Rachel Dacus decided to try the National Poetry Writing Month poem-a-day exercise. She writes about it on her blog: “[I]magination is like any muscle. As any dancer or athlete knows, the more you stretch and tone, the more articulate that muscle becomes. Writing a poem a day, even a stinky poem, strengthened that muscle to the extent that I don't fear the blank page or the need to write as much as I did at the start of April. … Inspiration (as they call it) is mysterious. But what I discovered was that it's always lurking under the surface.”
I left the following comment:
I went to a poetry reading last night. During the break I got some sangria and chatted with a couple strangers. Then I ran out of schmooze and thought to myself, If I'd brought my poetry notebook I would sit down and write a poem.
Then again I do carry loose paper in my travel pack and I had the portable writing surface of a library book (a mystery by Joseph Hansen) so I pulled out paper, pen, and book and started writing. The poet/audience member next to me later said, "Were you writing a poem?"
When I acknowledged the fact he said, "You've got more balls than me."
I can write anywhere at any time. All it takes is giving oneself permission to write crap. Many a first draft written under ideal circumstances is crap, anyway. And sometimes writing in the midst of distraction leads you to interesting places. On the other hand, it wasn't all THAT chaotic in the break between readers at a poetry event.