Hello Write Queeners,
How many times have you misheard the lyrics to a song?
I know that this happens to me at least once a day. I think that this brilliant line that I play over and over again is real until I want to post part of the lyrics on Facebook. Being lazy and hating dictation at times, I search for them online so I can copy and paste. When I find the song on some lyric site, that's when I find out the horrible truth: That one line, that one word, sometimes that one syllable that made the song amazing is NOT
a part of the song!
After learning what's really there, I do hear it. But my mind always wants to go back to my original assumption. It's never the same though and you will always be fighting a battle between what you hear and what you want to hear (as with many aspects of our lives!).
We don't have to let those great lines go to waste though. Back in my undergrad years in one of my creative writing courses, I was told that when this happens to us, that we can use that line in our writing. Since it isn't a part of the song we were listening to, we have originally created that line. Now it is ours to use in our poems, prose, for titles, for anything!
I have two examples of this concept for us to marvel in:
Jon Secada - If I Never Knew You from Disney's Pocahontas
A timeless classic from my childhood, I thought this song was all types of amazing (still do!) The line that made me feel like my world was falling apart into sweet ecstasy was this (in bold):
I thought our love would be so beautiful
Somehow we made the whole world cry,
I never knew that fear and hate could be so strong
All they leave are worthless whispers in the night
But still my heart is saying we were right.
Beautiful, isn't it? Such sadness, such beauty...and it was absolutely the wrong lyric. The correct lyrics are:
I thought our love would be so beautiful
Somehow we make the whole world right
I never knew that fear and hate could be so strong
All they leave are worthless whispers in the night
But still my heart is saying we were right.
Still nice, but for me, it wasn't the same. There was no devastating beauty in it. No power! I was crushed when I realized what it really was. I have never been able to listen to the song the same way again. My brain is always struggling to bring back that line. SIGH!!!
Here is something a little more contemporary for my pop music lovers.
Justin Timberlake - Strawberry Bubblegum
I am in love with Justin's new album The 20/20 Experience
! One of my tracks is Strawberry Bubblegum. Ironically, I experienced another misheard mishap while I was formulating this post. Here's what I heard:
So tell me you wanna get close somewhere far away
Dont worry about your loving it won't go to waste
Dont ever change your faith cause I love the taste
And if you ask me where I wanna go, I say all the way
Hot line, isn't it? Don't ever change your faith cause I love the taste. That is a mind explosion! But of course, I knew that couldn't be right. So off to find the correct lyrics and look, I was wrong:
So tell me you wanna get close somewhere far away
Dont worry about your loving it won't go to waste
Dont ever change your flavor cause I love the taste
And if you ask me where I wanna go, I say all the way
Makes more sense huh?
These mishaps actually have a name. It is called Mondegreen
, as define by its definition on Wikipedia:
The mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase as a result of near-homophony, in a way that gives it a new meaning.
Giving a name to this makes me feel less crazy. It also gives me an opportunity to come up with a challenge for my readers.
Write Queeners, I want you to find your mondegreen and write a mondegreen poem! It can be any length. Here's a draft of one I wrote using (surprise, surprise) one of the examples of a mondegreen that I showed you earlier:
Knees bruised from
from thigh to waist.
Don't ever change
cause I love the taste.
Tilt back on
your palms while I pray
that my thirst will be
Eh, I haven't written a poem in a while so excuse that draft! But you guys get the idea. Share your mondegreen poems with me in the comments section (or leave a link to where I can find it!).
I am stubborn. I know people who are perfectly capable of designing logos, but being the do-it-myself type of gal, I had to make one myself. Which means a couple of years without a logo. I wanted something simple, yet funky. I have a million ideas and not enough time (or expert skill, I'll admit!) to play on Photoshop. But I finally found time today! After waking up at 6AM to find myself shivering, yet sweating after a night with a terrible headache, I had to call out of work. The extra few hours of sleep did help sort out things and I had at least enough brain power to go on Photoshop (if you knew my occupation, you would see why Photoshop is considered kids play).
Well after hours of frustrating myself with my own logo and a friend's logo, I finally finished my own with the help of my boyfriend (the best cure all after feeling under the weather). Now the final result is on top of my page, but I figured that a larger version was in order:
What do you think guys? Yay or Nay? I can always make (or have someone) make another. For now, after not having one, I think this is pretty dandy. But wait, there is more! I actually made another logo! Check this out:
Eh, that's nothing crazy, but I do think it's cute. What do you think? Hmm, maybe we should do a poll! Yes...we will do a poll. Check out the contenders side by side and tell me what you think.
If you want to skip the poll, you can always leave a comment on the posts!
This sickster must get to bed, but I hope that I might get to wake up to some poll results to make my day.
Good night ya'll!
I realized that I am not giving it my all in any aspect of my life due to continued stress and that need to take care of everybody else and making them happy. Even when I do things for myself, I am so worried about how this will affect me emotionally, physically, and financially that I cannot fully grasp the concept of doing it for ME. I confess that when I graduated college, I had no idea how things would go. But I never expected to be thrown into a position where I am the one who becomes responsible for the people who matter the most to me in a matter of weeks.
To go through the beginning of this mess again would cause an aniexty attack while writing this. That's not my purpose. This was suppose to be a short Facebook post to show a realization of why I am falling short of my goals. But when I started writing, I felt the need to go longer than three lines. Sometimes I feel like I can write a book on these set of feelings that are hopefully temporary guests in my life. Sometimes I don't want to feel at all. Depression? Maybe, but I feel like I am stronger than that.
What triggers these thoughts is the positivity of other people achieving their goals. I know that this is screwed up. I am happy for those who are making moves in their lives. I think it's the oversaturation of it posted in places we should use to unwind and keep in touch that bugs me.
I know many people who are working their way to lose weight. There are a couple who I do things with in order to achieve my own weight loss goals. But it's the way they go about things and their views that make me back away. First of all, if all of you want to go hard, then go hard. But don't push me to follow your way. It took me a while to decide that I was going to actively change my habits. But it also took me just as long to not cringe in the mirror every time I look at myself. Now everytime I go on any social network, everytime I talk to people in person, it's about what we are eating, it's about the gym, it's about the way that we can't say that we love ourselves either way.
That what bugs me. Not one person I know has ever said that they love themselves either way. All they say is that they will never go back, that they live for fitness and healthy eating and all of this hoopla. I never heard someone say "I love me either way, I'm just doing this to improve my health." But that's my true goal. I'm just doing this to improve my health. I don't care about my dress size (as long as it doesn't get bigger). I feel that it's unfair that plus size fashion is more expensive, not as hip, and harder to find. I hate that I feel like I have to shame myself into going to the gym and having these health shakes (another story for another time). I hate being at the gym and feeling like I can't go at my own pace. And I hate that because I set this in motion, that I feel bad when I pig out too. No one should feel this way when they are working at making their body healthy. But I do.
I feel pressure to go at a parallel pace with the people I know. To be pushed into going faster, trying certain machines, eating certain foods, and doing it for hours on end. I feel pressured and I say yes. And I crash harder because of it.
What I need to do is start saying no, this is what I feel comfortable doing, please don't push me when I've barely gotten use to doing any of this. I need to say no, I have other hobbies. No, I like sleeping on the weekends. No, I like eating Nutella still!
Before I started to actively change my body, I was starting to make better choices. I wasn't eating a lot of junk food, I was opening myself up to trying new things. I was eliminating things like soda with lunch and dinner. And these were changes that I was making on my own. I felt happy about that, but once I started to drink shakes, go to the gym, eat salads and all of that jazz, I started to lose my pacing fast.
There's more to it, but then I would be going on and on about something I do have control of. It's my body and now I have to reteach myself that it's okay to go at my pace. That I love myself either way. Doing things with people is fun, but when your goals don't match, it can make a turn for the worst. I need to stop paying attention to those Facebook posts that make me feel guilty (yes the whole point of the rant, which doesn't need order so don't you dare say that I need to use my writing skills!). I know that I'm not sitting around doing absolutely nothing to change myself. I need to stop feeling guilty about my pace. That guilt is preventing me from finishing anything right now. That and the stress of my family and my "it's not my career" job.
As for things like my writing, I wish I had someone pressuring me into that, like they do with my weight. But I guess if I am thinner, I would write more? No, I don't think so!
This rant is becoming a mess so WQers, just wish me well and leave me messages. Maybe we can work on all of these issues together, at our own pace.
Hello Write Queeners,
I've been a busy 9 to 5 bee. I've also been a busy reading bee. Ever since I got my Kindle as a "Yay first paycheck/Christmas" gift, I have been reading so many books as I travel to and from work.
My current read is titled, "Writer with a Day Job: Inspiration & Exercises to Help You Craft a Writing Life Alongside Your Career" by Aine Greaney.
As the title states, there are exercises that help you set goals, realize your aspirations, and more importantly, write. I figured that it would be fun to share my attempts with WQers. Plus it makes me blog which is one of the important goals that I need to achieve. Here is the first exercise:
1. As a writer, I want to:
I want to create poetry from emotion and experimentation. I also want to write for literary craft magazines (is that the right name for them?). I want my work to be used on things like Poetry in Motion, where I hope to touch someone during the hustle and bustle of transportation (just like I was by one poster I saw this morning). As a writer, I want to be remembered. Not for fame, but for the pure love of the craft.
2. I want to be the kind of writer who:
Makes a mini series out of everything so the reader has an adventure to go on. The real life experiences consist of different phases of hoopla, so my writing should reflect that. I also want to be the kind of writer who studies and talks about every aspect of the craft. I've had to do a lot of growing on my own. I want to impart the knowledge I stumble upon with others so they don't have to exhaust themselves with the learning process and get down to the more important part: the writing process!
3. When my readers read my work, I want them to: cry/laugh/think/improve their lives/enjoy a good story.
Since I can't circle it as the book says, I'll just say all of the above. I want to be diverse in my experiences. In my day to day life, I experience each of these things in non-writing situations. If there is one thing I would love to improve on, it is how to show a range of emotions in my writing. I feel like I have not mastered the technique of conveying different types of emotions in my work.
4. When my readers write to me, I want them to compliment my:
- Ability to connect with them.
- My writing style.
- My very existence- haha (kidding on that one).
I don't really know if I have a true answer for that because I become really shy when I receive compliments of any kind. BUT I also like to give hugs and candy when someone does!
5. My writing goal or dream:
- To blog more.
- To publish my chapbook and maybe put together another one.
- To write for online mags/blogs about writing.
- To obtain a network of writers to share my highs and lows with.
Those are attainable if I put the time in.The dream
- To leave behind a legacy.
- To be known on some sort of scale.
- For the world to know that the world of writing is all I want in life.
It may seem silly (and repetitive), but I just want to know that all of this wasn't for nothing. Living life, writing, putting the work to get my writing out there. If I can't prevent death to my physical being, I would love to prevent my words from being buried with me. I guess the dream is really to have my words live on after I am gone.
I look forward to sharing more exercises with you. Hey, you can even join me by buying the book or answering the exercise when I put it up on your own blog or in the comments section.
Well this Writer with a Day Job has to get back to work!
Stay warm WQers!
During the aftermath of Sandy, there is a great deal of information being thrown around all over the place.
The Write Queen blog would like to make things easier for everyone and give you a guide/page of links of need to know information.
If anyone has anything to add, please leave a comment below. More importantly, share this post!
P.S. I am trying to keep most of the links posted in their mobile versions for those who only have their phone as a source of information. If you need a desktop version, go to the sites via your computer (by the way if you can go on a computer, you are doing better than a lot of people so please help in distributing information).
NYC and Government agencies:
NYC's site: http://www.nyc.gov
NYC Severe Weather site: http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/nycsevereweather/weather_home.shtml
NY State's site with information from the governor: http://www.governor.ny.gov/
The storm resources page: http://www.governor.ny.gov/storm-resources
General information on hurricanes: http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes?qt-view__field_tabs_view__default__166=2
FEMA and Hurricane Sandy: http://m.fema.gov/http://www.fema.gov/sandy
Google Crisis Map: http://www.google.org/crisismap/2012-sandy-nyc
MTA's general site: http://www.mta.info
Current map of working transportation: http://project.wnyc.org/mtatiles/embed.html
Transit Tracker to let you know of rules during this time:http://project.wnyc.org/transit-tracker/embed.html
Food and Water: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/foodandwater.html
Dry Ice: https://attachments.sendwordnow.com/Attachments.aspx?token=517c7db5-94f8-48e0-9ecf-339b54f13711
NYC Hurricane Shelters: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/hurricane_shelters.html
Red Cross Shelters: http://www.redcross.org/find-help/shelter
Mayor's Fund: http://www.nyc.gov/html/fund/html/home/home.shtml
Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/hurricane-sandy?scode=RSG00000E017&subcode=paiddonationsbrand&gclid=CPucsNzmsLMCFdKd4Aod4lYAKA
Request For Donations (Thank you Jamise Jones for this info!)
Please note - donations will be accepted from 10:00am thru 6:00pm daily (until further notice).
These supplies, while collected in Queens, will be distributed to ALL affected areas citywide.
At this time please do not bring donations to your local police facility, while much appreciated we need to ensure an efficient rapid distribution. Right now this central location is the most effective method as we continually adjust to the shifting conditions.
Resort World Casino (Former Aqueduct Racetrack)
110-00 Rockaway Blvd ; Jamaica, NY 11420
Next to JFK airport - Enter from 109th Street & Rockaway Blvd
Uniformed NYPD Community Affairs officers in marked vehicles will be present in the parking lot to accept these much needed donations.
We are seeking donations of the following items (or similar):
Food - Canned goods; Non-perishable food items; Individual snacks (chips, cookies, fruit snacks, granola bars, pudding); Canned Milk; Bottled Water
Shopping List - Paper products (facial tissue, toilet paper, paper towels); Baby care products (diapers, formula, wipes) Trash bags; Aluminum foil, plastic wrap and sandwich bags; Cleaning products (bleach, sponges, dishwashing liquid); Bath and bedroom items (towels, sheets and pillow cases); Personal care products (deodorant, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioner; feminine hygiene products); FLASH LIGHTS and BATTERIES; BACKPACKS.
Clothing - All types of clothing for all ages and genders, particularly clothing for the approaching colder weather.
Any questions can be directed to the Community Affairs Bureau at 646-610-5323 or via email at email@example.com
*Store owners, or other large businesses interested in bulk donations should contact the above number to coordinate logistics.
Con Ed's Storm Central: http://apps.coned.com/stormcenter_external/m.htm
Additional information on outages at: http://www.governor.ny.gov/
Report Storm Damage:
To have the NYC marathon is an insult to all of those in distress after Sandy.
I see Facebook pages popping up and unless you take the time to read them sir, I know that you are still going to go through with this. Hell even if you saw all of the comments, you would still do it.
That's not what a mayor does.
Your people are suffering. I am fortunate enough to be okay, but I know people who are not.
Resuming school on Monday? Great! So what are you going to do for the kids whose schools were damaged in the Rockaways? What is the plan for schools in lower Manhattan if you cannot restore power by then? Are kids going to be penalized for not coming to school next week because they don't know when they are going back to their homes? I would like to know that.
And Staten Island...what are you going to do for them? People are needed everywhere yes, but do you have a plan to get people to Staten Island to help. We can't exactly walk there.
Saying, "We are doing the best we can." is not easing anyone's mind, especially when the next minute, you are saying that the marathon will go on!
If I had the chance to talk to you, I would ask every question in this entry and more. If you cannot come up with a good answer for these questions, then guess what...you shouldn't be having this marathon!
Please use the common sense that the good Lord gave you (but is obviously hidden in the shadows of preparing for a marathon that should be postponed!).
Sometimes it takes a single note. Sometimes it takes an encouraging word. Whatever it is, something takes you back to a place where your past will help define your future. During Hurricane Sandy (all is well here, don't worry!), when I had nothing to do, no Internet, work, or any place to go, I did things I haven't done in years. I read a book in a day. I played numbers on Facebook where I got reminders of how people view me, especially people who remember my writing. And when I made the decision to work on my next manuscript, I found songs that I used to listen to when I would be up to the wee hours of the morning editing and writing.
I found a lifeline to the passion.
For the last two years since I've graduated from college, I've been up and running. Real life came crashing down. While I've worked on my writing in the beginning and accomplished things beyond my expectations...life has gotten in the way. Lately, I felt I was losing myself. I was going to put it in a different way, but that sounds perfect as I write it.
I've been losing myself. In the most important way. Forgetting that every decision I made before I graduated was for the sake of writing. That I am writing.
Christina is writing and writing is Christina.
Other people know it and tell me all the time. I stopped believing them.
Now I remember. The times in the past year where I have had all of these mini revelations have lead to the big one. It's why I'm up after four hours of sleep and blogging. It's why I'm going to actually continue to work on the next manuscript after posting this. I've been blessed with time (no work while subways and electricity aren't working in Manhattan) and a push from the past. Taking advantage!
Want to hear the song that caused this wonderful revelation? Follow this link: http://open.spotify.com/track/7AEhFs2UwiKQstZ7SuE4H4
In the meantime, I hope all those that have been affected by Sandy are doing well. My heart goes out to those who have been going through a hard time or have lost their lives in this disaster. I thank god that my loved ones, friends, and myself are still well.
Be blessed everyone!
The Write Queen
I published my first piece of writing in 2005. I was 19 and I had a hunger inside.
It was only an English 2 assignment. It wasn’t the start of a great novel nor was it under the realization that I ultimately wanted to be a writer. It was just an assignment that I was seriously stuck on until the Saturday before it was due. I had to write a memoir piece about myself. After an incident two years before involving my writing being discovered by my mother, I was a little shy about writing, especially about myself. The past is not pleasant and my mother does not like dirty laundry being aired out. But I couldn’t help it. I had to write. It was a release that was better than all of the bad things a young adult could get themselves into. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t hesitant when this assignment came up.
For those who don’t know which piece I’m talking about, it’s in the prose and publications sections of my portfolio called “Photo Album”. As I said before, I was stuck. I didn’t know how to write about myself, especially in a form other than poetry. I was sitting around in my room when I looked over at the dresser and saw pictures of myself. It stuck me right there and then: What if I wrote my memoir as if you were looking at a photo album? Would I be able to pull it off?
It took a couple of hours, but I did. For some unknown miracle, it worked. I was even able to pull off a smooth transition from third person to first person throughout the piece (though I had no clue I was doing something so impressive until my professor told me so). When my professor offered to help me published it in one of the college's publications, I was absolutely stunned. I had hoped he would like it because I wanted an A, but to have it published meant that my writing had real potential.
Potential...I still feel like I am in the potential stage.
Forget about what I've published through my journalism classes. Most were good, solid stories that were important enough not be discarded as just an assignment and were runned. But that's all staged for the degree.
Don't point out the literary publications through college publications. While some hold merit because it went through a submissions process, others were a part of a collective that probably would have published you no matter what.
The ones outside of school are the dearest to me. Sending your stuff out to the literary world is scary. Most publications that you admire will reject you. A few will take a chance on you...which I am so happy that they have.
Then what is the problem? Where am I going with this?
Let's go back to my first sentence: I published my first piece of writing in 2005. I was 19 and I had a hunger inside.
I was 19 and I had a hunger inside.
Currently I am 26. I've been writing poetry since I was 13. At some point, I kept count of how much I have written. The number was over 500 pieces. I discovered this around 19, 20 years old. I wouldn't be able to give you a number now.
Now I have a number that haunts me. 32. That is the number of poems in my chapbook manuscript that I am about to shop around. These are 32 poems that hopefully will touch a small press publisher who will be willing to take a chance on my writing and help represent it. I want this more than anything in the world.
But the hunger is not the same. Though I think the concept of hunger isn't right...
I am afraid. The fear is taking over...that's it! The fear...
I was fearless at 19.
Fearless and inexperienced. All I knew was that I was writing. Technique wasn't important. Content less so at times. I just wrote. I wrote so much that I'm suprised that I had time for anything else. When I asked myself would I be able to pull this off, there really wasn't answer. It was just done. I had my reservations, from what I was writing about to if it would be good. But I didn't dwell. I wrote. I wrote and I wrote and in between, I got published.
I don't think publication had the same meaning at 19 than it does now at 26. I wrote without thoughts of publication at 19. At 26, I write a haiku and I think: What if I sent this out? Would it get published? Would someone be impressed?
Having that mentality contributes to not taking a lot of opportunties and risks. I don't even blog the way I used to. I could blame it on the fact that I am choosing to settle down in a job that is not in my career path so I can take care of members in my family and so I can make and save money to gain independence and to fund many of the projects I have started and not been able to finish. I really could.
But after I settle into the routine of having a permanent job and making an annual salary, if I haven't been writing, especially because I am afraid that I am not writing publishable pieces, who do I really have to blame?
I can't blame my job. I'm not there 24/7. I can't blame publications, when I do send out work, when they reject me. I haven't been keeping up to the practice of writing. I'm letting the sillest fear get in the way of what I am really meant to do: write!
I have to write. I have to have that hunger that I had when I was 19. I have to be fearless and dump a little bit of the knowledge I have in my head. I need to write without worrying about this and that mistake. Experience may be a teacher, but does it prevent us from taking risks?
This is something I need to work out while I hunt for a publisher. After someone takes a chance on my baby...I need to follow up eventually. And there will be no book two if I let the well run dry.
There won't be growth either. So for the rest of this year and the next, my goal is to find the hunger again with reckless abandon.
Cheers to taking chances.
Hello Write Queen Readers,
Monday was a major step in the right direction for me. I participated in a focus group for Poets & Writers magazine! Yes, I was swooning and nervous to be in the offices of the place I would love to work for one day. Oh my goodness, was I nervous!
The session focused on writers of color. It's something I have thought about in passing, but not pertaining to myself. When I write, I am not influenced by race, gender, sexuality or any of that hoopla. I write based on what I feel and the last time I checked, I was human.
But being human doesn't count when you are trying to publish and sell your books. The color of your skin does start to matter. Which is disheartening when there are so many other factors already against your poor creation, like the declining number of bookstores, the breakdown of traditional publishing models, and so forth.
Issues of race are common in every field though. You can break down the solution to one formula: Show opposing forces your culture and how it can benefit the scheme of things and continue to do it, loud and strong, until changes comes about. Show those afraid of what they don't understand your humanity. I believe that this could be applied to any field of work. With books, we need to show them that our writing contributes to the writing community, our genres, and the culture of this country plus show the common humanity in the themes of our writing.
While all I could do is nod and agree with the statements being made about race, I was able to contribute something to another issue: Showing guidance to emerging writers. Poets & Writers does a fine job in supplying resources that writers need in the writing world, but in my opinion, it needs to strengthen its tactics when it comes to the brand spanking new writer. However, P&W is not the only organization that falls short of that. A lot of organizations, publications, and even educational institutions do too.
I'll explain my struggle.
In college, you take courses that touch upon the life of a writer. Most classes are designed to nurture the technique of writing, but only suggest that you check out certain resources if you are thinking about publishing your work in literary magazines. Very few classes talk about publishing a book. Fewer actually instruct you in how to go about it. You write your little heart out, possible put a book or portfolio together in class, and then get a grade plus have more writing under your belt. Sounds great right?
What happens after you leave college, have occasional contact with professors (or none at all in some cases), and you are ready to go live the writer's life?
You are on your own a lot of the time, that's what!
Until a writer can find their place within the writing community, a lot of the development happens when you are alone with your pen, pad, and computer. You research. You inform yourself. You put what you learn into practice and you start to either hit or miss those finer points that you have learned. For myself, what I did to get the ball rolling was start submitting to online literary magazines. My first year after college was dedicated to that. I also sat down and redefined my goals as a writer. I decided what course of action I was willing to get down and dirty for and I made an effort to stick to it.
Part of that plan was this lovely site. I switched servers, thought about things I wanted to write about, redesigned the site and built The Write Queen into its own entity. It wasn't just the name of a blog on a thrown together portfolio site anymore. It became its own living, breathing slice of me, about my journey and identity as a writer.
And I did this by myself (with the help of the internet and encouragement from friends, most non-writers, but lovers of the arts).
I have a foundation. What boggles my mind is the breakthrough. How do I get recognized by my peers in the writing community as well as those who can help me with my dreams?
I know that I am part of my problem. I have to throw myself out there and know that there are supportive writers out there. But sometimes it would be nice to not have to do a Google search to find them. What I want Poets & Writers and other publications, organizations, and schools to do is to dedicate time to talk to the emerging writer. Have workshops about the writing life. Publishing articles from more up and coming writers. Give them opportunities that you would give the mid-career writer. We all need our breakthrough and we are young (both literally and figuratively) writers who are thirsty for it, but have to swim through a lot of information that we need guidance to get through.
We are here!
I would love nothing more than to be a modern day writer. To have the opportunity to write and publish my work under traditional and new models, while sharing what I learn with others and to have others like me in my corner.
But I do need help sometimes. At 13, a teaching artist changed my life by having my class write poetry. However until college, I had very little guidance in the craft. I didn't have programs centered on expression find me like a lot of teens have today (plus I honestly think that no one cares about the kids in Queens. Maybe we weren't unfortunate enough for someone to take us by the hand...but that's for another day, another post).
I taught myself and I am very proud of that. I was able to come into my writing courses with a head start that I didn't expect to have, but realized I did have because I took the initative. Eventually, you hit a wall though and you need to be taught. You need someone to take you by the hand and say this is how it's done. Right now, I am hugging that wall when it comes into living the writer's life.
My challenge to the big dogs is to teach us. If you really care about the next generation of writers, then really pay attention to us. Not once in a while. Make it common practice to nurture a writer's beginning.
Don't just teach us how to write. Show us what it means to live writing.
Hello Write Queen Readers!
I want to say that life is the excuse for the break, but it isn't. Well, it's part of the reason, but it's something bigger. It's confidence. It's all about confidence.
See, I have this dream for myself. I want to be a writer who is about the writing life. Who travels all over, is known in writing circles, and who has torrid love affairs with books and men of her choosing. I want a brownstone in Brooklyn, a house in Long Island and several landing pads in various cities that I adore. I want a MFA in Poetry from the Columbia College of Chicago, to start a family, and to have a media center where I can help other artists realize their dreams.
Most of this is doable. But I lack confidence. I know I have the knowledge, a lot of ambition and a pinch of this thing called talent. And I am wasting it everyday I don't live the writing life. Why don't I live the writing life? Let me tell you.
I'm busy chasing after the wrong things. Like a stable job. Yes, we all need money, but everyday I try for a job that has yet to hire me, I am selling myself short. This job is not even in my field. But I have obligations that hold me back.
Like family. I love my family. Do anything for them. But right now, all I am doing is draining myself dry emotionally, physically, and financially while sweeping their bad habits under the rug. No one can fix something that the person with the problem does not want to fix themselves. The more I realize it, the more I know that I have to really break out on my own. In more way than one.
I also have boys on the brain. My relationship has been in a whirlwind that I needed to pause because it was going in the wrong direction. A separate situation has made me see all things that I still need to work on. Like having the balls to say what I want the way I do in my poems.
Which brings it all back to confidence. Last night, I spent time with my EAT Media team and I told them about having confidence in themselves. They are all great writers and artists. They have talents that need to be seen. But they either lack confidence, ambition, or practice. And I gave them a talking to that a leader should have when she sees that her team is shying away from challenge.
It was a rush. Seeing everyone put everything out on the table and listening to each other...it was one hell of a rush.
I put myself on the chopping block too and my problem is being shy with everything I have. Or in other words, not having confidence.
I need to practice what I preach. I got the total package for the writing world and for the rest of life. Now I just need to be confident and push forward because the lack of confidence stops my progress. And I want my brownstone in Brooklyn.
I have my accomplishments. But then I stop when it looks like I am going somewhere because I am afraid. I read somewhere that if you are not confident, you're doing a trial run. I'm not going to talk about not having confidence anymore, I just going to have it.
The trial run is over.