Recently, I overcame a bout of writer’s block by challenging myself. Since April is Poetry Month, I entered a poetry contest. Entering that contest while I was doubting my fiction-writing skills wasn’t an easy choice. I had to overcome my Internal Critic, who was viciously echoing the voice of my high school English teacher.
When I was in 10th grade, Mr. Snooty went out of his way to inform me that my best attempts at poetry were “sophomoric.” At that time, I didn't have the alligator hide that writers must develop to suffer through public commentary. I let Mr. Snooty's criticism dampen my joy of rhyming. Sadly, I refused to write poetry for the next 30 years.
When at long last I got brave and ignored the voice of my Inner Critic, I felt a charge of adrenaline that tickled my sleepy Muse. I had fun forcing my imagination to string words together in a new way. I moved past my writer’s block!
In honor of Poetry Month, I'm sharing my rhyming efforts to inspire other novel writers. But first, here are the rules that I had to follow for the contest:
1) Write on the topic of “Spring.”
2) Write no more than 200 words.
3) Use the phrase, “April Showers.”
4) Use the phrase, “April Fools.”
Here’s the poem that resulted when I flexed my writing muscles:
By Adrienne deWolfe
Wise are they, the April Fools,
With outlooks bright as flowers.
Carefree hearts that break the rules
Are really super powers!
Nature’s calling; can you hear it?
Venture out and play!
Park your worry; air your spirit.
Celebrate the day.
Stomp a puddle; watch the storm fly;
Wander through the wood.
Make a mem’ry; feel the Earth sigh;
Things that do you good.
Spring is change: curse not the rain!
Rejoice when April showers.
As blossoms burst along the lane,
Breathe in God’s finest hours.
Although I didn't win the contest, I won in other ways: I got a new tool for my "Writers Block Toolkit," and my newly awakened Muse supplied an awesome ending for Book 2 of my new Historical Romantic Suspense series. Whoop!
Still looking for tips to help you overcome procrastination and writer’s block? Check out this course, 15 Ways to Put the Magic Back in Writing on our sister website, Write Romance Novels That Sell.