Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Time I Changed My Mind #bloglikecrazy

Today's #bloglikecrazy prompt from Javacia Bowser is "write about a time you changed your mind."

Once upon a time I was struggling in my writing life -- my ability not in line with my desire -- and I applied for and was accepted into the Amherst Writers & Artists program. I completely love Pat Schneider's book WRITING ALONE & WITH OTHERS, and I thought, this is it, this is what I want to do: teach others to share their stories through poetry. I was ready to write my check, board the flight, leave my young family to earn my certification.

Then I went to a Alabama State Poetry Society meeting where I shared with a poet I admire and who does similar work. She was completely supportive as we talked about the excitement -- and hardship-- of completing the program. She said, "you don't need a certificate to do that." Also, "remember, the writing, your writing is the most important part."

And I thought, hmmm. She right! And while I am sure the program would have helped make me a better writer, I realized I was pursuing the certification as a way to distract myself from the greater task, which was (and is) to write all the things in my heart.

Yes, I hope to inspire others. But mostly this writing thing is for ME. I have to be careful: when it gets hard or challenging and things aren't going my way, it's not the time to take another path. I need to hold steady on the path I'm on.

1 comment:

  1. A few years ago I was under the assumption that the only way I could be a better writer was to get an MFA. After much research and thought I realized how expensive and far away many of these good programs were.
    So...I created my own MFA program. I read books about writing, studied blogs about craft, and just read a ton more books. My writing improved that year. So it's not that I needed a degree to be a better writer, I just needed to take the steps to make it happen. All the tools are out there, ready for us to use.


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