Posted in My Planet, Writing Tips and Techniques

How to Write When You’re not Inspired – Part 1

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”

                                                                                  Richard Bach

 

I used to think that I had to feel inspired to write before I could start. Consequently, I missed on important time practising my craft. This frame of mind resulted in all the great pieces I never wrote, the book of poems I never published, the play that could have been produced, the novel I could be about to finish.

Creative Notebook

It helps a lot to keep a creative notebook. Whenever an idea pop out, just write it down. If you hear a funny line somewhere, on a film, someone passing by, one of your kids, a friend, your wife, your husband, just write it down. A weird dream. Something in the news. You never know what brilliant and wonderful ideas might sprout from everyday mundane life. You can write it down, or you can cut a word, an article or even an image from a magazine and glue it to the pages. One day, it will pay off.

Don’t get too hung up on the word notebook, it could be a file on your smart phone, tablet or PC. I like notebooks, I keep a few, but recently I have started to use my smart phone, only because sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea and I might not remember it in the morning. Plus, I don’t always have my notebooks with me when I hear something funny or interesting, whereas my phone is almost always on me.

Three Things Exercise

I have a notebook where I do this exercise and I try to do it everyday, sometimes in the afternoon, sometimes in the evening, sometimes I start earlier and finish later. I like this exercise because it makes me aware of my five senses and it makes me look at the world in a more mindful way. It consists of a grid with six squares, one for each of the five traditional senses, plus one for a doodle. In each of the five senses I write 3 things I experienced on that day with that sense and in the last one I doodle something related to anything I write; a lot of the time it’s just a mug of coffee or a glass of wine, at least recently. Here’s an example of my pages:

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This are my two first tips to help you write when you’re not inspired to write. I will be adding more next week. I hope these help and happy writing!

Posted in 52 Poems, Poetry

52 Poems – Week 6

This week’s prompt is to write about the weather. The first thing that came to my mind, was how hot the weather was when my mother died and how hard it was for me to cope with it. This is a still very much a work in progress.

clouds during golden hour
Photo by Hoang Loc on Pexels.com

It was August 

It was the beginning of August

when my mother fell ill, rushed to hospital.

Not just any August,

this was a scorching summer in the Algarve.

Her weak heart quit two weeks later. Still,

the sun stayed stubbornly hot. How could

it be, when everything had changed?

The world would never be the same again,

yet the sun continued hot and shiny and bright

as usual, like she was still here to grill sardines,

for the family to enjoy after a day on the beach.

Like we could still go out for ice cream or gather

around for lazy afternoons around the table.

Why did the sky not show any sympathy

when my world collapsed? How could

there be any on joy on Earth?

Posted in 52 Poems, Poetry

52 Poems – Week 5 – An animal

This week’s prompt was to observe an animal and write about it. I was in the garden when I read it and my dog was lying on the lawn next to me, so this is what came out:

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Kia

Sometimes, I envy my dog. I envy

her ability to idle on the grass

without shame nor guilt. I envy

her knack for loving fully,

unconditionally, judgement free. I envy

that the mere prospect of a walk outside

excites her beyond the code of good manners.

I envy that the sight of any member of our family

throws her into a frantic celebration. Most of all,

I envy the gift of being so easily pleased.

Posted in My Planet

Social Distancing – Day 13

Cases: 17, 089 – Death toll: 1, 019

So today, I decided to add the total figures at the top of my posts. I thought it might be interesting when I look back at this posts in the future to see if there is a relation between the numbers and my mood or what is going on in my life. These figures have worried me a little to be honest; it’s a big increased in the last 24 hours, but I shouldn’t be surprised, I suppose. One minute we’re all at home, doing what we like because now we have the time, it almost feels like we’re on holidays, or snowed in or something; but then we get these numbers and reality hits us – we’re living in the heart of a worldwide pandemic.

It just makes me so angry about the people that are defying the lock down rules. Why is it so hard to understand that the sooner we stay at home, the sooner we get through this and can go back to some sort of normality or at least start rebuilding our lives? I confess that there are moments when I feel frustrated with some people’s attitudes and all the negativity going on at the moment. Things I’ve seen on the news like for example, a group of youths attacking a postman after him telling them off for not respecting the lock down. There have been supermarkets’ delivery vans vandalised, some NHS staff have found their cars vandalised after their shifts, food banks being ransacked. What purpose does it all serve? These are times when communities should come together and support each other, but not everyone gets it.

Thankfully, it’s not all doom and gloom and there has been a lot of positivity out there. When the government called for volunteers to help with the vulnerable people who needed to self-isolate, they were hoping to recruit 250, 000. However, in less than 24 hours, more than 500, 000 people had signed up. This are the type of news that make me believe in the human race. Across the country people have come through with act of generosity and kindness like the couple who runs a corner shop in Scotland distributing care packages to the elderly containing antibacterial gel, wipes and face masks. Businesses like Home Bargains taking the time to reassure their staff that not only their jobs are safe, but also that they have created a fund to support anyone in hardship due to the corona virus. God bless you all who have come through better, nicer and kinder.

One Poem a Week

At the beginning of January this year, I started a one poem a week challenge inspired by Jo Bell’s 52, I use the prompts in the book, but then look at other poems/writings too for inspiration. I did really well for three weeks, but then went to Portugal for a week and stopped, I’m not proud to admit. So today I decided to return to this challenge and rewrote the poem for week 3. It’s about the body, what I had written before, I think I will use to edit an older poem I wrote a while ago. I have been reading something about body image and it inspired me to go in a different direction, so today I wrote a totally different poem. On Monday, I will start week four.

Stay at home, stay safe and save lives!

 

 

 

Adjacent

The other day, I was watching the tv game show “Crystal Maze” and noticed one of the contestants didn’t know the meaning of the word adjacent, which cost her a crystal. I wanted to shout it at her as I saw her struggling with her task, and that’s is why I chose this word for this week’s word. Adjacent means next to or near something. If two things are adjacent, they are side by side. In the game show I was watching, the contestant had to put a yellow cube adjacent to a blue one (I’m not sure about the colours, but you get the idea), and I felt frustrated seeing her failing such an easy task. So much so that I decided to clarify the meaning of the word here to prevent such future frustrations. Interestingly, this word has its origin in jacere, the same Latin word that originates the words adjective, eject and project, for example. While adjacent and adjective share the root jacere, which means “being thrown down” and the prefix ad meaning “toward” or “addition”; the words eject and project share the root jacere but without the prefix ad.