Recycling Words

It’s not plagiarism – I’m recycling words, as any good environmentally conscious writer would do. ~Uniek Swain

Writers can’t let a good word,phrase or piece of work go by them unnoticed or ignored.My notebooks are full of hastily jotted down words or sentences that I love, knowing that at some point they will work their way into an essay or another piece of work. A simple phrase can inspire you when you feel stuck.
Today, look for some words you can recycle into another piece of work. Maybe it’s a sentence from an essay that can be recycled into a piece of short fiction. Or maybe it’s a line of a poem that would be a great title for an essay. Poets do this often, writing an original poem based on a poem of a famous poet. Here’s an example.
Dover Beach
and a modern poet, Anthony Hecht’s response. Or just take out any book and randomly select a line, use this starting point to brainstorm a new piece of work or use it as the first line in a new piece of work. Here’s some examples from books on my desk.

Discomforts of yesterday
Hard as apples
Delicate gifts of the earth
My daughter as the guinea pig
My world

Now get back to work!

The Writing Nag

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2 Replies to “Recycling Words”

  1. Or it can be a sequel as in this example I wrote back in 1989:


    (in memoriam W.C.W.)

    There are plums
    in the fridge:

    will be
    a night

    for writing

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