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Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Guest Blogger, Sheryl L. Nelms
Please join me in welcoming poet Sheryl L. Nelms as the special guest blogger here today at Thoughts in Progress.
Sheryl is the first poet to guest blog here. Other authors may have written poems, but poetry is Sheryl’s genre. Her current release is BLUEBONNETS, BOOTS AND BUFFALO BONES.
Sheryl stops by today to talk about “Poets Are Not Writers.”
“Poets are not writers,” she said. “They just put words on paper.”
That statement came from a romance writer one night at the Trinity Writer’s Workshop. Ever since that woman said that to me it has stuck in my brain. Poets are writers, just like every other kind of writer. And as far as I know every variety of writer puts words on paper or a computer disc or zip drive or hard drive, sooner or later.
Since I became a writer thirty-three years ago I have attended many writers’ conferences, as a student and later as a speaker. The thing that I find with a lot of writers, especially beginning writers is that they tend to pigeonhole themselves at those conferences. Often they tend to only go to sessions in their genre, instead of sampling other perceptions.
In the past thirty-three years I have attended classes at colleges, writer’s conferences, including Bread Loaf and community classes in all varieties of writing. Each one of those classes has helped me grow as a writer and sparkle my writing with a slightly different perspective. I have gone to the East Texas Romance Writers Conference, the Denton, Texas Storytellers conclave, gatherings of Cowboy
Poets, journalism classes at Eastern Oklahoma College and The North Texas Outdoor Writer’s Conference. I have attended sessions on romance writing, how to write wildlife stories, journalism writing and style, fiction writing, non-fiction writing, short story writing, true confessions, rhymed poetry, essays and flash fiction. Every single session has been a boost to my writing. I have learned how to do my research. Yes, I said research. Every poem that I send to an editor has been researched. When I send a poem out my research has been done and if an editor criticizes what I have written, I can back up my work with a bibliography. I have had several editors’ dispute facts in my poems. But each time that happens, I reply with a quote and book title. Each time my poems were published my way.
Another skewed idea is that a poem comes ready to publish. Many writers who claim they are poets believe that their words are a gift, as is. They think that nothing can be changed. When I am doing a poem I revise, revise, and revise. Then I may stand the poem on its head. Give it a different view of the world. A different take. Often I shuffle the lines around just to see what will happen. In this instance, I use the fiction writer’s “What If?”
One of the best class I have ever taken was “Novel Writing” taught by Jack Bickham. I constantly use ideas I heard in that class every day in my writing. My final comeback is that writers are poets and poets are writers. It does not matter what you are writing, a good writer is a good writer. And a bad one is a bad one.
Sheryl, thanks for guest blogging here today. Thanks also for giving us a look at writing from a poet’s point of view.
Hi, I'm Mason Canyon and I love reading and that is why I do reviews. I post them here, as well as several other sites such as Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you are an author who would like for me to review your book or you would like to guest blog here, please contact me at email@example.com These reviews are done for the love of a good book, not for monetary rewards.