Writing on the Beach: Surprises While Writing from the Heart

My last post made me think of my writing process for fiction, which mainly involves me entertaining scenes and ideas in my head whenever the inspiration hits me.

It’s a little different for me with poetry and creative nonfiction. The memoir pieces and poems are pulled from my life. While I do think back on my life from time to time, I don’t really come back to certain moments or ideas the way I would a piece of fiction writing. When I write nonfiction, the process is usually “I want to write about this thing that happened to me or this thing I feel” and I pretty much just sit down and belt the words out.

It’s not so much a moment of inspiration that has to strike, but the urge to address something.

There was once a piece that I couldn’t quite get. It took me a few tries to nail down some form of it in writing. That was the one time I struggled with writing from the heart. Mostly because I couldn’t figure out how to say what I wanted to say in the voice I wanted to say it in. I’m not a very angry person, and this poem was about anger. A justified anger. An anger that other people who support me in my life have shared with me.

My poems are typically more quiet and introspective. They are moments of tears, grief, and loss. And they are usually moments when I feel alone. But I figured out this piece. This involved infusing it with the anger that others have felt for me. It wasn’t just my voice, but the voices of those who held me up when I stood on threads, with the world trying to crash down on me, again.

The poem wasn’t really about being angry. It was about being loved and supported no matter what someone else might do to tear you down.

Characters are known to take planned manuscripts in different directions. It’s funny that even with nonfiction, sometimes, you may not know exactly what you’re writing when you start.

(P.S. I’m hoping to hear some good news about this poem soon. Fingers crossed.)

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