Friday, February 25, 2011

Writing: Make Love to Your Words

That's me, about to make love to my words on the pier. :)

In the movie “Drumline”, Nick Cannon emphasizes to his classmate that in order to beat his competition, he must make love to his drum. I remember rolling off the couch at the visual image of skinny and bow legged Mr. Cannon pretend-gyrating against the huge percussion instrument. Yet, during an amazing three hour conversation with my younger counterparts, Kevin and Raven, I confessed doing the same thing when writing. Yes, I make LOVE to my words.

Kevin, a phenomenal and budding poet, frequently tags me to small pieces with metaphorical roar. Usually his work doesn’t surpass a minute, in spoken word time, and is condensed with literary elements galore. He said, “I just can’t get to that three minute point.” After being blown away by similes that force toothy smiles, while reading Kevin's work, I usually yearn for more of a story/background.

I advised Kevin to make love to his words. (Of course I did my sudden little gyrating movement like Nick.) After he and Raven looked at me like I’d lost my mind, I explained it to them a little something like this:

People have seen me take down notes, jot a memory, or pen a hope-I-don’t-forget-this line, but no one has ever really seen me WRITE. When I’m in almost complete silence, besides the swishing of a latte and stroke of an RSVP, I literally find myself in an unbreakable trance. A trance: In which I am listening intently to the plight of a worn confidant (mind and brain) and giving them soothing words of guidance (pen and paper). Writing should be treated like dialogue. It should never be a task or chore. Putting your pen to paper should feel as though you’re talking to a long lost friend.

Raven sighed, “I feel as though when I try to write poetry, I’m crafting something that I don’t really do. I’m not a poet.”

Raven is a southern belle. She is a philosophical and quirky woman on the verge of starting her own blog and becoming one with her creative side.

If you’re writing poetry Ravey, as I like to call her, you’re a poet. Your unwritten words are writhing in some corner, biting its nails, and calling you out of your name, because you haven’t called in a while. “No hello, no “how are you?” well forget her!” And she will do just that….forget you.

When I’m writing, I have this habit of pretending as though the words I am placing on my page are coming from the lips of a smooth-talking-slick-walking brother. Usually these dudes get the bird or my back. But if one were to ever catch my attention, he’d have to say the most amazing line drenched in double entendre and de ja vu. This is how I have to imagine my words, so I can be secure that my readers will swoon as I would’ve for a brother with the same diatribe. This imaginary man and I have a sort of “Mind Sex”, Dead Prez Style, until the piece I’m writing is over.

I’m never disappointed. It’s always good. No faking.

CLEARLY, this technique won’t work for everyone. You’ve got to find your own groove and motivation. Just make sure that when you’re done, you feel light and relaxed. Writing isn’t supposed to frustrate or submerge you into conundrum. You’re supposed to feel….well….how you feel after you’ve made love. *Does gyration dance.*



PS- I gave Kevin a challenge that I felt would help him with his issue. It might just benefit you too. Write a letter to an ex/current loved one. Treat it like a conversation about your emotions for them. Don't edit as you go along. LET IT ALL OUT. Step away from your work and put it away until the next morning. Now, edit. & repeat. I'm 300% sure you'll have more than what you need for a three minute piece. ;) If not, you've never known love.


NubianEmpress said...

A good way to think about it! Maybe if we gave our creative work more foreplay, it would be more responsive. Thanks for the insight :)

magdaayuk said...

Awesome post. I love your idea of writing as if you're talking to a friend!

T. ODIS said...

Im going to do this excercise and post it on my blog. Tag you when i'm done.