Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Death of My Journals, Birth of a Writer.

The same girl who stood at the banks of her undergraduate university estuary and let her journals drown, is refilling journals once again. Back then, I wasn’t a writer. I was an emotional poet: I only strung rhymes together when I was angry or hurt. I’d channel those emotions when I’d perform and stun slam crowds with unbelievable memories.

The work I penned during my high school years accrued several awards, competition wins and notoriety. I was traveling with these emotions to universities, different states and venues. It was good for a while. Then it started to take a toll on me.

Show prep was:
1) A lemon, brought up by room service for voice control.
2) A playlist, particularly songs from the time of the poem’s events, on the iPod.
3) Minutes of remembering: Stirring up the sorrow from the break-up, the lies or the tribulations.


My reputation of emotion grew so strong that I was frequently requested for Valentine’s shows or charities. They wanted me to pen poems for organ donation, AIDS awareness, State of the Black Man and more. They wanted an angry and loud poet that would scare the daylights out of their audience and convey their message to no avail.

I wasn’t writing for me anymore. I was even taking on the emotions of others, a masochist really, as research for new poetry. I’d had enough.

I woke up one morning, with a strong heavy on my heart, boxed the journals loaded with poetry written upon request into cardboard and took the short walk to Hampton University’s banks. I watched the sorrow float briefly and then be swallowed whole.

I made a choice that day. I was going to write for me and only for me. Selfish much?
No, not at all. I’d felt strongly about all the topics I’d written about. During my research for writing on them, I gained a philanthropist heart and volunteered/interned for remarkable causes. However, I’d lost my purpose.

I used to write to relieve my stress and my pain. I used to w
rite all sorts of genres; plays, short stories, etc. Yet here I was, penning for everyone but me.
I went to the store and bought a new slew of journals that night, I enrolled in a fiction writing class the next semester and I started this blog.

My occupation, besides being a teacher, is writing full time for ME. I still perform from time to time, when the purpose is something I’m enthralled about. When I come across an article or cause that moves me, it might find its way into my humble writing abode. Other than those instances; I adore this site, the new notebooks filled with aspirations, and sharing the truth that is MY world.
You only get one pen life. One that might be burdened with the weight of the world or one that is a free glide of inked individuality across the page.
Use it wisely.
(pic via here)


Christina said...

Sheer brilliance. Brave, honest, and something that really opened my eyes to the way I am writing and who I am writing for.

Thank you for...well just writing. Thank you for always writing.

dparrish2003 said...

Finally someone who feels my pain! I'm glad (and a bit shocked) to finally here some say that they felt as if they were not writing for their-self anymore. I didn't know it was to the extreme of sending the old journals out to drown but I feel you. This was a very encouraging read. Thanks sis!

Thou Art Dunketh said...

Every writer should read this. It is more than needed. It's the reason I don't write until it hits me. Because it's hitting ME. I can't force a poem, a scene or a prose piece. Every piece I've forced didn't come out right. But I've written classics at 3 am. Gotta write for you. Great post sis.

Little Miss Knobody said...

I really love this post! I definitely can relate. Writing or even creating something that you're not passionate about takes all of the fun out of it. I've struggled with this myself but realized that as an artist, my first and primary responsibility is to remain true to myself. I'm glad you've re-discovered your passion... or rather your life's calling!

Demetra said...

Eye opening! I think most of us as writers fall into the trap of wanting to please our audience only. We forget that what attracted our audience to us was our unique voice. Thats why I try to write on the fly, whenever someting peaks my interest I begin to write on it (and see where it takes me).

Lyrik Marie said...

Whether you're writing for others, or writing for yourself, you will be a success! You've been blessed with a creative mind that is timeless. You've found that voice of yours and will now begin to project it... Very proud of you Riv :)