The Emulation Game

By Lianna Lazaros

In a creative writing workshop, we are encouraged to imitate other writers. Take this traditional poetic form and try it yourself. Read this author and draw inspiration from their use of syntax. The first time I found myself imitating another poet’s style was last year in Poetry Writing I. I spent months trying to balance writing about a past love while acknowledging its toxic aspects. I didn’t know where to start until I read Crush by Richard Siken. His work helped me realize that the poem’s sentence structure is as important as its content. There’s a phrase of his from “The Torn-Up Road” that I think about often: “his hands around the neck of the beer.” While reading it, I always subconsciously hold my breath until I get to the last two words. You think danger is approaching, and you’re relieved when it isn’t.

Before attempting to replicate what Siken did, I thought, what is he accomplishing with diction? What about the ordering of his images? Why is he meticulous with enjambment? I needed to understand why he made those choices before I imitated them.

For imitation to turn into emulation, you need to comprehend why the author’s decisions benefit the piece. With Siken, I noticed enjambment and word choice created tension between the speaker and their significant other, which reflects their relationship. It adds an extra layer of complexity without explicitly stating how the speaker feels. I mimicked these techniques, which improved my writing. They helped me write about an imbalanced relationship and I used them in poems that have a similar, somber tone, as well.

First drafts of mine typically reveal the imitation stage. If I’m lucky to workshop my poem, I can use feedback to enhance my work. If not, I take a step back and think: where am I losing my reader? Where does the tone shift to a voice that isn’t mine, and is that wrong for the poem? Sometimes, striving to duplicate what another poet did disrupts my writing process and makes me lose track of my original vision. 

Imitation shouldn’t undermine your creative skills. During periods of writer’s block, I read. When I expose myself to contemporary poets who write in various styles, I learn. If I see a technique that can improve my writing, I give it a try. Sometimes it doesn’t work out for me, and that’s okay. Good writing is supposed to elicit responses from readers. The desire to imitate something that influenced us is natural. Allow your voice to mesh with the one that inspired you; let it take your poem somewhere unexpected.

Your First Draft is Not Awful: Writers on Process

By Claire Torregiano

Your first draft is not terrible. It is an infant. You do not call an infant terrible because they are a product of a world that is new to them. You nurture and cultivate them so that they become smart, strong, and capable. I interviewed four writers about their experiences with first drafts. I had just finished the first draft of a work-in-progress when I reached out to four of my former writing teachers to ask for advice on how to move forward. It was after I established a connection with them that I read their published work. Their insights continue to cultivate my journey as a reader and writer. After speaking with them, I thought it would be interesting and helpful for others to hear what they had to say. 

The first interview in this series is with Chandler Klang Smith, author of the novel, The Sky is Yours. We discuss the function of a first draft, and the editing process to the final. The Sky is Yours takes readers through an arranged marriage gone awry in a dystopia sieged by dragons. Readers follow three young people through the dilapidated city of Empire Island, as they are forced to leave behind everything they’ve ever known and venture into what they must make their own brave new world.  

How do you think the first draft serves you as a writer?

CKS: It’s funny because I always have a really hard time getting through the first draft that I find that once I have, I have such a clearer roadmap for what I need to do going forward. Like, just having a sense of the destination for everything is just enormously important. Basically, I think that as soon as I’ve gotten to the end I can go back to the beginning and think “How do I lay the groundwork for what’s coming? How do I use foreshadowing? How do I bring up thematic stuff that’s going to be important later in ways that feel incidental early on? And I think that I tend to be someone who, as I go through the first draft, I rewrite parts a lot but then results can feel very patchwork-y and like they don’t quite fit together, but the revisions I do after I have an ending are much more substantial and interesting. I don’t get as nitpicky; I really see the big picture after I have the first draft.

How much changed from the first draft to the final product? What do you think was the biggest change?

CKS: There are a few different things that changed. Thinking of the first draft as the first time I got all the way to the end, one of big changes that occurred was the end. I ended up going back and realizing that I needed to do more to build up to the ending for a certain character. I emphasized the character more in general and expanded several scenes with her at in the middle of the book. Most of the changes occurred with me being able to see how the parts related to the whole after the first draft was finished. Cause and effect. When you get to the effect, you have to have the causes rise to the level of how important they are in the book. There are sometimes things you think will be really important when you’re writing, so you spend more time on them, and then you end up cutting them away. And getting those causal relationships working is so important.

Were there any sacrifices that you had to make from the first draft that were difficult for you to make?

CKS: It’s interesting because people talk a lot about the kill your darlings thing and in my own work, there are definitely times that I cut that I spent a lot of time on, and I almost never cut anything where I felt like “Oh I really miss that being in the book.” It’s almost always a relief like I’ve shed this dead weight that I felt like it wasn’t really doing what I wanted it to. In my personal experience so far, that’s been the case. One of the main things that my editor did was help me with pacing. We would make little cuts in scenes here and there, and then it was stronger.

Do you have any advice for students who are working on a big chunk of fiction and are trying to finish a first draft or those who’ve just finished one? 

CKS: I think that trying to finish the thing—give yourself permission to make mistakes. If you have that sinking feeling of “I’m moving forward, but I’m getting less and less interested in what I’m doing and I think the reader will too” stop and go back to the last part you were excited about and think about “Where do I feel like I went wrong?” Other than that situation, give yourself the permission to go through and have things be really rough and have there be blank spots. Once you have a draft and you’re working toward a deadline, I think it’s important to do the triage thing. Think about what the big questions are here that I haven’t answered and now that I have this whole draft, those questions are better to have for me. I had a teacher in college who said the ending of a story should be a leap back into the story. I think that’s the reader’s experience as much as the writers experience because it gives you the opportunity to leap back in. Don’t try to fix every little thing, try to fix the major stuff. Think of it as like, when you’re going to submit it to your advisor or your committee, you want them to see the outline of what you’re doing even if it’s really fuzzy, rather than there being certain parts that are fully developed and other parts where they don’t even know what is supposed to be happening. You’re going to get less helpful feedback that way.

Beyond and Between “Cute”: Review of the Film, Mignonnes

By Grace Mahony

Maïmouna Doucouré’s movie, Mignonnes (translated into English as Cuties) addresses how vulnerable young girls are on social media. The protagonist is Amy, an 11-year-old Senegalese-Muslim immigrant girl in Paris, trying to find her path between her Muslim family’s traditional values of femininity and the hypersexualized culture of contemporary society. Amy acts like a typical middle-schooler. She wants to fit in with the cool girls at school and joins their twerking dance team, using their bodies to gain popularity and prove that they’re “not little girls.” Meanwhile, at home, Amy grapples with a tense family situation when her father decides to take a second wife.

The inspiration for the film came when Maïmouna Doucouré saw a dance troupe of 11-year-old girls twerking on stage, while their parents watched them, dressed in traditional outfits. Doucouré then spent the next year and a half doing research, talking to preteen girls about their stories of growing up and their ideas of femininity in today’s social media-heavy society. In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Maïmouna Doucouré writes, “We, as adults, have not given children the tools to grow up healthy in our society. I wanted to open people’s eyes to what’s truly happening… forcing them to confront images of young girls made up, dressed up, and dancing suggestively… These scenes can be hard to watch but are no less true as a result…”

The film was praised at Sundance and in France. However, when Netflix picked up the movie and released its first poster, people were outraged both at Netflix and the film. They believed they were promoting pedophilia with the scenes of twerking girls, which cover about nine minutes of the film’s total runtime.

In fact, Mignonnes is full of nuance. The film asks: do these girls really know what they’re doing? Why are their only idols these hypersexualized women like Kim Kardashian and not other powerful women who don’t rely on their bodies for power? The film reinforces this social ill: that these girls believe that the only way to get power is to use their bodies as an asset.

Kim, the host of the YouTube channel, For Harriet, defends the film by asserting that it’s a narrative of the Black girl experience. The conversation about Mignonnes should be about the dangers of social media and exposing inappropriate media to minors. Parents should talk to their children, especially their daughters, about healthy ways of expression. There should be bigger conversations about real-life child beauty pageants and reality shows who profit from the provocative imagery of young girls. Let this be a lesson for Netflix and other streaming platforms as well when adding new movies, especially international ones: there is more beneath the surface than the flashiest thing on the screen. (Maybe they can talk to the director before changing the poster.)

Finding Literature Community During Isolation

By Olivia Adams

Having a community of readers is incredibly important, despite the solitary nature of the act. Spending my fifth-grade year at the library is how I got my first job! I experienced my first open mic event at the last independent bookstore in Niagara Falls. But what do you do when the world suddenly becomes inaccessible? Here are five ways I’ve found to be helpful in creating community during such isolating times.

1: Pen Pal Book Exchange

One of my favorite things in the world is receiving mail. Imagine getting a package with a random book in your favorite genre, well-worn and loved by its previous owner? Or exchanging books by the same author with someone across the globe? A snail-mail book exchange might be the perfect way for readers to connect in a physical way with others. One community that is currently very active is the subreddit r/bookexchange, where you can request anything from specific titles to the most niche of categories. Worried about someone having your address? If you have the means, getting a P.O. box is an inexpensive way to protect your privacy.

2: Virtual Book Club

Book clubs are one of the most popular forums for conversation between booklovers. However, with libraries and other locations having limited capacity, one can turn to the internet and find a plethora of book clubs that can connect them with a variety of readers they may have never known. Quarantine Book Club is a site that hosts virtual meetings with popular authors. Anyone can join in and have discussions on topics from goat farms to children’s bibles and everything in between! Silent Book Club hosts a network of book clubs that meet throughout the United States. Many of these groups have switched to online, making them more accessible to anyone with internet. In the spirit of staying local, head to the Purchase College Library Instagram to learn how to participate in the book club run by their staff.

3: Book Twitter

Twitter is good for a lot of things, and bad for nearly as much. However, the commentary community there is absolutely unparalleled. Looking for a more lighthearted take on your favorite horror novel? Or a hot take that doesn’t take three pages to get to the point? Or recommendations and essays linked in your everyday newsfeed? Book twitter has it all! Follow @BookRiot for essays from their website and book deals you might not find on your own. Following authors such as @thatlauraruby can help connect you to the book world in a very intimate way by allowing you to see a point of view that comes directly from the source of the writing. Additionally, @APublicSpace is a literary journal that is hosting a book club on Twitter that readers can follow and participate in using the hashtag #APStogether.

4: Reading Challenges

While there are a lot of reading challenges that circulate on platforms like Instagram and Twitter, signing up for an official one can help give either specific or vague book options that you’ll read simultaneously with people across the globe. For instance, Book Riot’s annual Read Harder challenge asks readers to check out books from various genres with specific stipulations, widening the world-views of the people reading them. They also link participants to a group chat that connects readers, furthering their sense of community.

5: Newsletters

While this option may not seem the most exciting, the variety of newsletters that are available to the reading public is vast and fascinating. If you want to find ones that send a blog post related to writing to your email, the Dear Reader newsletter might be a perfect option for you! Want to simply get a short story sent to you every two weeks, no decisions needed on your part? A Small Good Thing does just that! There are newsletters for almost every genre you can think of — Go crazy!

I know the world is an intense place right now. But I hope this list helps you find something that can brighten your reading world in some way!

Culture Calling – Diversity Readers and Where to Find Them

By Synovia Roberts

As the world gets more outwardly diverse, storytellers—whether it be fiction writers, screenwriters, or visual artists—are rushing to embody that diversity in their work. The influx of representation both solves and creates a problem via the accuracy of said representation. You see, diversifying one’s work requires one to explore cultures/identities that are not their own. However, culture and representation are sensitive, if not sacred, for many people. It is extremely important for creators to get representation right, but how?

This is where diversity readers come in. A diversity reader, otherwise known as a sensitivity or authenticity reader, is someone who reads or looks over a creator’s work to fact-check characters and their actions. It is best to hire a reader that matches the specifics of the character(s) being evaluated. For example, it’s best to have a lesbian diversity reader check over a lesbian character(s). This is because the reader’s main purpose is to help the creator avoid unintentional/insensitive stereotypes or a bout of misrepresentation; it only makes sense that the hired reader has the experiences needed to help create fuller, realer characters.

Diversity readers are also helpful when creators need specific facts about a group or culture that can’t be easily researched, like specific holiday recipes or appropriate cultural dress. A good conversation with a diversity reader can provide a wealth of information that can be used to create a positive and accurate representation of a group.

But how and where to find diversity readers? Writing Diversely lists readers who are available for hire, along with their rates, which range from flat rates starting at $10 and going all the way up to $300. But if you don’t have the finances to pay a professional diversity reader, there are other options. The easiest free option is to try social media. Making posts on sites like Reddit and Tumblr that ask people to volunteer their time are sure to get you some responses. Be clear and upfront about the character and situations you wish to depict, then allow people to come to you.

In my own experience, I’ve had quite a turn-out on Tumblr. In an effort to find readers, I made a post in which I “Culture Called.” In the post, I detailed my desire to have a diverse, but accurate, set of characters along with the nationalities/ethnicities of said characters. As I acquired more people willing to read my work, I made sure to keep everyone up to date on my progress.

Altogether, I received well over 100 responses, and I was lucky enough to get someone willing to help me on the development of an Icelandic character, Magnús, and his family. Together we were able to go into detail about the mythology surrounding my character and his place in my piece. My diversity reader clarified how he’d speak and how he’d interact with the magical elements in the story. My reader was also able to give me a bit of Icelandic history to give my writing more authentic context. It was a great experience for me, and I’m sure it can help you as well.

Still, there’s a bit of controversy around the use of diversity readers. Many people see it as a form of censorship. But remember, no one is forcing you to hire or reach out to a diversity reader, and the reader you’re working with cannot force you to add or remove something in your piece. As the writer, you are free to make any and all decisions you see fit; the diversity reader is simply there to make beneficial suggestions.

In my experience, a diversity reader has made a marked difference in my work. Without my reader, Magnús’ storyline would have been completely different. His interaction with the story’s magical elements would have been vastly incorrect in comparison to Icelandic mythology. Diversity readers are an important step for proper representation, and many times, they can be the difference between a lovable character and a rampant stereotype, but it’s up to you to reach out.

Generation Profit: Learning to Embrace the Pressure for Our Own Sakes

By Kayla Lunden

In May of 2013, 35-year-old Jack Conte founded Patreon, an online crowdfunding platform that aims to connect artists and their patrons through a monthly subscription model. In an episode of the podcast Hannahlyze This, Conte told listeners that Patreon began because he wanted to “see if I could just make money by being creative and making a bunch of stuff.” He used Patreon to promote his music, and set up “perks,” or things to send to people who consistently supported him. The perks’ style range based on the artist, from jingles written specifically for patrons, to access to private email lists, and beyond. Now, with more than 3 million patrons supporting more than 100,000 artists, Patreon is changing the way young artists can support themselves.

My generation of artists are largely defined by their entrepreneurship, finding creative ways to support their art (i.e. crowdfunding). Patreon makes accessible for artists just starting out what otherwise has always been a mystery: how to build a following, connect with other artists, and get your work out to an audience that hopefully buys it. By facilitating a direct artist-patron relationship and taking out the middle men (i.e. agents, gallery owners, etc.) the pressure of how to support oneself is lessened, leaving more time for making art.

Maria Licciardi is a Painting and Drawing senior at SUNY Purchase who, through Patreon, will make you 1-3 small unique pieces of art per month for a $10 monthly subscription. Licciardi’s senior project involves making comfort items: life-sized and smaller stuffed animals made from recycled leather. Licciardi incorporates a lot of recycled “garbage” into her work, something of a signature of hers. In working with leather, Licciardi has discovered things she shares with the material. “The skins are scraps that have been deserted because they’re ‘not good enough,’ or damaged. I identify with this leather; its being abandoned and with this idea in society that to be sensitive is a flaw.”

Brand new to Patreon since July of 2019, Licciardi already has 3 consistent patrons and is still figuring it out. She shares that it has been a bit intimidating, but mostly, she is excited to learn more about the platform and its malleability. “Patreon has the potential to fuel my art whatever it is; whether I’m between painting and drawing, sculpture, or if I go into, like, knitting scarves.”

Licciardi doesn’t always feel the pressure of mass creation the way many of us do. Instead, she finds in it a sense of purpose. “I think (pressure) is extremely necessary for me to function and be the person I really need to be. I love helping people and being of use.” In regards to keeping up with perks, she’s always creating for class, exhibits, fun; if she’s not selling something on one platform, they become perks through Patreon.

There are ups and downs to having clientele who consistently expect new work. “I need to follow through. I need to be consistent. I need to make this (Patreon) something that is a priority.” Licciardi loves that Patreon isn’t short-term, like a project on Gofundme, but career-based. “The goal is forever,” she said referring to the support network she intends to build. Licciardi believes in not being frugal when it comes to supporting fellow artists. “It’s like how classical radio stations say ‘we depend on you.’”

Although a Creative Writing major on the poetry track, I also write fiction, paint realistic pictures of breakfast tables, and sing jazz improv that has brought grown men to their knees. SUNY Purchase artists do not want to shy away from double and triple branding themselves, and this is not because we don’t have a passion for anything, so we choose everything. Rather, we have a passion for creation and connection that manifests in manifold ways. Thanks to sharing this passion with Jack Conte, Patreon has materialized as a new and effective way of sustaining our art and all that comes with it.

Check out Maria Licciardi’s Patreon here:

Make A Move: The Benefits of Mentorship

By Dylan McKenna

What is a mentor? Definitions include: an experienced and trusted adviser; someone who shares with a mentee information about career paths; a person who provides guidance, motivation and role modeling. Depending on the context and relationship between parties, these descriptions all fit. I have experienced them at each step of my journey as a writer, but have not always taken full advantage. Had I done so, I’d probably be better off.

When I was in 11th grade I took whatever English class was required. Like other courses throughout my schooling, this class was basically comprised of practicing grammar, analyzing texts, and composing essays. But it was taught by a professor who gave me, like many of his other students, my first ever creative writing assignment: it was my first time writing fiction.

My story (a fantastical spec-ops thriller about my eccentric then-employer) went over quite well. Most found it funny, though no one was required to read it. It only came to their attention after our teacher brought it up; his interest in my writing sparked the interest of others. On top of the joy I experienced in creating characters and plots, this assignment opened doors to the world of fiction. It was my starting point and initial source of encouragement. My professor was experienced, and I trusted him. But given the high school environment, I didn’t speak with him about career paths or publication, or even meet with him outside of the classroom. And although I’d clearly been interested, writing was then for me a hobby and not a discipline. While my teacher was not exactly a mentor in the ways many people would define it, I still consider him a “ghost” mentor. That is to say, our collaboration was not very deep, but his presence was meaningful. He got me writing stories.

In college, my fiction professor ran things more seriously, and his comic personality not only reminded me of the man who got me writing in the first place, but connected with me personally. Our class met always in circles, received more writing assignments than the previous course, and held even more concentrated workshop meetings complemented by analyses of a wide range of texts. At the behest of our teacher, I met with other students outside of class to continue the conversation. He never used the word “mentor” as an offer of his time during office hours to discuss our work and plan career paths after graduation. Still, I did eventually accept his offers, and we met several times to talk about such things. However, I graduated from the program to move onto another in a new university, and we lost touch.

All of these people shaped my writing and helped me mature as a writer. But I never asked them to be my mentors. They were all ghost mentors to me, despite their incredible assistance. I never got the full package experience, so to speak. And that is because I, as student, did not pursue such relationships sufficiently. So, my advice to young writers already in academia is to take advantage of your resources: from office hours to clubs to free lectures, shows, talks, screenings, etc. A mentor is perhaps the most valuable in terms of growth. If a good one is available, and open to cooperation, it would truly be a waste not to at least propose this to him or her. People filled with knowledge and experience surround you in your academic environment, and to ignore them for the sake of saving yourself extra work is unwise—the work is why you’re there in the first place. Isn’t it?

Telling Time With Andrei Tarkovsky

By Colin Sharp-O’ Connor

In his directorial manifesto Sculpting in Time, Andrei Tarkovsky took a firm stance against the predominant directorial tradition in film (at his time of writing in the 1960s) known as “montage cinema,” in which the continuity and rhythm of a film is ultimately the result of its editing, the way each shot is strung together. To him this approach was backwards. It was nonsensical to speak about time as a phenomenon arising from component parts because time is the fundamental element of film, and each shot only a length of its passage. Rather, proper editing was dictated by a quality of each shot that Tarkovsky called “time pressure.” Only by considering this particular quality, the felt experience of time in each shot, could the film be put together; or back together, for Tarkovsky seems to consider all parts of filmmaking after the shooting is done to be as much reconstruction as construction, piecing together the time already immanent in his material rather than building it artificially through cuts and rearrangement. The results of this bottom-up approach are evident even in Tarkovsky’s earliest films — the simple passage of time carries a weight and veracity undisturbed from shot to shot.

Writers have a particular flexibility when it comes to the passage of time. Since the medium has no inherent bond to it the way that film or music do, prose is capable of compressing years into sentences and drawing pages out of seconds. It can consider time historically or speculatively, as a series of snapshots or as broad, far-reaching strokes — its only limits are the imagination and linguistic dexterity of its author. With such a remarkably athletic medium, any writer working with time, which presumably includes most of us, might consider adopting Tarkovsky’s editing ethos.

The major difference between film and prose, at least in respect to creating a sense of felt time, is that a writer creates his sentences from scratch where the director or cameraman is stuck with the reality in his viewfinder. This both simplifies and complicates things; on the one hand it allows the writer complete control over the impression a certain timeframe makes, not only its actual length — if it spans minutes or only moments — but whether that time slips by unobtrusively or makes every word felt; on the other it demands the conscious consideration of these elements at every step of composition. This is true of directing also, but in prose it’s no less necessary to have a strong vision of the scene at hand while each sentence is written. A writer who neglects the immediate (daresay, cinematic) sense of being in a given moment has no foundation to build an impactful scene; the time pressure of his sentences will fit poorly and without intention. Conversely, a well-envisioned sentence is imbued with a kind of poetry, a sense of existence stretching beyond the words on the page. Good fiction, like good art in general, becomes alive in its own right when it can provide its reader with such a felt experience.

Why is Feeling Not Enough? A Defense for Poems That Open Doors

By Channa Goldman

I was seventeen years old when I read HOWL by Allen Ginsburg, and three billion firecrackers went off in my chest at lines such as: “I’m with you in Rockland/ where we hug and kiss the United States under/ our bedsheets the United States that coughs all/ night and won’t let us sleep”; or: “On the impulse of winter midnight streetlight small town rain.” The latter line I found so beautiful that I’d reread it every day for the next three years, and I still think about that image often. Now, as a twenty-year-old studying poetry at Purchase College, if you asked me what I think those lines mean, I could give you an answer. Or, I could be honest and cut the bullshit — and say I don’t really know, and I don’t really think it matters. I think the importance of Ginsburg’s work is in image, mood, and the emotion the poem evokes, rather than trying to discern some secret meaning.

In the analysis of poetry, it’s common to dissect a poem as one would an insect in biology, but instead of medical instruments, one uses poetic jargon to interpret the poem’s ‘meaning’— and too often, this results in the notion held by many that poetry is for poets— not everyone. Many people have told me that they don’t read poetry because they can’t understand the “meaning,”— as if there’s one secret message to be discerned. When discussing poems, I hear endless language all aimed towards articulating the ‘meaning,’ and too often, if you can’t articulate that exact meaning, you’re just made to feel like you’re missing something. Well, I say that’s not necessarily the entire aim of poetry.

Don’t get me wrong— some poems are written with the intention of readers deriving a specific moral or message, and of course that’s great. I am advocating on behalf of the poems that aren’t, and how we shouldn’t feel the need to read them and pick them apart for something that wasn’t intended. Poetry, like any art form, employs technical craft and skill. There are rules and practices which guide a particular form, and it’s not all random. But this shouldn’t deter the average person from deriving pleasure from reading poems. If at seventeen someone told me I ‘didn’t get’ HOWL, I probably would’ve cried. Ginsburg opened the door for me to fall in love with sound and language. It didn’t matter that I didn’t necessarily get ‘the message’. The feeling a poem evokes in the reader is as equally powerful.

Non-poets can take from a poem what is meaningful to them, whether that be an image or turn of phrase. So you don’t talk about the pentameter of a poem, or its cadence, or how many lines are in a sonnet, or what the hell a sestina is. Should that prevent you from avoiding the form altogether? Is poetry just for poets? I think not. The power of poetry is something everyone can access in varying degrees, and anyone who tells you otherwise is simply missing the magic.

The Importance of Taking a Step Back

By Kris Rubertone

It’s no secret that writing in the heat of an emotional moment helps a writer understand her feelings. However, it’s only in revision that the writer can clearly gauge whether she has effectively evoked that particular emotional truth, and whether it has a similar effect on the reader. Does the language conjure again those deeply felt sentiments once the heat of the moment has passed? To lose that feeling and have to come back to it at a later time can be a very eye opening and beneficial experience for the writer.

I feel that both steps are necessary in creating an honest and raw piece of work. First and foremost, I believe that emotion is very important when it comes to creating art, and if one can capture it in the moment then there is no better time to do so. However, I think it’s very important to take a step back from your work once you’ve written it and let all that feeling settle. When you return to it, and you should, you’ll be better to pinpoint what works and what doesn’t. It’s easy to think of cliches and stereotypes, especially when you’re in a state where they’re basically all you can relate to as they are the first thing that pops into our heads when we are feeling certain emotions.

There’s nothing wrong with allowing yourself to relate to these cliches, but it’s more beneficial to return to the work in a controlled state of mind so you can manipulate them into something specific to what you’re feeling and expand on the feelings and thoughts you couldn’t wrap your head around so much when you first wrote your piece. Over time, you start to cool off and feel less of what you were feeling . Then you can be more clear minded to get a sharper idea of how you want your work to turn out.Just as well, when you do return to your work after having written the first draft and you’re in a completely different state of mind, this could be useful to go through your works and grasp emotions from another state of mind to expand and elaborate your piece. That way, it is not limited to one standalone emotion, but that standalone emotion can be supported by others to amplify its importance within the piece.

I think from the writer’s perspective and viewpoint the editing process is seen as something bad , and kind of nerve wracking – I can attest to this. But these are important steps in order to make your work better. When in a more placid state, my thoughts are all over the place. I end up just throwing whatever I’m thinking onto the page, and when I’m feeling better and good enough to return to my poem, I’m able to pick out the things that really matter and make sense and shape. Then I can change them into something more coherent and understandable for the reader, being able to really get into detail of the subject.

Usually, when I write poetry, it doesn’t take any visual form; especially if I’m in too emotional a state. So going back to my work afterwards allows me to find the shape my work is supposed