John is a poet and short fiction writer who enjoys collaborating on stories with other writers, and partaking in challenges.
With All Due Respect
Once again I need to show my respect to a good friend and fellow poet, Brenda Arledge, for another inspiring word prompt "respect." Brenda kindly supplies us with a new word each week in her series "Word Prompts Help Creativity," and there has rarely been a week that I haven't been inspired to write something in response.
Another friend (who shall remain anonymous) recently wrote to me with this question:
"What’s all this silly thing with “prompts”, or, as I see it, assignments suggested to writers with a single word to serve as guidance? The last time I saw something like that was in my elementary school, back when the teacher gave us a theme to write about in our composition.
But for the life in me, I can’t figure out why grownup people calling themselves “writers” would need to be told what to write about – of course, except when they do it for a client.
To me, it’s almost like an insult to the writer’s intelligence, who is so “dry” in his head that he needs to be “prompted”."
With all due respect to this person, who is also a valued friend and more than entitled to their opinion, I beg to differ. I find prompts, whether word prompts, photo prompts, or some other form, invaluable in encouraging and inspiring my writing. I am always ready and willing to write something new, but my problem is often deciding just what to write. I think I can write about almost anything, I just need an idea to run with. Brenda's prompts provide me with that.
The best honor you can give to anyone is to show respect for their time.
— Geoffrey Ocaya
Respect your spouse, and treat them well,
They'll respect you too, as time will tell.
Respect your neighbours, by default,
Because they know some of your faults.
Respect your elders, they've earned their dues,
Remember, one day, you'll be one too.
Respect opinions, of which there are many,
But have your own, it's bum, not fanny.
Respect the environment, it supports life,
If Nature dies, we're all in strife.
Respect all life, we're just a part,
Protect God's creatures, with a caring heart.
Respect authority, obey the law,
Hope you don't draw the shortest straw.
Respect should show in all you do,
Respect will then return to you.
Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized.
— Albert Einstein, Einstein on Politics
I often write one or two first drafts of a poem before I am satisfied that it is good enough to publish. My initial scribblings generally only take a few minutes, but I need to get something down on paper, and these are the first things that come into my mind. They are rarely perfect, but usually are a good basis to build on.
I almost always write the first draft in a notebook, before transferring it first to my WORD program, and ultimately to whatever online site I feel it is most suited to. During each of those steps, I make changes, and often the final result is very different from what I started out writing.
The above poem 'Respect' is a good example of this. To illustrate how different my poetry can be from first to the final draft I decided to include the initial poem as it appeared in my notebook:
Respect your parents
Respect your friends
Respect your spouse,
Respect can't end.
Respect your elders
Respect the law
Admit your flaws.
RESPECTFUL ~ An Acrostic Poem
Show Respect For Fellow Writers
As writers, we should show respect
for the work that our peers do.
Their writing styles and genres
may differ from yours too.
They may write "how-to" articles,
some poetry or fiction,
be children's authors, novelists -
there is no need for friction.
They may write about medicine,
gardening, or cars,
travelling, or exercise,
or how to read the stars.
If their English isn't perfect
please help, not put them down.
Try writing in their native tongue -
I'm sure you'll be the clown.
Writing's not some competition -
he who gets most readers wins.
It's writing about things you love,
and what you take pride in.
But, whatever people write,
even what you don't expect,
if the writing urge is in their blood
please show them due respect.
When more love and less hate becomes your mantra, it will put you on a path to respecting diversity, accepting others, being a light, and making a real difference in our society
— Germany Kent
© 2022 John Hansen