Thursday, April 13, 2017

9-Step Routine for Writers

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
~Ernest Hemingway

So, I'm writing form poems for kids during National Poetry Month, and I think I messed up already. I was inspired by Bridget's sequence poem last week to give that type a try. After I finished, I realized it wasn't really a form. Or is it? Feel free to tell me it is.
Sylvia and Janet's sequence poem prompt: Write a poem with a very strong sequence or time order. You could feature the hours of the day, days of the week, or months of the year - or have a completely different focus, like steps in "how to" do something or driving directions or a slice of history.

9-Step Routine for Writers
By Tabatha Yeatts

Step 1:
 blank page, rant and rage
Step 2:
 step away, play all day
Step 3:
 think about it, scribble out it
Step 4:
 undock, take a walk
Step 5:
 look it over, a little slower
Step 6:
 mark with your pen, time and again
Step 7:
 move lines around, see how they sound
Step 8:
 ask someone to read, fix parts that mislead
Step 9:
 share with a friend, savor "the end."


Addendum: One reason I was happy to do a sequence poem on this topic is that it seems many folks -- kids AND adults -- think that the whole process is just Step 3!

Dori Reads has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Dori!


Diane Mayr said...

"Step 4:
 undock, take a walk"

My favorite step in most tasks! Have a great weekend!

Jane @ Raincity Librarian said...

Hmmm...I think I spend a lot of time on step 1, and a bit too much time on step 2! ;-)

Such fun!

Irene Latham said...

I love that playing is part of the process... as it should be, as it should be! I also love the muscle of "undock" and how it can mean multiple things. Thank you! xo

Anonymous said...

Fantastic! I am in love with your poem, Tabatha!

Linda said...

You really captured the rhythm of how many of us write. Great job!

Heidi Mordhorst said...

My favorite is Step 3, which captures the scribbly character of a first draft. But what I really love is the Hemingway quote. It helps me remember that if it hasn't been at least a bit painful in some way, I probably haven't worked hard enough. Excellent form!

Donna Smith said...

Ha! That Hemingway quote really got me!
Love the "format" of this poem and the steps were great.
How about 10?
Reread it in bed, then dream what you said!
Sorry! Couldn't help it! When it speaks, you gotta listen!
And yours speaks!

Linda B said...

I enjoyed this as a 'form', Tabatha. List poems can be many things, always interesting to see from the poet's POV. Often I "step away" after writing and noodle so much in my head, then return. This will be fun to share with kids!

Ruth said...

So good! This really sums up my "process," such as it is, and I realize I need to be more patient with my students when I don't see progress sometimes.

jama said...

Cool poem, Tabatha! Step 1 is always the hardest (my ranting and raging usually go on too long). Yes, many people think Step 3 is all there is to it. The real fun comes with revision. . . :)

Doraine said...

A perfect description of the process! Although it can be problematic if you get stuck in step #2!

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

These days, I think the word form is used loosely. Technically I might call your list poem a type of poem rather than a form (since it doesn't have a prescribed meter or rhyme scheme or number of syllables per line, etc.) but seriously, does it matter? Not to me. And probably not to the HS students either. It's a great poem and should be shared!

Molly Hogan said...

So often Step 2 is one of the most important steps for me! Love your poem, whatever form or type it is!

Kay said...

Yep, I can relate to all these steps at some point in my writing!

Mary Lee said...

Love this! I'll share with my students who are all about #3!

Brenda at FriendlyFairyTales said...

I love all those steps, and I wear them with pride. I especially like how you managed to make each line rhyme, yet I didn't notice on the first read.

Linda Mitchell said...

I love this! Makes me want to give it a try.....I love look it over...a little slower. Fantastic expression of a sequence.