Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron

At the suggestion of artist Melinda Esparza, who was a student in one of the poetry classes I taught at UofA when I was a grad student and with whom I recently connected, I started reading The Artist's Way. I think since I was 16, different wonderful people in my life have suggested it to me over the years. However, I was always so driven to write that I saw no need for it. Over the past few years, though, I've put less and less of a priority on writing, making it more and more difficult to write poetry that satisfies me.

I sat down and read the introductory pages and most of the Week 1 section just this weekend, and I can't believe how much it's already helped me to be more emotionally and creatively open. I've been doing the morning pages, but the morning pages seem to just be a gateway to other writing that I inevitable actually want to do during the day and evening. I haven't actually wanted to write for a while, it seems. I've felt obligated to write, but I haven't felt an actual desire to do it for a long time.

The Artist's Way seems to be helping me work through certain misconceptions I've created in my head about writing and what writing means to me. It's helping me to put all that baggage down and just write.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Songs of a Honeybee, by Akira Togawa

It's finally summer, so I've had some time to read things besides student papers again. I'm about 2/3 through my great uncle's book, Songs of a Honeybee, with final translations by my mom's cousin, Glenn Togawa. I'm just relishing every moment of the book, as I get to learn about my great uncle and more about my family history. He tends to write about everyday worries, personal insecurities, different ways of trying to be a better person and lead a good life. I feel like a lot of my poems focus on large events in my life, and I often forget that the most wonderful poem could just as easily come from something that I experience every day.