If you would’ve asked me a year ago what kind of writer I am I would’ve told you without hesitation: I’m a novelist.
I might have also added ‘who dabbles in blogging’.
Those were the only types of writing I was interested in.
Recently, due to life circumstances and a health challenge, I have had to rethink my novelist tendencies. I have, by now, written three novels and have a fourth in the works (and I’m not counting the ‘novel’ I wrote in my early 20s).
The sensible move would be to finish the fourth one, yes?
However, that isn’t what’s happening. Instead, with health challenges and a swift shift into a different way of being, I have had to adapt.
Yes, I have ventured into short stories, memoir–and poetry.
YES YOU HEARD ME, I SAID POETRY!
The last time I wrote poetry I was in my early 20s and, rightly or wrongly, I associated it with teenage angst. The sort of thing Romeo would scribble in his journal while mooning over Rosalind.
Poetry, to me, didn’t feel very grown up. It didn’t feel mature. Maybe, I thought, because it doesn’t require the same level of commitment as a novel does. (False assumption, of course–one still deeply commits, its just the pattern of energy that is different).
I’m sorry to say I was a bit of snob about it.
Now, however, it is my NEW FAVOURITE (OLD) THING. Here’s FIVE REASONS why you should write poetry:
- word play! So fun! Do it just for the pure joy of it! Experiment!
- it feels so good to get it out of your system without waiting ten million years for it to be complete
- its a challenge! Are you up for it? You must convey all the aspects of a novel: character, connection, theme, time and space but in a more concise and direct way
- you get to deep dive in right to the heart of the matter
- you can find a poem in everything, everywhere, all the time: the inspiration and possibilities are truly endless!
Reading poetry is also fun, you get to see how other writers finagle all of the above.
I hadn’t been paying much attention to the poetical realm these past 20 years but it turns out there is a thriving and gorgeous poetry community out there in the world.
If you haven’t done so already, go explore it!
Dear Writers, what type of writing do you do and do you write or read poetry?
PS: Here are two of my favourite recent discoveries in the poetical realm:
First, the book of blessing poems by John O’Donohue. (To Bless This Space Between Us)