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Keep the Needle Threaded

This is my best writing advice…that doesn’t even really sound like writing advice.

Melissa Wiley wrote a poem about the creative process called “Always Leave Thread in the Needle.” I love the unexpectedness of this piece, the way what we need is found in outside the usual places. In the ashes, fallen leaves, and overturned drawers.

When I finish embroidery for the day, I always thread the needle with fresh thread. This is the hardest part for my tired eyes. If I do the hard part first, I can easily begin stitching the next time I open my project bag.

Dedicate space and time in your day to return to the page. Make it easy to get back to work. Keep your notebook and a box of black pens near you. Have good words in your ears. And quiet too.

Thanks for reading along here this month! I hope that in reading about my writing practice, you’ve been inspired to think about your own process. And maybe even got to the page some mornings. Things will probably get quieter in the coming month as I try to follow my own advice and make space for the coming light.

Click here to see all the Listening to My Life :: Homeschooling an MFA in Poetry posts.


  1. Lovely piece of needlework that.

    Thanks for this series of blogs. I too found them inspiring. Lots of helpful and useful information along with many valuable tips. I have looked forward to each one.

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