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Runners thrive on a routine. We choose our ideal workout time based on when we feel best, when we eat, when we hydrate, and when our body and mind are ready to take on our training plan. The rest of our lives depend on this routine, but sometimes other aspects of life interfere and we have to learn to adjust — either temporarily or altogether.

My favorite time to run is in the morning. There have been times, though, when my work schedule has made it impossible to run in the morning. When I was getting to work at 6:30…

And the ones I’m looking forward to this year

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If you’d have asked me how many novels I read four years ago, the answer would be around none. It’s not that I didn’t read, but I was studying poetry relentlessly and mostly only read poetry. I know that any writer should not be limiting themselves to reading one genre, but I was mostly drawn to poetry and struggled getting into some novels.

There was more at play here: I had just completed my M.A. in Literature, and I was picky about the books I chose. I would try to read novels and a few chapters in would just feel…

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I love running, but our relationship has been stiff at times. I started running in high school when I joined the track team in my sophomore year. My main motivation was to stay skinny, but I had also always dreamed of growing up to be one of those polished happy people who wake up at 5 am and run six miles before breakfast. They travel to marathons and have big beautiful homes and are successful at work and everyone loves them.

That isn’t how it has really turned out for me. I’ve battled with depression and anxiety for most of…

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It can be difficult sometimes to approach a blank page — whether a blank word processor or an old-fashioned sheet of notebook paper. We do all have our favorite approaches to writing — environments, time of day, pen and paper vs. electronic. I find that I am flexible in generally all of these matters but know what I need when I need it.

I find that the same goes for using some of my favorite go-to prompts. I love to freewrite as much as the next person, and I often start a writing session with some freewriting that can be…

Exercises in Poetic Form.

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Poets of all professional levels turn to writing prompts to practice and to explore new ideas. There are dozens of books available that can suggest writing prompts, and these can be valuable to turn to whenever you find yourself in a writing slump, or when you are looking to write about a new topic or idea.

Personally, I have never been great at “write about x topic,” which is why a lot of prompts don’t generally work well for me. …

To Track or Not to Track Your Work Hours

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At the end of 2018, I was moved to a salaried position for the first time. Previously, I had always been in hourly or contract positions — you are paid for what you complete (or hours worked). I was stoked because previously I was always frustrated at having to stop working at 40 hours when important work still needed to be done, or when an emergency situation popped up. I work in animal welfare, so the emergency thing happened a lot.

In 2020, I started tracking my “working” hours. I started to do this because I wanted to hold myself…

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Writing prompts can be intimidating. Sure, they can be helpful, but my writing on various prompt-subjects (i.e., write about someone you once knew, or going home, or etc) always seems a bit contrived.

I do, however, love to add some structure to my drafting process with some guidelines or challenges for the piece. These prompts can be prescriptive as to (or suggestive of) a poem’s subject, but not always.

The best thing about first drafts? You don’t have to stick with whatever challenge got you to your first draft. …

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When I was a little girl, I would get a new journal every year on Christmas. Unable to wait until January 1st, my first entry of each year was generally written on December 26th. The journal from the previous year would be long forgotten by this point, so might as well just start over.

I commend my own enthusiasm, but basically since birth I have been guilty of diving head first into goals and plans that are not reasonable and that inevitably lead to failure, or at the very least, lead to some kind of stagnation that certainly cannot be…

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During Covid, my job got hard. Very hard. The hours have been long and unpredictable, and the pressure is at times overwhelming. I was already in the middle of a big project (launching a second mobile low-cost spay and neuter clinic), and then suddenly found myself launching this clinic in the middle of a pandemic — all while implementing new safety protocols and trying to keep up with public demand for a service that, with so many clinics shut down, suddenly far exceeded our capacity.

I have always been one of those people who scoffs at the idea that you…

Holly Amann

Poet. Runner. Adventure enthusiast.

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