Advice to writers

Transcripts available in the following languages:

  • en

When you have an idea in your mind, and you have to – and you want to find the right word, and in poetry – this is very important – you know, you – when you’re writing prose, it’s not as important – but when you’re writing poetry, every single word has to mean something. And so it sharpens your vision, I think, in many ways.

You should continue writing, and if people tell you that it’s wrong, it’s never wrong. Anything that you write is right. And if you think that it’s – I think that you should not be – you should not cross things out because people do not like it, or that they don’t approve of it, or they don’t think that it’s the right thing to say. I think you have to really be honest with the way that you feel inside. So if you keep a journal, and write what you are experiencing, and what you are feeling, and try to get that down in particular words, and if you are very honest with yourself, and write it down as honestly as you know how, I think that’s the best kind of advice that I can give to a writer.

Date: August 7, 2018
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Sharon Yamato
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

author poet poetry writing

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