sharing a poetic LIFELINE with the world

Posts tagged ‘Robert Bresson’

Make Visible: End of the Year Self-Evaluation for Writers 2012

I’m taking time off the internet this week.  While this is making me a little anxious, it’s also giving me plenty of time to think.  I’m checking in to submit this today.  Here is a blog post from this time last year.


The end of the year is a fantastic time to evaluate one’s writing life with an eye to the future.  It’s a time to look at the big picture and see if you have met, exceeded, or fallen short of your self-created writing goals for the year.  This self-evaluation was inspired by the Graduate School post, Check in With Yourself: End of Semester Self-Evaluation.  I’ve found that doing a regular self-evaluation is a great tool for reflection on my graduate school experiences.  This evaluation is not an excuse for you to beat yourself up; instead it will allow you to get a clearer picture of your writing life.


Consider your responses to these questions.  It might help to actually write them down.


Consider the last year:


  • How did my year begin?
  • What were my submission plans, writing goals, and marketing plans (if applicable)?
  • Did I allocate enough time for writing, typing and editing my work?
  • Were my expectations met?
  • What surprised me this year?
  • If I could do anything over, what would I choose?  What would I do differently?
  • What are my writing strengths and witnesses?
  • How might I address these weaknesses?
  • How can I augment these strengths?
  • What have I learned this year?  About writing?  About subjects of interest to me?  Personally?


After thoughtful consideration, what can you conclude about your year?  What will you do differently next year?


Some ideas to think about for 2013:


Set aside regular times to write.  Be flexible.  If you are a morning person write in the mornings, if not, write in the afternoons or evenings.  Consider investing in writing prompt books or get writing prompts off the internet, so you are not stuck for ideas.  Remember, writers write!


Consider collaborating on a writing project with a writing friend or online critique group.  Collaborating is a great way to support one another while holding each other accountable.


Take time at the end of 2012 or the beginning of 2013 to revisit your writing goals.  Are they too ambitious or not ambitious enough?  Can you break your goals down into smaller, more manageable steps?  If you haven’t made any writing goals, is it time to do so?  Think about sharing your writing goals with supportive family members and friends.  Do you have any deadlines looming?  Make a note of those and give yourself time to meet them.


Reflect on any Works in Progress (WIPs) you have?  Is it time to let your WIPs go or is it time to breathe new life into a WIP?


Every year is a new beginning.  A new year is a great time to establish good writing habits and to reflect on the past year.  It’s also a good time to congratulate yourself on what you accomplished in 2012 and realize what you did right. See you in 2013!


“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.”~Robert Bresson, French Film Director

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Make Visible: Focus on Form: Really Bad Limericks

I wrote these today.  I’m not one to write limericks.  I’m not real comfortable with the form.  The last one is for a special friend of mine.

Here goes nothing!

Presenting Really Bad Limericks:




There was a girl from Savannah

Who had the most terrible manners

She never said please

And often would tease

Even those who tripped on peeled bananas.




There was a man from Seattle

Who got in the rottenest battles

If he sat next to you at a bar

Best to take yourself very far

From his brass knuckles, used often on cattle.


Ocean Shores


There was a woman from Ocean Shores

Who only saw open doors

She was so positive

That God was the causative

With only good things in store.




There was a lady from Orlando

Who was all about the Can-Do

Collages, poems and short stories

Productive, even with her health worries

Wish I had her ducks in a row.


“Savannah,” “Seattle,” “Ocean Shores,” and “Orlando” © Anne Westlund


“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.”~Robert Bresson, French Film Director

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Make Visible: Inspired by Nature

My poem, “The Banquet,” was inspired by deer in our side yard.  As a writer, don’t be afraid of using nature as inspiration, especially as a jumping off point to a longer piece.  Your poem doesn’t have to be explicitly about flora or fauna, but could evolve into a metaphor about something else entirely.

Poetry prompt:  Go for a walk outside.  If something from the natural world catches your eye, start a poem with that image as the kernel.

The Banquet

The deer eat the weeds,

the apples, the lower branches of trees.

Such enthusiasm!

What feast have you set out

before them?

Like watching a puppy or a child eat.

Of the seven deadlies, gluttony…

Now it’s the ice cream aisle,

the frozen dinners and pizza,

the deli, the chip and pop aisle,

the white bread, the lowly potato.

You are laughing at us,

I know.

How disappointed you must be in us?

With our rice cakes, salads without dressing,

low-carb diets.

Come eat!

Life is a banquet, the table is set.

Are there no takers?

“Manna makes me fat.”

“Fishes go right to my thighs.”

So we starve in the desert,

refusing what you have offered,

this miracle.

© Anne Westlund

“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.”~Robert Bresson, French Film Director

Photo by Chris Westlund

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