Friday, February 5, 2016

One Thing I LOVE About Writing

Sometimes when I put my purple Pentel pen to a page in a spiral notebook, something happens that’s greater than the sum of its parts. A chemical reaction. Fusion. Synergy. Okay, call it Magic. Thoughts pour out that I’m not even aware of thinking.

That’s my favorite thing about writing.

Long ago, in a lecture at Vermont College of Fine Arts, Ron Koertge told us about someone who called himself an amanuensis to the air. An amanuensis is someone who takes dictation. I love that concept! I don’t remember who that inspired writer was, but I thought about him when I wrote this poem.

Staring Out the Window 
I’m staring out the window,
but I don’t see a thing.
I’m searching for that fresh perspective
staring seems to bring. 
I hear a quiet whisper
right into my ear.
I feel that welcome tingle.
A new idea’s here! 
It circles round inside me,
from mind to heart and then
it lingers in my fingers, and
it pours out from my pen.

I’m the third Teaching Author to address this February Valentine-themed topic of One Thing I Love About Writing. April started us off with a tribute to those writerly peeps who support us and tell us the truth. I am all in on that subject—in fact, I think I might have chosen it if I had gone first.

Bobbi sang the praises of villains in a post that made me look at bad guys in a different way. I love when that happens!

Don’t forget about our 30-Day Boost Your Productivity Challenge. More details are here. Procrastinators like me can start any time. Please join us!

Today’s Poetry Friday Roundup is at The Miss Rumphius Effect. Enjoy!

JoAnn Early Macken


  1. Great poem, JA! I especially love these lines:
    >>I’m searching for that fresh perspective
    staring seems to bring<<

  2. amanuensis to the air -- <3
    Like Carmela, I appreciated that "staring" got its due! "Tingle" is a great word choice, too.

  3. Amanuensis. Such an interesting word! Hmmmm. You so perfectly capture that moment when a poem is birthed. Thank you!

  4. Thanks, everyone! I had fun thinking about thinking about poetry!

  5. This is such a great theme for blogging. I love your poem, and I think kids would too.

  6. Still making the rounds of PF, JoAnn. I love "lingers in your fingers". It's true, the moment I start writing, something appears! It may not always be good, but it is there. Thanks for sharing your feelings about it.

  7. The alchemy of pen and paper - beautiful!

  8. Let's hear it for Magic, JoAnn!
    You'll see I referenced a few of your poetic images in my next Monday post that deals with Magic too.

  9. "An amanuensis to the air" — love that! Your poem picks up on that idea beautifully, JoAnn.

  10. Thanks for your notes, everyone! I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who listens to the air. Esther, I look forward to your magical words!


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