Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
For Your Journal: Writing Prompt

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Do you keep a journal - or wish you could get one started? Literary Mama wants to help.

Three times a month, I'll post a writing prompt. Open a notebook and write for 10 minutes. Don't worry about grammar or punctuation - just write. Then let the writing simmer and your mind wander for awhile.

And who knows? Maybe you'll discover a character for your next short story or a theme for a narrative essay. Or maybe you'll use the idea to create a special holiday card or photo album for someone in your family. However you decide to use your journal entry, I know you'll enjoy re-reading it months--and years--down the road.
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When my son turned 14, I wrote a poem on his birthday card. He laughed, but I didn't think I had written a funny poem. Needless to say, poetry is at the far boundary of my writing comfort zone.

So, for this journaling prompt, I asked my poet friends for suggestions. The advice they shared is pretty much the same advice I've heard for writing in any other genre: "Write every day, without hope, without despair. And read, read, read."

Other suggestions:

"Write what feels like a poem. Go back to it a week later and cut the extra words. Read it aloud to see if the line breaks work. Leave it alone for another week. Go back and cut the extra words. Read it aloud to see if the line breaks work."

"Keep a book of poetry by your bedside, in the bathroom, wherever. Read one or two poems at a time. Think about them."

"Make every word work hard. Use active, colorful verbs."

Journal Entry: Go to the library and browse the poetry section, or read the poetry published at Literary Mama. Find a poem that makes you say "That's it!" and use it as a template to write one of your own.


Karna ConverseĀ is a freelance writer who’s written everything from technical documentation and price proposals to newsletter articles, devotionals, personal profiles and essays. Her essays have been published in a variety of regional and national publications, including The Christian Science Monitor, Notre Dame Magazine, the Cup of Comfort and Chicken Soup anthologies, Our Iowa, and on Iowa Public Radio. She’s serving as Literary Mama‘s Editor-in-Chief from her home in Storm Lake, Iowa. She and her husband are parents to three young adults.

 


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I write to a lyric in a song when I am stuck, or trapped in my own mind. I wrote my a story, come novel, from a line from the song, 'Always on My Mind' (the Willie Nelson/Bon Jovi version). I've always assumed writer's have their own mojo to kick start the creative juices.
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