accountability & poem sketching

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

If it weren’t for a small group of Word Rafting writers, I know I wouldn’t be writing today. In February, I committed to publishing once a week, and that commitment brought me to my blog today. The workweek was full, and it’s been challenging to shoehorn in creativity, even though I know in the past journaling in the morning was a positive step in starting the day.

This afternoon, it’s snowing, and there’s a winter storm warning in effect, although so far it hasn’t amounted to much. Although I have nothing pressing to do (except work-like tasks including taxes, paying bills, cleaning the house, etc.) I’d rather be perusing websites for vintage tchotchkes and collectibles that I don’t need to fill full cupboards and shelves. #cluttercore

If you’re not part of a writing or accountability group, how do you keep yourself accountable? While I’ve never had the habit of recording a daily word count, I could see that being a valuable tip for writers who need that check-in. But being part of a group can add even more value, finding like-minded writers can add built-in support and a gentle nudge when you are running through your list of procrastination reasons. I think that’s why writing accountability organizations, including NaNoWriMo, are so popular with many writers.

Today my way into creative writing was using poem-sketches ( as a warm-up exercise). This is from one of my favorite craft of poetry books, Sandford Lyne’s book “Writing poetry from the inside out.”

To summarize, it’s his method of taking a group of words (he suggests four) and combining them, so they “feel” like poems. These sketches are to help you work on creating images, “based on the concept that words are materials.” I have many notebooks filled with these sketches.

Sometimes poem sketches are simply an exercise, a poet start or they can evolve into a complete poem. Often they are an easy way to get the pen or the keyboard moving when you are simply procrastinating.

The book lists an Appendix of Word Groups that you can scroll through but it’s often just as fun to come up with your own.

Today choose your own sets of four words or start with my four words, and see what you come up with. Relax into the process, let go of expectations of complete work. Now get back to work!

  • mood
  • community
  • truth
  • invited

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