Retirement days are full of dreams and time to hone my writing skills. I consistently work on a poem and an article each day. Before I retired, a co-worker told me my writing was so bad, the only way it could go was up. I can see improvement visiting me now, and I’m glad, it is all I want to do.
“Carol, phone.” My husband yelled several days before our Christmas trip.
“I would like to take some writing lessons from you. I have six poems to send you to correct for me. I need your email address so I can send them to you.”
“Where did you get my name and what is yours?”
“My cousin. She was one of your husband’s teachers at Zia.”
I explained we were packing and would be gone for three weeks, and I would call her when we returned.
I was stunned. Whom was I to give anyone writing lessons? I put her name and email address on my computer to tackle this challenge after Christmas. I have to admit there was a slice of panic when I thought about this endeavor. I could share the knowledge where I send my work with her, but teach her to write, I’m still learning myself.
When we got home, I found her note and wondered at first, what it was. Then I remembered the phone call prior to our trip. I had several ideas to share with her. I wrote a format and decided to give her a call after dinner.
The first thing I’ll tell her is: you must start a journal. Write in it every day. Jot down notes about what pops into your mind about writing. Write about people’s mannerisms. Write people’s reactions to jokes. Write how people handle a crisis. Write about life as you know it include what you see and hear.
Then, I’ll stress the need to write every day. Pick a time where there will be few interruptions. Write at least thirty-minutes each day. Write the same time in the same chair and in the same room. If possible, leave your material out so you can write and not spend time putting things up when you are through and getting them back out when you return to write.
Start working crossword puzzles. This will help build your vocabulary. Look up all new words you don’t know or understand.
Make a place in your journal for new words and definitions. Look over them from time to time and write sentences using them. Learn to pronounce each new word.
Read poetry. Read more poetry.
Join the NMSPS chapter and you’ll become a national member as well. Find a critique group, if possible. Enter contests or send your work for publishing. As you improve, you’ll want to get your feet wet but don’t fall in love with your poetry. Write with the desire to write better.
My panic turned to excitement. Together, we can learn and share. I’ll give her a call after dinner.
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