Recently I finished participating in a memoir group. For each of five weeks we wrote on an assigned topic such as family, work, etc. The final assignment was to write about values, spirituality, or religion. I won’t bore you with my internal meanderings on this topic, but–you knew this was coming–that assignment led me to think about my beliefs as a writer. So, here’s what I think. Feel free to disagree.
I believe in morning pages 365 days a year as finger exercises, messy first drafts and free writing. I believe in the benefits of a dedicated process that encourages regular writing and in fresh, energetic language, honest sentences and sensory images. I believe in reading, although I don’t believe everything I read. I believe in ink on paper and in the wonder of my Mac Mini, in conversation among writers, face to face, in revision and honest, gentle critique, in ebooks and printed pages and independent publishing.
I believe that poets are writers, no matter what the title of that famous magazine says. I believe that writing makes me happy, neatness counts, gratitude should show, praying might work when I’m stuck but that persistence works better. I believe that I’m sensitive to criticism, that writers need a sense of humor and that my poems often need more energy. I believe I’ve said enough on this subject–for now. Oh, one more, I believe in sobriety. Your turn.