The Five W’s

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

 Rudyard Kipling

Of all the questions in the world, the one that intrigues me the most is ‘Why.’ I can usually figure out answers to the who, what, where, when and how questions – yet my enquiring mind is often stumped by ‘Why.’ Why are there stars in the sky? Why are there wars? Why do people do what they do? Heck, I don’t even know why I do what I do at times.

It seems there are many questions that do not have definitive answers and answers that only lead to more questions. However, I’ve decided to tackle a few questions that I sometimes get asked about my writing.  I might have also included a couple of questions that I would like to be asked.

What do I write?
Pretty much anything you can think of, as long as it’s in English. Seriously though, to date I haven’t written songs, scripts or anything award-winning. Who knows what the future holds?

What do I write about?
I like to write about life experiences. Recently, I visited a woman in the hospital. One of the first things she said to me is, “You are not to write a poem about this!” I assured her I wouldn’t.

Why do I write?
I suspect I do it for the same reasons that actors act, painters paint, singers sing and gardeners get down in the dirt. How do we figure this one out?

Why do I write poetry?
I ask myself that sometimes – usually in the form of “Why don’t you write novels? Or something a little more profitable?”

When do I write?
I put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard whenever the mood strikes me – and the mood most often strikes when there is something I want to figure out, something I want to say or some feelings I want to process.

How long does it take me to write a poem?
It can take me anywhere from an hour to a week or more to write a poem. It is exciting when a poem pours itself out onto the page; however, there is also much satisfaction in working long and hard in crafting a poem that is not as readily available.

Where do I write?
These are just some of the places I write: in my study, on my computer, in my garden, on my bed and in my head.  I don’t recommend writing poems in your head… it can be insulting, dangerous and foolish.  It can also be very disappointing a short while later when you can’t remember the poem.

Where do the poems come from?
Sometimes I find the poems and other times the poems find me. Sometimes I wrestle them out from inside and other times they seem to be waiting somewhere out there… waiting for me to write them down. What I’d like to know is: who is out there and how do I connect with them at will?

Who do I write for?
I write for myself, my family, my friends and whoever else would like to hear or read my writing.

Who are my favourite poets?
I have too many favourite poets to list. How could I possibly choose?

If you have any questions related to my writing, feel free to leave them in the comments area and I will do my best to answer them. 🙂


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