Coffee & Contemplation: 5 Things Writing Poetry Has Done for Me

I have written poetry for close to 18 years. That’s a long time to do anything. In that time, I’ve written about 500 poems. That’s a lot of poetry. Someone once said, “An artist has to draw 10,000 bad pictures before they start drawing good one.” This is true in writing as well. I wouldn’t call myself a master, but after years of study and practice, I know a thing or two. I want to share my knowledge with other writers and aspiring writers. I’ll start simple with what writing poetry has done for me.

1. Poetry Helped Me Heal

I didn’t express emotions as a child or young adult. This was a survival technique I developed. I didn’t talk about or deal with my emotions. I started writing poetry in high school. The more I wrote, the easier it was for me to express my emotions. After several years, I could talk about how I was feeling. If I’m struggling with something, or upset, I’ll write to help collect my thoughts and clear my mind. Poetry was my gateway to overcoming my childhood trauma. I’m still healing.

2. Poetry Is My Hobby

I only get bored when I’m not writing or working on a project. It’s my favorite thing to do and it keeps me busy. I enjoy learning about new types or poetry, or new ways to present poetry to potential audiences. There are a lot of cool things happening from the Poetry Society of New York. I also plan to share my hobby with others to help them strengthen their own writing.

3. Poetry Improved My Writing

I write fiction and nonfiction as well as poetry. My writing in these areas has improved because I started with poetry. Writing poems with certain restrictions (rhyme schemes, meter, etc…) required me to find different ways to say similar things. This increased my vocabulary and even how I speak. It makes writing metaphors and similes easier as well.

4. Poetry Helped Me Appreciate Different Perspectives

One thing I like to explore with poetry is point of view. I play around sometimes with who is speaking in a poem. I once wrote a poem from the perspective of a building looking down on humans. I find myself having less trouble looking at things from somewhere other than my own eyes. I try to argue less and learn more about someone else’s viewpoint. Seeing things from the eyes of others makes me a better human being. I can cultivate that through writing poetry.

5. Poetry Strengthened My Creative Expression

After almost two decades, I am a strong writer. I stopped writing poetry for a while believing that chapter in my life was over. Through inspiration from a close friend, I started writing poetry again and that’s when I found my voice. That’s when I decided writing was my life purpose and I needed to find more ways to write. I also have branched out to photography, another type of storytelling. I don’t think I can live without creating something every day.

Many of the people I’ve met either like poetry or they don’t. There is no in-between. Poetry is not for everyone. If you’re reading this, I’ll bet that you enjoy writing and reading poetry. Don’t expect overnight success. Most poets don’t reach fame in their lifetime. And many more never earn a living with their poetry. I write poetry for myself. And I enjoy sharing it with others. I hope this inspires someone to write more poetry. I imagine a kid trying to learn how to see the world as I had. Good luck in your writing endeavors.

Overworked and Underpaid Kills Creativity

I’ve been lacking in my updates and posts lately. I’ve stayed busy and most of my time has gone elsewhere with multiple jobs and other writing adventures. I created links for all my published works where they were first published if not in an eBook on the right column of my website. I hope to have many more published but I’m behind on writing and editing; mostly editing. I will only get further behind during the holidays. This is the time I put in the most work for the Tucson Fringe Festival, of which I am a member of the board and the treasurer. The festival is mid-January, so all the planning happens in November and December.

I’ve started a new novel which I’ve had to put on hold to finish other projects, but the outline is finished and sometimes the hardest part is figuring out the sequence of events. I have a long way to go before my novella is finished. The writing is done but it requires so much editing and it’s the longest work I’ve ever written which makes it more time consuming. Then I have multiple short stories that need finished and edited. A private office would be helpful, but I don’t have the money at the moment and that’s why I’m working multiple jobs.

I am not in a position where I can work for myself which would be the best thing for me. I’d have less stress and fewer worries provided I’m making enough money. I usually don’t and can’t afford food let alone things like health care. Currently, my finances are leveling off, but I feel overworked and too tired to do much writing. I’m impressed with how much I’ve completed the last couple months. I haven’t done much reading either. Reading can be therapeutic so not reading I think is adding to the stress. Not writing is stressful too.

I hope to find some balance in everything soon, but it can be hard to stay motivated. I go through many peaks and valleys with my motivation and my personal adventures are the first to go when I lose motivation. If I can chip away a little each week, I’ll continue to function and feel productive and not lose my mind. It would be nice if I could work on my creative projects full time because working a random job (or jobs) full-time stifles my creativity. Maybe I just haven’t found that easy job that’s low stress and pays well. I’ll just have to keep struggling for a while.



Horror Short Fiction Contest

The polls opened today for the reader’s choice fiction contest presented by The Bold Mom blog. A grand total of 76 stories were entered into this contest including one of mine. “Ceres,” #22 in the lineup, has a lot of competition so I’m asking for your help in voting for my story. I understand you may not want to read 76 short stories. I hope you will at least read mine from the link I have provided. The polls are open for one week, so you have plenty of time to read a couple other stories.

This is one of my favorite stories I have written. The first title of this story was “Vampires of the Caribbean” and the idea was pirates and vampires. Who wouldn’t love that? As the story evolved, I decided to change the name of the story to the name of the ship. Ceres was the Roman Goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships. Other than the ship being home to its sailors, this wasn’t the reason for the name. The Greek counterpart for Ceres is Demeter, which is the name of the ship on which Dracula travels to London in the Stroker novel.

I’m excited to be a part of this contest and also to have the opportunity for others to read my work. With the vast number of stories in this contest, I’m apprehensive about winning. Nonetheless, I’m spreading the word as well as I can, and I hope you will enjoy it. Click the Bold Mom link to vote and click “Ceres” to read the story. Thank you in advance for your vote. It is greatly appreciated.