Thursday, January 4, 2018

Talking in Black Ink #PoetryFriday

It's Poetry Friday, and I am trying to get back into the habit of writing. Today, I join Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core and many others to share a bit of poetry on this cold Friday!

I am one of the co-moderators for the #TeachWrite chat which is a community for teacher-writers.  This month we are writing and having conversations about writing goals.  I have not written my goals down yet, but I know I want to include something about keeping a writing notebook.

I have a love/hate relationship with writer's notebooks.  I think the issue I have is that mine will never compare to those that I see out in the writing world. (And yes, I know I shouldn't do that!)

As I was looking through some drafts of blog posts, I found this poem that I had scribbled out after I read a blog post by Austin Kleon.  In this post, he says, "Notebooks are a good place to have bad ideas." 

And using a line from his post as my first line, a poem about a writer's notebook is born.

talking in black ink
whispering between the pages
retaining possession
of hopes

and bad ideas

©Leigh Anne Eck, 2018

Maybe there is hope for me yet.


  1. That's perfect! I love it. This evening, I picked my daughter up from the art studio she works in. She was late tonight because she's assembling her first big portfolio for a chance at a summer residence program for rising HS seniors. She has struggled with comparing. She is so young....I tried to tell her that comparing is one of the temptations built into the process of being a creative. You have to make friends with it and know it will always be there....but not to let it boss you around. I hope and wish you time to write, motivation to journal and lots of great words.

  2. I am in love with this! inspired! Mark

  3. You and I are on the same page about notebooks. Yesterday Michelle suggested collecting quotes. Hers were so cute on the page. I found some quotes as I was wandering through social media and wrote them very plainly on a lined page in black ink. No matter. If we want to move forward, we have to kick out the critic. I love how your poem goes from the dreamy to the snarky.

  4. Austin Kleon is pure genius, isn't he? I'm there with you on the notebook situation. I even bought cool gel pens hoping to sass things up a bit. Here goes! Thanks again for all you are doing with #teachwrite. It was the kick in the pants that I needed to get going. My OLW for 2018 is WRITE, so let's do this!

  5. I agree that "notebooks are a good place to have bad ideas." But they are also the place where good ideas are born. In her book WRITING TOWARD HOME, Georgia Heard says "there is always a good angel on my shoulder, guiding me back to the path. 'Write what's in your heart,' she says. 'Write the truth.'" Be kind to yourself, Leigh Anne, and listen to your good angel. She was guiding you when you wrote your lovely poem.

  6. I love your poem. I'm often not quite sure what to do with a writer's notebook. I like the idea of collecting ideas--even the bad ones--but then it never quite works out like I want it to. Instead I keep scribbling all kinds of places.

  7. Love it. I think a notebook gives you permission to have bad ideas, but also helps you write your way out of them, into the good idea lurking just out of sight.

  8. I love it, Leigh Anne. Remember notebooks are really just for you, to "scribble" as you wrote and have "bad ideas" because much of that is like exercise, at least to me, a messing about. I have filled many notebooks with my students and sometimes we actually shared what we deemed "bad", then someone would pipe up and say but. . . you can do this with that, and off we'd go. Sharing helps too. I think your poem is something you could print and post for students!

  9. Love the "talking in black ink" and there's always hope, thanks Leigh Anne! BTW love your cover photo, I'd like to crawl in and soak it up.

  10. I love how a line from Austin Kleon sparked your poem. Inspiration comes from so many places, doesn't it!? I so appreciate the non-judgmental aspect of my notebook. I have images of it being colorful and cute with sketches, but mostly it's just filled with black and blue scribbles. But, hey, I still have the cool pens to use for other purposes :) Earlier today I wrote about how some writing seems like it's a "dud", or a bad idea, but then it can lead you to unexpected places. I agree wholeheartedly with Sally's comment. Happy writing!