Turn Your Blog Posts Into Creative Writing

goldheart

How to MIne for a Heart of Gold by Jacki Kellum

Blog posts are like diamonds in the rough. When I initially write something for my blog, I usually just let things fly. I try not to edit myself too terribly much. I merely establish a topic; think for a moment about what I want to say; and begin writing. The effort is basically free-writing, and there are several reasons that it is worthwhile; but today, I want to talk about what I do next.

Even while I am writing my initial blog post, ideas for a more creative response often begin to form. After I publish the post, I return to it and begin to mine from it my most cogent thoughts; and then I begin to polish. The blog post is a rough block of marble, if you will; and as I begin to chip at it and sand and smooth, something more sensitive appears.

michelangelo

Allow me to share with you an example:

I  wrote the following description of my grandmother’s porch for my memoir:

“Hardly anyone even came through the front door. The back porch was the entrance into my grandparents’ home, and the glass back door was the exit into my grandmother’s extensive flower gardens.  My grandmother’s porch was a tiny, enclosed space with windows all around, and it was filled with light–the perfect stage for the rest of her home and for my grandmother herself.

“My grandma’s sunny porch is probably one of the things that convinced me that a sunroom was a necessity for the place where I live now. While my sunroom now is one where I can actually sit down, however, my grandmother’s porch was not used that way.  Like so many things about my childhood, my grandmother’s porch was more intended for function than for fancy. That was where her old Singer sewing machine was located, and her wringer washer and a pair of tubs were there, too.

“The tubs sat on a wooden cabinet-like apparatus, and my grandmother sewed a calico slipcover to encase the tubs. Unlike me, my grandmother was an immaculate person. She had probably washed, starched, and ironed the calico cover repeatedly; and my grandmother’s porch smelled like fresh-laundered sheets that had been hung out on the clothesline to dry.”

From that bit of my memoir, I distilled the following poem:

Calico Cotton
by Jacki Kellum

I’ve reached the shore of my grandmother’s door,
The one from the garden, inside.

Oh, sun-sweet back room
Of my grandmother’s loom,

The place in the dirt
Of my grandmother’s skirt,

In your warm summer lap,
Hold me tight; I will nap,

On my grandmother’s porch,
Let me hide.

When I write, I form an image in my mind, and I begin to describe that image. Afterward, I revisit it and refine it, until I find the Heart of Gold.

Neil Young sings about Mining for a Heart of Gold:

Heart Of Gold
by Neil Young

I want to live,
I want to give
I’ve been a miner for a heart of gold.
It’s these expressions
I never give
That keep me searching for a heart of gold.

And I’m getting old.
Keep me searching for a heart of gold
And I’m getting old.

I’ve been to Hollywood
I’ve been to Redwood
I crossed the ocean for a heart of gold.
I’ve been in my mind,
It’s such a fine line
That keeps me searching for a heart of gold.

And I’m getting old.
Keeps me searching for a heart of gold
And I’m getting old.

Keep me searching for a heart of gold.
You keep me searching and I’m growing old.
Keep me searching for a heart of gold
I’ve been a miner for a heart of gold.

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