THE MUSIC OF WORDS part THREE
With the recent release of his book of photography and verse, IMPRESSIONS OF NATURE IN BLACK AND WHITE, author Bill Carlson quoted one of the most famous composer/pianists of all time at the close of his Introduction saying, “As I ponder the thousands of spectacular moments I’ve enjoyed while creating my portfolio of photography, I add this additional thought, attributed to Ludwig Van Beethoven: ‘Mother Nature is the Revelation of God.’” This recognition of the marriage between sight (photography), sound (symphonies), and poetry is a more complete definition of what is being honored each April—the National Poetry Month. And what all writers can learn from exploring the best of past and present poets is their unique ability to touch a Reader’s heart and soul with their words. Here are a few of the best pieces of writing advice that I’ve collected from poets over the years:
- “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
- “The moon gives you light, And the bugles and the drums give you music, And my heart, O my soldiers, my veterans, My heart gives you love.” Walt Whitman
- “I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” Robert Frost
- “Draw a crazy picture, Write a nutty poem, Sing a mumble-gumble song, Whistle through your comb. Do a loony-goony dance’ Cross the kitchen floor, Put something silly in the world That ain’t been there before.” Shel Silverstein
- “Every answer asks a more beautiful question.” e.e.Cummings
- “Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who dream only at night.” Edgar Allan Poe
- “Mistakes are a fact of life. It’s the response to the error that counts.” Nikki Giovanni
- “Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody is watching.” Mark Twain
Are their poets, artists, musical composers, lyricists, sculptures, banjo players you know who inspire your work? What about the famous photographers of the world? The renowned magazines National Geographic and Life have published a collection of photos from on earth and beyond—just for your inspiration pleasure.
We writers can also learn the importance of tenacity. Most know that Beethoven was almost totally deaf by the last decade of his life. Yet he never stopped creating beautiful music. Maya Angelou survived a very difficult life in her early years. And yet, each poet was able to reach inside and find their “muse”—that irresistible presence (or voice) that draws the artist toward their light of creativity.
What you are writing today may just be the next piece of poetic inspiration the world needs. If you notice things that others don’t see or sounds that others don’t hear and find meaning in your dreams, you are a poet/writer. If you are never satisfied with quick explanations but seek the truth, you are a poet/writer. Don’t wait for applause. Many may not “get” what you’re writing, but you must not stop.
Study the greats. Find your own voice! Write and write and write! Then…PUBLISH! ⚓︎
|ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.
Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.
6 thoughts on “Conversations: 4/15/2016”
Thank you for the encouragement. Despite repeated rejections, I still write. Why? Because I discovered it’s the writing that is important for me, not the validation.
I keep coming back to this comment as I think about the upcoming year and my own goals. So beautifully put! – Kelly S.
Thank you Kelly. I’m dealing with the latest rejection. It was a writing residency under the mentorship of an author I admire greatly. I took a workshop with her to learn how to write a winning submission but it simply wasn’t good enough. I always feel so deflated when I’m not successful, I go through such a range of emotions even deciding to throw in the towel. But I’m learning these feelings will eventually pass and I’ll soldier on. I simply can’t explain why I persist. I used to think it was some sort of masochistic flaw in my character. Now I know despite the hurt, the disappointment, I’m actually building character – my own.
Character-building moments are hard for me to accept with grace, Robyn–they’re often so painful, or awkward–but I admire you for your generosity of spirit. I think you persist because you know–you *know*–that your work deserves to be out there in the world. (At least, I’m fully convinced!) You’re a writer, and you’re compelled by the work. I’m sorry about this rejection, and I know pretty words don’t really take out the sting–but maybe you can turn this latest encounter into something? Maybe we should write about rejection here on SPA? – Kelly S.
Thanks Kelly. I appreciate you taking the time to reply at length. As you must know it’s not always easy to share these disappointments with people close to us. They feel for us but can’t necessarily understand. Maybe they get a little sick of the harping too : )
Sometimes it’s easier to be totally honest with anonymous strangers – those who have had similar experiences. Not that I think of you as a stranger in a negative way.
I like the idea of a post on rejection. Surely we can’t be the only ones trying to process the ‘whys’? And also how to deal with them.
p.s. I did say I would write anyway, regardless of being published or accepted for writers’ programs but it is a wound nevertheless. I also said I didn’t need validation, but rejection is something quite different.
I hear you on all points. I’m so glad you’ll be carrying on! – Kelly S.