Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Thursday, October 04, 2012

October 4: Surprise Me!

Surprise me! I wish you would
change night to day. 
Morning begins
another round of words,
a familiar litany
of aches and groans and 
last night’s doubt:  
Why do I write?
The story first, then comes revision,
that torturing of inspiration with rules,
subject/verb agreement being least and last
or even lost 
in that moment
when my words bring tears.

I knew a writer who burned
two years of work in a single night.   
“Too many voices,” he said. He wanted
to write literature. He wanted fame.
There is no talking about this.
I build a story word by word. Bedrock.
‘Tis enough to face down doubt,
To balance inspiration with craft and discipline.
I make my own morning.
I make my own rules.
I tell stories. I write.

NOTE: This rather harsh poem came from today's OCTPOWRIMO. "Surprise me! Consider those moments you have said, “This is just the way I write poetry” and write differently. Close your eyes and think about the place where rules and inspiration meet." I would have loved to write something more inspirational. All I could think of was e.e.cummings' lovely poems without any capital letters. And those writers I have known who struggle to write at great cost. Who one day simply stop writing. This I can barely imagine. Before I retired, my writing always came between other commitments. Now I have the luxury of mornings and online writing communities of readers and writers. Hooray!

See what others have written for Octpowrimo: