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Discover your art as you go along

Write something truly awful to find the good stuff. That’s what poet Brendan Constantine promotes in his post “Idle Hands are the Poet’s Playground: Brendan Constantine on Taking a Chance.”

“Furthermore, it will always be true that our poorest work lies ahead of us. We’re going to write something truly awful in the future. We have to. Why do we have to? It’s often the only way to uncover the good writing. Like going through a kitchen drawer, sometimes we have to take out things we don’t need in order to get at the things we do.”

Read the full post.

Inspired to write? Visit Poets & Writers Writing Prompts page to find a launching point for your next project, whether it’s poetry, fiction, or creative non-fiction. Poets & Writers offers a weekly writing prompt — poetry on Tuesdays, fiction on Wednesdays, and creative nonfiction on Thursdays — to spur writers to engage in new work. It also presents a list of books on writing and advice and insight from authors profiled in Poets & Writers Magazine.

Here’s the fiction prompt from Oct. 3: In the profile “Emma Straub’s Life in Letters” (Poets & Writers Magazine, September/October 2012), author Emma Straub reveals that the genesis for her novel Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures was an obituary she read about a woman named Jennifer Jones. After reading the obituary, she wrote a fictionalized account of her life. Follow Straub’s example: Read the obituary section of a newspaper, and write a story with a main character loosely based on what you find.

Poets & Writers, Inc., is the primary source of information, support, and guidance for creative writers. Founded in 1970, it is the nation’s largest nonprofit literary organization serving poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. Their national office is located in New York City. Their California branch office is based in Los Angeles. Learn how you can donate to Poets & Writers and receive a subscription to Poets & Writers Magazine.

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