Sit quietly at your desk. Arrange in front of you a pile of blank, unlined paper and your favorite pens or pencils, all freshly sharpened. (I prefer the Dixon Ticonderogas, or fountain pens, the cheap kind that bleed all over my fingers.) Breathe deeply. Let the mind be as blank as the paper. Do not think of a word. Do not write a word. Know: the word is but a blemish on the serene white face of the paper. Do not allow a single word to appear.
In this way, many poets have completed entire manuscripts in spite of their efforts to master their craft.
(It's true. The year my friend, Claire, said she wasn't writing another poem ever, and she wasn't sending out her work; and she esp. would never ever enter another book competition, she won a huge book contest and a Pushcart.)
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