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Write lyrically by reading poetry

Bathe yourself in language to write more lyrically. Poetry can be your bubble bath for a productive writing session. I learned this tip from Cristina Garcia, author of Dreaming in Cuban and National Book Award finalist The Lady Matador’s Hotel. Cristina said that every day before she writes she has a ritual in which she spends 20 minutes to two hours reading poetry. She doesn’t just read it for the sake of the words but as “machinery for imagery.” It’s easy to feel self conscious as we begin to write, she says. Reading poetry can help shake this self consciousness. Some phrase or bit of imagery will dislodge whatever logjam we set up.

In my next post, I’ll share with you the exercises from Cristina’s workshop. In the meantime, dig out a book of poetry and enjoy a refreshing dip.

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