When we think of writers we often go straight to novelists. However there are many different writers. So, this week’s guest post is from the wonderful Brenda Baker from CyberneticBlonde.com who is an amazing poet. Enjoy!
A Writer’s Love Story by Brenda Baker
Writing has become somewhat of a love affair for me. I have to write, if I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing, or when I’ll get the chance to write again. I sneak it in where ever and whenever possible.
I could be brushing my teeth when the first line of a new poem writes itself. Then I hold onto it until I can get to a pencil. Meantime, if a particular poem is feeling impatient, it’s still toddling along, unwilling to wait. I’m left to catch up. Some poems are more hesitant, taking longer to assert themselves. I love them all.
I wrote my first poem on a Saturday morning back in October of 2015, too lazy to get off the couch. I finished it that afternoon while driving to the mall. I managed to get it on paper that evening. My love for writing was cemented on that piece of paper. I had found my true love.
My early poems were mostly narrative with the occasional lyrical poem thrown in for good measure. Unlike that first poem which got straight to the point, these preferred to hide behind the words. I wasn’t ready to open myself up just yet. I also relied heavily on traditional ideas of what poetry should be. Every poem just had to rhyme – although I did experiment extensively with end rhyming patterns. The rhyming pattern didn’t really matter though. Most were lost in over experimentation and line length. It took some time for me to realize that less is sometimes best.
It wasn’t until I wrote “A Child Still” that I finally stopped hiding behind the words and found my voice. I finally felt as though I had some idea as to what I was doing. I threw traditional ideas about poetry out the window. I stopped imposing a formal rhyming pattern. I began incorporating literary devices from song lyrics. I wrote honestly and from the heart. I stopped worrying about a poem’s merit. I wrote what I had to say. No more; no less. It was a freeing experience to say the least.
Since “A Child Still”, I’ve never looked back. I chip away at each poem until it’s honest, open and to the point. I’ve taken down the wall between me and the reader. No more hiding.
At some point, I may incorporate end rhyming again, but I’ll also remember what I’ve learned since those early poems. Rhyming is a great poetic device when used properly. It’s all about balance, in writing and in life.
I still experiment, only now I experiment with technique and voice. I’ve dared to bend the cardinal rules of grammar. I may have even broken a couple altogether. As a teacher by profession, perhaps I shouldn’t admit that.
I’m always careful not to lose meaning within a poem. I try to steer clear of ambiguity, wanting to be understood. I know that a poem’s final meaning lies with the reader, but I try to make my own meaning as transparent as possible – unless of course, I want to leave it open for reader interpretation.
Through my blog, I’m hoping to build an honest and open relationship with those willing to take the time out of their busy lives to read something I’ve written. I’m always humbled that someone – be that a fellow blogger, or someone outside the blogosphere – thought my poem worthy of their time. I want to honor that by offering them the best of what I have to say. It’s my hope that even if a reader takes absolutely nothing from what I wrote, he, she or they will at least enjoy the experience.
A few quick writing tips before I go – if you had told me five months ago – or yesterday, that I’d be offering up writing tips, I wouldn’t have believed you:
1. Keep it simple and above all else, honest. What do you have to lose?
2. Don’t worry about merit – some will like it, but some won’t. We can’t please everyone.
3. Don’t be afraid to experiment with technique. Shake it up a little!
4. Write with love, always.
5. Finally, in the words of my daughter, “You do you, boo boo!”
Last but not least, I’d like to extend a huge thank you to my amazing friend Ari for inviting me to write this guest post! I’d also like to thank you, the reader for taking the time to read this. I truly appreciate you taking the time. I mean it!
About the writer:
Brenda Baker is a teacher and poetry writer. She lives in Labrador City, Canada. She is married with two daughters. You can connect with her through:
Website – Cyberneticblonde.com (where I share my writings)
Twitter – @Cyberneticblonde (where I mostly just retweet stuff)
Big thanks to Brenda for her article, I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. As a dabbler of poetry myself I found those tips to be really helpful.
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NB: photos supplied by the guest poster