the Apostle Annetta

I’ve just published a new creative writing course on the Udemy platform: Inspirations for Creative Writing provides a range of practical activities, ideas and prompts for poets and other writers. The course has around 90 minutes of video classes, with a range of activities and examples to download. It’s the fifth course I’ve published on the site and I’m proud that The Essential Poet’s Toolbox for Readers & Writers, which has been online for a couple of years, is a bestseller.

One of the things that the Udemy platform does for instructors is provide automatic captioning for the videos; but although this is a useful service, it isn’t by any means a perfect system.
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butterfly thoughts & mindful musings

I’ve been recording the videos for a new online writing course with the working title “Creative Inspirations”. The course was born from the fact that, at some time in their life, almost every writer looks at a blank screen or a blank page and realises they don’t know how to get started.

For me, this happens quite regularly. Indeed, I could say it happens almost every weekend when it’s time to write a blog post. Sadly, although each class in the course will provide a new activity or insight to trigger ideas, I’m not sure it’s what I need for writing here; I do, however, hope it will be of use to other writers and poets who have hit a bit of a wall.
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a little history

I think ideas are a bit like buses: they all come together in a bunch and you can’t catch them all, and then there isn’t another one along for ages.

Perhaps I could follow that conceit a little farther and talk about double-decker ideas, which have more layers and more space to explore than others, or articulated ideas where one connects directly on to another: the first is essential as that’s where the engine is, but it’s incomplete without the second part.
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things to think about

On the subject of inspiration – and where to find it – there are many variations on the idea that, “If I knew where ideas came from, I’d go and live there.” But I think every writer has their own source, or sources, of inspiration; one of mine is my email spam folder.

I used to get many more unsolicited offers, but now they just get filtered off and I seldom even see them. I checked the other day, though, and it was just as much fun as I remembered.
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transcreation II

Last week, in the post Coast to Coast, I briefly mentioned transcreation. For those unfamiliar with the term, it’s a portmanteau word derived from translation and creation.

Translation is seldom easy and, depending on your definition of the word, translation of poetry may be considered impossible: should you focus on form or content? on sound, on patterns of metre or rhyme, or on meaning?
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coming up empty

They say that one of the best ways to actually ensure you carry out a commitment is to make it public, which is presumably why there is always so much fuss and discussion of New Year’s resolutions: the theory is that if you tell everyone you’re giving up drinking or going on a diet, etc., you’ll lose face if you fail to follow through.

Perhaps it’s true, too, that if you make your aspirations public and tell everyone how high you are aiming, they may be supportive and try and help you achieve your aims.
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the blank page

So many ideas tangled together.

Try and track them as they bifurcate, diverge… Others interrupt, approaching from a different, contradictory perspective. Some are brighter, some less so. Some are more established, carry more weight; others taper into nothing. Impossible to keep track of all of them.

So many thoughts and ideas. So many blank pages.

street sign covered in snow