Canada Writes·Writing Tip

Need inspiration? Stop looking and listen

CBC Books publishes a writing tip each week.
Notice the little things around you. (Shutterstock)

This writing tip is from Juliane Okot Bitek.

"Listen. Listen to your body and to what it is saying. Listen to what's going on, sounding, vibrating, floating about you. Listen to the misheard statements and how they rub up against each other and sometimes beg to be the beginning of something. Listen to scraps of paper on the sidewalk and to your recurring dreams. Everything is clamouring for your attention. Be aware of what wants to be written, then faithfully write what you hear."

Juliane Okot Bitek is the author of 100 Days and Sublime: Lost Words. 100 Days was a finalist for the 2017 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, the Pat Lowther Award, the 2017 Alberta Book Awards and the 2017 Canadian Authors Award for Poetry. It won the 2017 IndieFab Book of the Year Award for poetry and the 2017 Glenna Lushei Prize for African Poetry. Her poem Gauntlet made 2018 CBC Poetry Prize longlist.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now