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Prompt #125 Streams of consciousness

September 27, 2012


Streams of consciousness

We Write Poems:
This week join us up (or down) the river without a paddle!  We invite you to write a “stream of consciousness” poem.  Simply said, a poem that follows the natural contours of your thoughts engaged without constraint.  This is an elementary skill for any writer, including poets.  Here, we care as much (or more) about the “process” than the result.

Why?  This is about learning to trust yourself.  This is about learning to listen.  This is about learning to write without your internal “editor” (granted that we are never all free of that editor, not fooling ourselves, but we can allow it to sit in the backseat for a while!).  This is also about granting power and expression to our own real personal language (including thoughts, feelings, images).

How?  This is not a cookbook recipe, but rather some suggestions that may more enable you in this writing process.

1) Choose a general topic, and allow it to simmer a while in your thoughts (no need to rush, maybe a day or two or three, no rules this way).  Understand this is only your starting point, and you don’t know now where it will evolve as you write.
2) Write by hand with pen and paper if at all possible (rather than initially using a keyboard and computer; the experience is different).  We are beings expressed in the physical, so then should be the actual writing process be more intimately physical.  (Neatness does not count!)  Typing comes later, when you are mostly done.
3) Find a time and place to write without distraction as much as possible.
4) Don’t worry grammar or structure – just write.  Although neither fret if and when you do “feel” a genuine comma or period or new block of text.  The simple test is – was there a punctuation in your actual real thought?
5) Allow your pen, your writing to flow.  So much as possible, when you start writing, keep writing without serious pause.  When we pause or stop, that’s when our “editor” usually takes time to “think about thinking”, and this week we’d rather not.  Allow yourself to even doodle if that comes up for you.
6) Allow your thoughts to drift, otherwise known as to freely “associate”.  You are the river, but you’re not controlling it.  This is about willing natural association – there is no “wrong” path in this process.  This is like dreaming, except you’re awake and observant.
7) Edit later!  Not while you’re in the writing process.  Even then be conservative about what and how you edit yourself.  (That really is who you are editing, and we invite you to allow you to be you.)  But yes, some simple editing, afterward, that is also alright to do, and maybe you’ll find yourself (with practice) getting back into your free-writing-self, finding new associations to explore.

That’s it.  Now go let your pen play with words!

Come back to leave a link to your poem next Wednesday when you see our second follow-up post called, It’s Post Your Poems Day!

If you don’t have a blog, then please, post your poem in the comment itself. *** You are invited to respond to the prompt given here, but if you have something else you’re just itching to share, please feel welcome in doing that. Our first desire here is to encourage you to write and learn and share. *** When leaving comments to other’s poems, please be appreciative and encouraging. We are not a poem “critique” site (unless someone specifically asks for that). Be kind with each other (and yourself!). *** Please consider including a link with your blog poem back to the prompt response here at We Write Poems so that others may see and join our community. More participants do make better soup!

  1. moondustwriter permalink
    September 27, 2012 6:11 am

    glad to find your blog
    an apropos prompt as this poem has been wanting to be written
    I need your love

    • October 2, 2012 11:01 am

      Thanks and welcome. Please repost your link to our upcoming Wednesday link posting so that folks will see.

  2. September 28, 2012 3:30 am

    I am very glad that this blog give 1 week for people to prepare poems. Very nice. Other sites only give a day or so — who can really write well, that fast? (well, I guess those who don’t work — lucky folks)

    But I do like the “Mister Linky” app on most other prompt sites — have you ever thought about adding that here?

    I am working on this assignment in my head and jotting on paper (which is how I usually start). Thanks for the idea.

    • October 2, 2012 11:04 am

      Yes, that’s how we feel about allowing time and attention to write what we write. It’s not a race.

      Have seen but don’t recall where, the Mr. Linky thing. Can you offer a specific link or two and I’ll go look.

      Thank you Sabio.

      • October 3, 2012 12:06 am

        Try here You need to register to get started. But Please, don’t install Catchpa – the bane of bloggerdom.

        • October 3, 2012 1:11 am

          Thanx vivinfrance — I just got here and see you answered Neil’s question. Also, Neil, my offer to help fix up the appearance of your blog still stands.

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