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  • First of all I want to say awesome blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
    I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your head
    before writing. I have had difficulty clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out.
    I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to
    15 minutes are generally wasted just trying to figure out
    how to begin. Any recommendations or hints?
    Thanks!

    • Thanks so much for taking time to visit my website; and even more for taking time to leave a comment.

      Regarding the writing process and clearing my head I have (at least) two very different modes of writing.

      When I am writing poetry, I usually don’t want a clear head when I begin. It is the writing which does the clearing. I will be posting a review of Matthew Zapruder’s Why Poetry in the next few days and I’ve taken a little quote from his book which relates to what I’m saying: “A poem presents itself as a kind of real-time movement of thinking, down the page, which the reader can enter, and follow.  This can feel like something between watching a movie and listening to a someone think out loud.” (pg.58) My process is a mirror of what Zapruder describes as the reading process. By extension, it is in the editing and re-writing of poetry where I refine thoughts and achieve clarity, for myself if not for others. Let’s say I’m running barefoot for the joy of it.

      My second process is far more systemic. When I start with something in particular to say in an essay or letter. At those times, I am almost always starting with resource material to work from; the resources take the form of quotes, specific points I want to make (and have jotted in a notebook) or at least some key words. Never show up to the track without your running shoes. Never show up at the keyboard without your resources.

      I’d love to hear your thoughts! Eric

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