Suggestion #1

Here’s a suggestion (or two): CHAPBOOK/ THEMED WRITING

If you are going to go through all the trouble of writing every day, you might consider your output as work toward a future chapbook. They are normally less than thirty pages, and that includes all the this-and-that at the beginning, so a month’s worth of poem-a-day will give you just enough material to play with. Even if you do nothing more than printing up a copy for yourself, your mom, or your best friend, it is fun (and pretty darn satisfying).

Of course, your collection has one theme from the get-go: you. That may be all you want. You can also look over your poems after the fact and discover that–wow–you had an underlying theme all along. Or you can go into the month with the intention of producing a coherent, unified body of work. (Like that’s going to happen, right?)

I’ve got a cheat.

Invisible themes.

This is actually a pretty cool bit of stage magic. At the beginning of your writing session, print your theme (“Blue Apples”, or “Growing Up In ________”, or “Good, Grief: the World is Amazing”, whatever) across the top of your paper, two or three times. [computer writers: no copy/paste] And any time you feel blank, repeat that theme. It’s not going to stay in the poem (unless it starts to look and sound very, very good), but it will color the way you think, and write. Subtle, or all caps, you will have a theme.

You might want to begin with half a dozen possibilities and in the first week, cull out the ones that looked good but didn’t work.

Just a suggestion.



4 thoughts on “Suggestion #1

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  1. I just thought of my theme. My NovPAD chapbook theme was a total fluke because it appeared by magic while I was reading through the poems. I think it was sheer dumb luck that it hit Robert’s top 15 choices. But now I have a better feel for how to do it, so I’m more hopeful.

    Looking forward to following along with you in April.


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