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Posts tagged ‘white hot center’

How your audience can feed your writing soul

This weekend, my writer’s soul was nourished and fed. I gave a poetry reading at our local artsy coffee house, the Poulsbohemian, with two other poets—author and teacher Bob McAllister and Bill Mawhinney who runs the Northwind Reading Series in Port Townsend.

I was honored to read with these two prolific and treasured poets and they’re part of the reason I had such a great experience this weekend. But there was another reason the night stood out for me as the best reading I’ve ever given—the audience.

When I read, I like to take turns reading from my pages and glancing around the room at the faces in the crowd. My intent is to tune into their energy and take them for a ride with me. My goal is to entertain and move my audience.

Last night, I have to admit I was a bit tired when I arrived. But as soon as I started reading, I could literally feel the audience’s intent—they leaned forward, their eyes were open, they followed my words and wanted more. It felt as if they had all dialed into the same static-free channel at the same time. I’ve given readings before but this was the first time I felt the audience was really hungry. Read more

Write to your white hot center

In my writing group last night, somebody talked about how as writers we often write around what we really want to say.

Think of your idea, story, or poem as a bright yellow sunflower or maybe a snow-white lily. Around this flower flits a multi-colored butterfly. He dances, darts, and flutters around the flower until he finally hones in and lands.

Writing can be like that. Sometimes, it takes me a while to warm up to what I want to say and that’s okay. Writing is a process of discovery. The key is in the editing after the initial dance of pen and paper. In a poem, I may cut the first stanza or even first half of the poem. In my memoir, the current chapter one is not the chapter one I first wrote. Read more