Hello Reader,

April is National Poetry Month, so I've been revisiting some of my favorite poets for a little added inspiration. And one of my favorite poetic moments happened when Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman took the stage in 2021 and shared her poem, "The Hill We Climb."

Click the image above to go to a recording of her phenomenal perforamnce, but I have to call out one particular line here:

"If we merge mercy with might and might with right, then love becomes our legacy."

It gave me chills two years ago and it still does today. It reminds me why we do the creative work we do. For our legacy. For love. For what is right. It's not easy work. But it's necessary.

This month has been full of rejections on various writing projects, including a near-miss with an editor I really thought was going to say yes. And spring break travels meant I didn't as many words as I'd planned this past week either. Instead of beating myself up, I've been focusing on self-care, naps, digging in the dirt, and letting my creativity run as rampant as the shotweed currently declaring mutiny in my garden.

If your month has been similarly challenging, you might take comfort in our current poet laureate's words:

Instructions on Not Giving Up

by Ada Limón

More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out
of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s
almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving
their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate
sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees
that really gets to me. When all the shock of white
and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave
the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath,
the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.

A Mindfulness Exercise

As the weather warms, it's a great time to revisit one of my favorite mindfulness exercises as well. I do this outside with my feet firmly planted on the earth, but if weather or other restrictions prevent that, just find a different room than your usual creative space, or even just turn your chair around so you're facing a different direction.

Now soften your gaze and look around. What are five things that you see? Close your eyes and listen. What are four things that you hear? Scan your body in your mind. What are three things that you feel in this moment? Take a deep breath. What are two things that you smell?

Did something you sensed during this exercise make you curious? Spend five minutes journaling and see where it leads.

Let Me Help!

If you're feeling as inspired as I am, but need help taking that next step in your creative journey, I have one coaching spot opening up next month. Head to JulieArtz.com and tell me about your project and what you're looking for in a book coach. If it's a good fit, we can schedule a free 30-minute consult to chat about how I can help you transform your story from idea to reality.

I hope you have an inspired week! Until next time...



Julie Artz | author, editor, book coach, dragon

Julie Artz helps writers who dream of a life spent telling stories that matter slay their doubt demons so they can send their work out into the world with confidence. An active member of the writing community, she has volunteered for SCBWI, TeenPit, and Pitch Wars and is a member of EFA, the Authors Guild, and AWP. A social and environmental justice minded story geek, Julie lives in an enchanted forest outside of Seattle, Washington, with her husband, two strong-willed teenagers, and a couple of naughty furry familiars. Check out her weekly newsletter, Wyrd Words Weekly, and subscribe today.

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