My Creative Process by Charlotte Stevens

Charlotte Stevens was a shortlisted runner-up in the Wild Words Spring Solstice Writing Competition 2015 with her poem About Witches. You can read her work here.

She told me about her creative process...

"I have a preoccupation with form when writing.

I have felt in the past that my writing has to have some kind of established form to be 'valid', and so I have often struggled with trying to capture the ideas and images I want to explore in a formal and recognised structure.

'About Witches' represents a breakthrough for me.

I was working with these ideas relating to dissent and disorder but was trying to write them in an English sonnet form. I liked the contrast, but wrangling the words into the established form was difficult and somehow 'flattened' the work. So I broke it apart. I pulled out lines and messed them up and around, and I felt this freedom to do something different and create something that worked better.

The outcome, this poem, is by no means perfect, but it is different to the way in which I was writing before, and revisiting it influences how I write now.

Since then I have been exploring free verse - still rather obsessively with my syllable counting and metrical forensics! - but it has moved me forward and opened my writing up."