When Inspiration Strikes: New Year, New Poetry Project

by - 4:07 PM


I guess you could say I've been working on my next project since the moment my most recent work, A One-Star Night: The Unorthodox Poetry of Sonja Ciotti, was published. Writers never really take a break from their creative pursuits, am I right? Even if they say they're going to, it just means they do something else to pass the time while they think about writing. And the something else I've been doing while waiting for the next poetry inspiration to hit is...writing. Haha, it's true! I've had the enormous pleasure of working as a script writer for our video production agency BOLDRUSH and I've created a range of commercial scripts from toilet products to hospital urine output measurement software. That doesn't sound like a range at all even though I randomly chose those two particular projects; it sounds like I write a lot about bodily functions. Which I do. And I like it. :)

How I Received My Writing Inspiration

Somewhere around the end of last year/beginning of this one the overwhelming desire hit me to do it again: release a new anthology of my original poetry. I remember sitting down to read through my A One-Star Night collection, for kicks and grins. Honestly, I was half nervous I would be horrified at the work I created 4 years ago and half interested in reminding myself what I'd even written about. But, actually, I loved reading through my previous work! I was reminded of what it felt like writing the poems for that book. Somehow, the inspiration for all 50+ poems that are featured in that book came to me in a single sitting. From there, I spent a few months methodically going down the list of topics I felt inspired to write about, and I wrote. Most of it was comprised of my lighthearted observations of the world. Just like that. In perfect order until the very last one was left. That last poem is the only one in the book that was born out of an enormous loss I'd just suffered in my life. Pushing through and publishing the book to fulfill pre-orders was actually something that got me through that soul-wrenching time.

This time around, though, inspiration hasn't struck in the form of a perfect list of topics waiting to be written about. Rather, over the last 3 and a half years since A One-Star Night was released, I've continued casually writing poetry. One poem written on the cliche napkin from a New England restaurant. Several typed on my iPad. And several more typed in my notes on my Samsung phone that unfortunately didn't make it through a 28 inch fall from my pocket to the concrete floor of IKEA. I thought I'd lost all those poems for good, actually. Thank Heaven my husband has a Samsung phone, though, so through some login trickery, I was able to restore all of those poems. (If you need help restoring any lost Samsung notes, message me. I've got it down to a science now.) Anyway, as you can see, this time around is much more scattered of a process. And if any of you know me, you know "scattered" is not a word I'm comfortable with. As I've spent the past couple of weeks gathering some of my scattered poetry from here and there, I've felt a little bit like a child who recklessly blew a bunch of wispy dandelion seeds into the breeze and is now running around an enormous, wide open field, trying to collect them all. I kind of really like that imagery, so I think I'm going to "run" with it. What I'm trying to say is, don't be surprised if dandelions in some form or other end up either in the title or the visual presentation of the book.

How I Get My Work Out There

Because I am just as interested in the design and layout of my literature presentations (having been a graphic designer in a not-too-distant previous life) and because I enjoy making more than 30% in royalties and furthermore, also, because I am willing to put the legwork in myself to get the word out via social media, self-publishing is my publishing method of choice. I wish everyone knew how rewarding it is to self-publish. If you're interested in self-publishing, make sure to follow this blog! I'm going to take you along on my journey from concept to published book so you can see how it's done to make your own writing passion into a published reality. Full disclosure: it is a lot more work in some ways than going through a traditional publisher. But, if I can do it, you can do it.

In between my keeping you up to date with my latest poetry project, I'm also going to share some stories about writing for clients. Luckily, the clients we've had the privilege to work with in our video production agency have been amazing. No horror stories here! Yet, each client has his or her own particular tastes, opinions, and desires. Learning to write from the client's voice, describing a product that is often nuanced and difficult to describe, all while making the minute-long presentation lighthearted and/or informational is a lot to balance! Yet, this kind of writing has been so incredibly rewarding because as I got it right, I got the chance not only to make something the client loves, but to stretch myself as a writer in a way I otherwise wouldn't have if I were only writing for myself. I've loved that. So, if you're interested in what it takes to become a successful client-facing writer as well, you've also come to the right place.

Next Time...

I'm going to tell you a little about one of the most inspiring times I've ever had writing poetry and how I think every writer deserves a little self-imposed writer's retreat! Come back soon!

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