About two years ago I found myself on stage – yes, on stage- reciting one of my poems. Not only was it on stage but in my home town. Before traveling the world and living abroad in four cities, I would never had done anything as bold. It’s like I thought I was a foreigner in my own country now and so that was an OK thing to do. I only told three people, two of whom are close and bought my poetry book- and of course my loving husband. I was sifting through as calmly as I could to find the right poem. Having to read out a poem made me realize the inadequacies of some of them. Aren’t we all critical of our own work?
“No, not that one,” I thought. “Perhaps this one.” Until I found the one. And boy was I in for a shock when I got up on stage- I looked up and saw the audience members had just sat there, waiting respectfully. I thought that whatever happened, I’d at least get an applause.
What struck me was that at the end of it, everyone that I didn’t know (of course) were telling me about how brave I was. Nothing about how good the poem was, or which bit they liked. It got me feeling somewhat insecure about my writing. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I cried towards the end of it, and had to bite into that to finish the reading. Or maybe it was just foolish and crap.
After that I went along to cafe poetry gatherings (two in fact) and a gathering for critique- I may have made a mistake by presenting a story close to my heart. The main message was that it was beautiful and I needed to be clear about it. But I also asked a friend to go. And felt it a dreadful mistake. No offense- she liked it and continued to go to the events but I wasn’t anonymous any more. Which brings me to the important point that funnily, this is the main reason why I started to write. Anonymity set me free, and I didn’t feel judged, humiliated or anything like that, and if I were then it wouldn’t matter. I’d leave and no one would care.
Wild Words was the most memorable, which was where I got up to read my poem. I entered the Literary Awards and it was a buzz just to be invited. Then I decided to do a Writer’s Workshop with Marianne Butler. To be honest the discount in the price was an incentive to become a member of The NT Writer’s Center. I’m forever on a budget- aren’t we all? If I said it was fabulous, it would lack essence, especially for a laterally thinking mind- one that gets distracted by this and that and has a hard time focusing. Which was why I enjoyed the course coincidentally, it allowed me to do just that- focus. Now I have a few more skills and knowledge on how to write stories. Each poem I write has a story- it’s just a matter of telling it.
I’ve heard people say they don’t like blog posts that are written for the sake of writing anything. Why the hell not? If that were true, we should stop having conversations, small talk, and so on. I understand the idea of the quality of a post, but what intrigues me about language is the unpredictability of what comes. And on that note, I thank you so much for journeying with me on my writing endeavors as I try to simply get better at it. Making friends is the most rewarding experience gained but not just any – friends who understanding what you’re actually on about. If that’s you, or not- I welcome your likes/comments. I also make the point of visiting other blogger’s posts.
Thanks, keep on writing, and dancing!