Think of a prompt. Any prompt. A field of daisies. A battle field. Any image that will help to yield Words, sentences, verses. Literary genius, masterpieces, bestsellers. And with some luck (maybe not), money and fame. Search for the spark. Write what you know. Maybe not. Disfigure the origins of your tale So that those whose lives you have Plagiarised won’t recognise themselves, And the fear of being caught Does not impede your flow. Keep the pen moving, the fingers typing. Do not pause or edit-as-you-go. Write in the morning, write in the evening. Write daily, or as the muse strikes. Write in private, write in public. Write on paper, on tablets, on stone. Write through the block, because You cannot write over it or under it or around it. You can only smash through it, With your pen, a tool far mightier Than any weapon you could wield. Write what is in front of you, Or a million miles away in space, Or decades, centuries, ages away in time. Write what is in plain sight. Write what is only seen in your mind’s eye. Write to break hearts. Write to mend them. Write for the fun of it. Write deadly serious. Write truth to power, to raise up, to bring down. Write to give hope, to inspire, to be the change. Write because you want to, You have to, you need to, In the same way you need to breathe. Inhale reading, exhale writing. Inhale inspiration, exhale words. Write because there is nothing else In the world you would rather be doing. Write when you are doing everything In the world to avoid it. Write to speak your truth, or write blatant lies. Write to express, write to understand. Write to know yourself, to be yourself, Or because you need to take A much-needed break from yourself. Write to take you to the furthermost Reaches of your universe and, when You cannot go any further, Write to guide you home. Write what you want, when you want, how you want. Whatever life might have lined up for you Know this much to be true: You must write.
The story behind the poem
It seems fitting to choose a poem about writing as the first of my ‘secret scribbles’ for the website. I suspect that every writer has penned at least one verse on the subject at some point in their career. I drafted this poem when I was completing my Morning Pages on the 17th of September 2018. Reading it makes me smile as I wrote it a few months after finishing the Becoming a Writer course, so it reminds me of the early exuberance that came with finally claiming the title.