By Judy Clement Wall
I’m a huge fan of bentlily. If you haven’t visited her site, you should. Her real name is Samantha. She’s a writer and new mom who, instead of making resolutions for 2011, committed to writing a poem every day. Here’s what she wrote about her decision:
I pledged to write one poem a day. Not to rack up reams of poetry – that’s just a lovely side-effect. No, the real goal is to train me to see the world constantly with the eyes of a poet, which means to slow down, savour, take delight in, and note the very essence of the world around me.
To be present.
I love that. I get her daily poem delivered to my inbox, and every time I see her name I feel anticipatory. Samantha has a gift for capturing the beauty, emotion and magic of everyday things. I am more present because she is present, and I’m convinced that reading her poems makes me a more conscious writer (and mom, and person).
Over Thanksgiving weekend, I read her poem, “Chasing my muse.” I think there isn’t a writer alive who won’t see her- or himself in this one. I love her description of the day she spends wishing for and being frustrated by her muse. It made me think of the many different ways that I’ve chased my own muse: sitting in a coffee shop or library, for instance, notebook open, hand poised above the page, ready, just in case, on the off chance that maybe the more “writerly atmosphere” was all she needed to make herself known to me. I’ve gone for walks and bike rides, sat out on the grass, read passages from my favorite authors. I’ve made tea, lit candles, howled at the moon. I’ve grabbed my camera and headed out into the world in the hopes of making her jealous…
All the while I wrestle that little bit of panic that tells me maybe this time, she’s gone for good.
I thought it would be fun (or maybe that’s not the right word… therapeutic? Cathartic?) to hear what things you’ve done in the name of finding your muse. (Secretly, I’m hoping you can give me some good ideas.)
JUDY CLEMENT WALL is a freelance writer and Course Presenter for the Fear of Writing Online Course. Her short stories and personal essays have been published in numerous literary journals and on some very cool websites like The Rumpus, Used Furniture Review, Lifebyme and Beyond The Margins. She recently finished her first novel, BEAUTIFUL LIVES, and here at FoW, she chronicles the ups and downs of writing for publication. You can read more of her series here. Judy blogs about life, love, writing and cheesecake at Zebra Sounds.