my hand in this area too. And I'm delighted to say it's producing results.
So, if you'd like to boost your writing...Free your mind. Try poetry. Have a stab at flash fiction and ultra short stories. Give the worlds you create the teeth to bite back. You'll be delighted by what it does to your craft.


  1. Wise words, Andrew. I had written a short poem a while back and shared it with many who thought I should go on to writing more. It wasn’t so much about doing it for sharing with the world or making money on it, but the intrinsic value it had upon me.I was channelling my emotional side, and this is really what I needed to get some deep seated emotions and get those juices flowing. Loved the post.