Blogging progress and “Writing the Difficult” Workshop

At the “The Writer is Also a Citizen” reading at Japanese American National Museum the other day (see Barbara Jane Reyes’ post for a fantastic write-up of the event), I met Sarita See, author of The Decolonized Eye and Executive Director of Center for Art and Thought.  She referred me to Kimberly Alidio’s Artist-in-Residency blog posts over at the organization’s website. Reading Kimberly’s posts inspire me to document the writing / thinking / percolating / banging-one’s-head-against-the-wall process.

Sometimes, I forget that the blog is a useful way for me to process the work I’m doing, trying to do.

So, after receiving a batch of MS rejections, I am re-rethinking the organization of my Aswang manuscript, chopping extraneous poems and writing seeds of poems.  Again.  And again.  The manuscript is as unruly as the creature herself.

I just finished taking a wonderful and generative online workshop, entitled “Writing the Difficult” via Creativity Squared.  I worked with a talented duo of instructors, poet Jenn Givhan and non-fictioneer and blogger Lauren Fleming (AKA Queerie Bradshaw), who gave me a wealth of feedback and ideas about new poems and the manuscript I’ve been chipping away at for the past couple years.  Lauren gave me some incredible advice in regards to the structure of the book, and Jenn helped me to focus on my voice in a lot of the very emotionally difficult poems I wrote for the workshop.  (Psst, I highly, highly recommend you take their classes or sign up for one-on-one consultations!).

Along with implementing the workshop feedback I received, I’ve been using the following strategies to get back into the flow of manuscripting:

-Writing titles of possible poems.

-Writing poems that have nothing to do with the manuscript.

-Writing with a pen, using my left hand.

-Doing the Daily Grind (writing/revising a poem everyday for a month).

What do you do to stay focused and refreshed?

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