How Colleen McElroy Begins

I have been thinking about how to begin. This morning I came across this passage in James L. Hill’s African American Review 42.2 (Summer 2008) interview with poet Colleen J. McElroy. It has some wisdom for anyone who is (like me) trying to transition from a busy teaching year to a summer of writing.

“…I need at least three days free for writing, because the first day is getting out of the routine of teaching, the business of making something out of nothing, creating. The first day is setting up shop, cleaning out the cobwebs, and getting the tools ready–learning to think like an artist. I may not accomplish much by way of writing, but I’m loosening up, flexing my linguistic muscles. I’m relearning how to think like a writer.”


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