Get Inspired Mondays

Share Your Writing and Who Knows What Will Happen — Guest Post by Robert Lee Brewer

Get Inspired Mondays — Guest Blogger Series

Welcome to the third installment of Get Inspired Monday!  Each week you’ll find a different writer sharing their story of finding inspiration — often from an unexpected source.  To read the previous posts, click here and here

I’m thrilled to have the incredible poet, writer, and editor Robert Lee Brewer as my guest today. Robert wears many hats, but I first came across his work at his popular Writer’s Digest blog, Poetic Asides. He also blogs at My Name is Not Bob, where he describes himself as a “Father. Poet. Editor. Occasionally slap happy smack talker.” Well, tell me you’re a slap happy smack talker, and I’m a fan for life, my friend.  

A busy guy, Robert provides support and inspiration via chats on Twitter (#poettues and #poettalk), and is getting ready to release his upcoming poetry collection, ENTER. He’s also a poet/editor/slap happy smack talker with a lot of heart.


Share Your Writing and Who Knows What Will Happen

By Robert Lee Brewer

Not every writer gets started because of a pure love of words; some get into the enterprise for a pure love of love. For me, I can still remember the moment that sparked off what has turned into a 17-year relationship with poetry. That’s the moment when I saw a girl who turned my 15-year-old heart upside down and swirled it around, and I had no idea what her name was.

Robert Lee Brewer with his wife Tammy Foster Brewer during the oft-poetic dating stage

Since teenage hearts do crazy things, I just started writing a poem about this girl and how she made me feel. The next day—despite my shy nature—I delivered the poem to the girl at lunch. Actually, I kind of tossed the poem at her and rushed off to the safety of my usual table. I expected the girl to read the poem, laugh and call me names.

Instead, she said she liked the poem, liked poetry and asked me if I had more. Being a desperately heartsick teenage boy, I lied, “Of course. I love poetry.” And so, the pressure was suddenly on to write more and more poems. To impress a girl.

The girl and I started dating, and my pen burned through pages like fire. Life was great—until we broke up. Once again, my heart was turned upside down and swirled around. I didn’t want to eat or sleep, but I did find myself writing and writing. And writing.


Over the years, I’ve had many other unexpected encounters with people that led me to keep writing. But these people didn’t just read my mind to know that I was a writer. I actually had to get over my shyness and fear of rejection to share my words.

And for me, the story of my writing life came full circle a few years ago when I was sharing and critiquing poetry on MySpace (when MySpace was still the top social network). One of the poets who I especially enjoyed reading also enjoyed reading my work. After a year of talking mostly about poetry and parenting, we started dating and then married.

So love led me to writing, and writing led me to love. But none of it would’ve been possible if I just kept it all bottled up or hidden away. As writers (even when we don’t know we’re writers), our main job is to write, but it’s also to share.


Robert Lee Brewer is a Senior Content Editor for the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, focusing mainly on Writer’s Market, Poet’s Market and He maintains the blogs Poetic Asides and My Name Is Not Bob , and was named the 2010 co-Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere by His first poetry collection, ENTER, is scheduled to release on April 1, 2011. Robert is married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their four boys. Find Robert on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

On Tap Next Week: Erika Marks, Author of Little Gale Gumbo forthcoming from NAL/Penguin, October 2011.

48 thoughts on “Share Your Writing and Who Knows What Will Happen — Guest Post by Robert Lee Brewer”

  1. Thank you so much for being my guest today, Robert! Love this post, especially, “So love led me to writing, and writing led me to love.” That’s the kind of line that every woman wants to hear (sorry to say it, but it’s true). So glad to have you here~


  2. Great post, Robert! It’s wonderful how our relationships can help shape us as writers. It’s sometimes hard to take that first step of sharing what we do, though.

    Loving these Get Inspired Mondays, Amanda. So nice to start off the writing week with a little inspiration.


    1. Even now, I still have trouble sharing my work with the people I know. But when I do, I’m usually pleasantly surprised with their reactions–and those same people push me on to achieve greater things. It all kind of builds momentum.


  3. Robert, what a wonderful memory to share and so true–like trying for love, sharing our writing can come with risk (as you knew when you did BOTH in that quick-thinking hand-off!) and while there is no guarantee that putting our work out there will draw the desired response, it is certain that NOT trying will result in nothing, so why not go for it?

    Thanks, Amanda, for the introduction to Robert’s work–looking forward to reading more!


  4. Oh, goodness, I wouldn’t stand a chance with that man.

    Very happy for the couple…me? I’d be tripping all over my tongue when it was time to even call him for breakfast.
    “The right words..the right words…how can I find the right words?”

    Excellent post, though I kid, I truly am enjoying all the writer’s inputs here…I truly am.

    Thanks, A. (above average A)


  5. I almost wish I were still teaching, because one thing I hated in academia was the idea that persona was the only way to explain love poetry — you know, we can’t say Catullus was actually in love or anything just because he was writing about it. (To be honest I think this said more about the scholars’ lives than Catullus…yeah, he was just making up all that stuff, and it’s coincidence that it still speaks to people?) I wish I’d had this post to show the students, just as a nice antidote to all that ridiculous theory.


    1. You know I love the theory and the deeper meanings and structure, etc. But whenever I’m in a rut, I just break out my teenage writing to remember that writing is all about the heart that goes into it.


  6. Hey, Robert, now don’t go giving the impression that we actually have, uh, feelings. Kidding.

    I actually got my start in poetry writing in much the same way. 6th grade. Her name was Lisa.

    Well said.


  7. Like others have said above, I swoon over the line, “So love led me to writing, and writing led me to love.”

    I need to let go of my poems. Some are still unwritten, the written are still hidden. This gets me a millimetre closer.


  8. I love to read which leads to the love of writing. I have so many great poems to publish. I am going to have to publish it soon. I am doing all my research now. Thanks.


  9. It’s Tuesday, and I’m just reading this, but I am surely just as inspired as the Monday people were.

    Thank you, Robert, for sharing such a personal account about the moments when true love entered your life, and for reminding us all that we have to open ourselves and become vunerable so that love may have its way.

    Amanda, next Monday I promise to be on time 🙂


  10. What a beautiful story! It reminded me of a young man who wrote me a poem of his love for me. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as gracious as the young woman in your school and didn’t reciprocate. I did keep the poem, however, and now you have me curious – I just have to go and see if I can dig it out.


  11. Thanks for the post and encouragement! I must admit a little man crush on your career – sounds like it beats the heck out of my nine to five job. It’s amazing how little influences when young can alter your life. Who knows, maybe I’d chosen a writing career if someone had given me a little encouragement in high school (of course, it would have helped if I actually wrote something back then). Good luck with those four boys – sure they create a lot of writing material.


    1. I really consider myself lucky to be where I’m at now. I would’ve never guessed back in high school that I’d be the father of four (and one on the way) and working from home on something I love. You just never know.


  12. Wonderful read. I enjoyed your view of a liberation I felt about two months ago – to just get it out there to be read – the end of the procrastinator – the birth of a Poet/Writer.


  13. It’s wonderful that people are posting poetry (and prose too, I believe) on blogs. I have just about had it with the millionth blog telling you how to be a blogging superstar – I guess that sells. I’m also sick of all that SEO talk – shouldn’t writing be human?
    I look forward to the release of ENTER. Here’s to life.

    PS – it’s a Saturday morning. I’m almost an entire week late.



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s