For Poetry Month this April, my friend Keith Meatto, also a writer and teacher, led a 30-day poetry party. Each morning, he posted a prompt on LinkedIn and encouraged writers to spend 10 minutes, or 5, or even just 1, drafting something new.
At times, I’ve fallen prey to a common trap: no time to write. Keith’s prompts and encouragement reminded me that I do in fact have 1 minute a day. It turns out, on most days, I had 10 minutes. I wrote after visiting the Empire State Building with my three sons. I wrote on the bathroom floor when my eldest had a terrible reaction to a medication. I wrote after waking up from anesthesia. And I always posted a couple lines—a communal and vulnerable act.
I’m reminded of an article my friend Katie Cunningham and I published many years ago about fostering creativity in the writing classroom. What Keith did for us is what great writing teachers do: (a) model candor and risk taking; (b) provide boundaries in the form of prompts or “rules” and (c) establish a judgement-free space to exchange ideas.
I’m surprised that of my 30 very rough drafts, 15 of them show promise. May is for revision!