Sunday Interview – actually, more of a guest post

Christy Birmingham


Welcome, Everyone!

Many of you may know Christy, follow her blog, or remember my previous interview of her. Today, she will be taking over my blog to talk about poetry. I have, on occasion, written a poem or two, but only when divine inspiration strikes. Maybe you and I can learn how to be more poetically inspired after reading this post.

Please welcome Christy Birmingham from Poetic Parfait!


3 Ways to Get Inspiration for Writing Poetry

Ah yes, poetry. I love to write it. Do you? If so, you may find that while the craving is there, you sometimes run out of ideas for new poems. Here are three tips for how to get inspiration to write poetry.

Connect with Nature

This technique for gaining inspiration is my favorite one. Try heading outside to a trail, park or local gardening store. Take time to breathe in the fresh air of the trees, bushes and flowers. Take time to appreciate your natural surroundings.

I often smile as I head outside for a walk, whether it is a sunny day or not. I gain an appreciation for what the earth around me has to offer me. For free. Pay attention to your senses. Listen to the birds, smell the rose at your left side and notice the way the way the trimmed hedge curves.

Upon returning to your workspace, write about what invoked your senses. What caught your eye? Was there a cyclist that intrigued you? If so, perhaps he or she is the next subject of a poem. Well, what are you waiting for? Start typing!

Enjoy Break Time

An addition reason why the nature method works for inspiration is that it encourages you to take a break from your work area. You change up your surroundings, by heading outdoors rather than staying cooped up in the office. You need breaks, even from your favorite writing desk or the couch where you wrote that brilliant Haiku two weeks ago (note to self: write a Haiku later).

When you change your surroundings, your brain forces itself to understand your new environment. It could be your friend’s house, church or a short walk on the local trail. Mix up the routine for your brain and it will thank you. Your brain also has time to relax from the strain of trying to be creative! You return refreshed to your work area and find that you write that new Haiku quickly. Perhaps your mind and body simply needed a well-deserved rest.

The break need not be a long one as you likely have a busy schedule. Even 10 minutes works well. Breaks are beneficial. Now why do I suddenly want a Kit Kat bar?

Browse Online Networks

You likely belong to at least one social media network. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or another one of the many platforms available, it’s a potential source of inspiration for your poetry writing. Here, let’s investigate this method together. Log onto Facebook, for example, and look at your network feed. There, you will see photos, artwork, quotes and status updates that your friends have recently posted.

Those posts are gems for writers. Take that post that contains a quote and use it as a poetry prompt. Gain your inspiration from the words of Shakespeare, Keats or whoever happens to show up on your network feed that day.

Photos and artwork also make for terrific prompts. Enlarge the photo on your computer screen and free write onto paper as you look at the screen. Revise the free write or simply enjoy it, as is, for the burst of inspiration it contains!

The style of poetry that you write is not relevant here. What is crucial is getting your creative thoughts flowing. Whether you head out into nature, enjoy a break, or check in on your social networking buddies, I hope your inspiration flows and your words lap the poetic shores for many days to come.


Cover of Pathways to Illumination Book

Christy Birmingham is a poet, author and freelance writer in British Columbia, Canada. Her debut poetry collection Pathways to Illumination is available exclusively at Redmund Productions. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter too. If you haven’t been by her blog, yet, check it out here. She recently posted a review of Pathways to Illumination – 5-stars!

Congratulations, Christy, & thanks for sharing your poetic insight! 🙂

Sunday Interview # 13

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Hi, Everyone! I am here, today, with Christy Birmingham, a Canadian freelance writer, poet and fellow blogger from Poetic Parfait.

Welcome, Christy! Would you please begin by telling us a little about yourself?

Absolutely! I am a freelance writer and blogger from British Columbia, Canada. I have recently started writing full-time and am loving it! I write for various websites and private publishers as well. I am also the proud owner of Poetic Parfait, where I share my poetry as well as having a weekly music feature. The blogging community has been very welcoming to me and my writing, which has been called ‘Interesting’ and ‘Unique’. I take those descriptions as compliments!

You should! 🙂

Most writers seem to have been bitten by the writing bug at an early age. Please tell us how long you have been writing. Was there any particular event that started you writing in the first place?

I first began writing creatively in elementary school, and majored in Writing in my first year at University. I didn’t think I could realistically make a living at the craft so I switched fields. I now have a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology and Psychology (Joint Major). 

When I switched studies, I put writing onto the back-burner. In the last few years, I battled some difficult life circumstances. They were devastating for me. I still struggle some days. As I rise from that dark period, I realize that life really is short and we have to make the most of our time here. I decided to follow my passion for writing and brought it up to the front burner from its position at the back. I’m going to try my hand (literally) at writing, rather than wondering “What if?” and “If only” later on in life.

We are all glad you’ve risen from that dark place and have decided to share your passion for poetry. 🙂

How did you come up with your blog name and why do you prefer to write in poetic form?

Just the other day, I was asked why I chose “Poetic Parfait” as my blog name. I wanted to create a poetic spot for readers and writers of the genre, as I want poetry to get more of a spotlight in the general public’s eye. I wanted the name to tie into the reference to that goal. Two of my favourite things are poetry and sweets. Alliteration is a fun writing tool so I came up with Poetic Parfait. A few people tried to talk me out of the name when I first started the blog but I stuck with it. I went with my instinct! Now where are those M&Ms….

I like to write in poetic form because it allows me to play with words and provide snippets of emotion within a few stanzas.

What styles of poetry do you prefer, either to read or write? Who are your favourite poets?

I actually do not follow a set style in my writing format. Sometimes I start a poem with one line in mind and just type from there as my mind and fingers move together. I call it “free form” format. Some of my poems are edgy, while others are funny, and there is always emotional ties. I often write in the first-person. 

I have admired the poetry of Margaret Atwood for a long time.

Ah, our Canadian icon! 🙂

What other types of things do you write about?

Aside from my blog, I also write extensively about social media trends and tips, as well as writing advice for freelance writers. I like to share what I have learned and help others along the journey.

As a freelance writer, do you write for any particular company or publisher? If not, how do you approach people about writing ideas you have? Is it anything like submitting a novel or short story to a publisher? I’m curious about the whole process. 🙂

Curiosity is a good thing! I write for multiple websites as well as working with private publishers. I write online for HubPages, Knoji, and Helium. As well, I have been fortunate enough to form connections with two publishers. There is a lot of multi-tasking between writing and also promoting my online work.

Do you have any links you’d like to share?

Feel free to stop by the table at Poetic Parfait:

I also encourage connections on Twitter and Google+.

Twitter: @christybis 


Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Making a living at being a freelance writer is hard work and does require drive to be successful. For all of those aspiring writers, just remember: We all have to start somewhere! Keep working hard and, with time, your little successes may just build up to large ones. Let’s make those goals happen!

Thanks so much for your encouragement and for taking the time to chat with us, Christy! 🙂

And thank YOU, readers, for joining us, today. Please take the time to check out Christy’s poetry. It really is like ice cream for the soul! 🙂