When I blog, I seek to provide life experience with actionable advice. But, what does that mean? Sometimes, I aim to be motivational, even when I’m not feeling that inspirational. Essentially, I want whoever reads what I write to relate to it somehow. It’s even better to take away something useful from it.
As I write this, the poet in me has been reawakening. This happens every so often. But this time, it’s with such force that I can’t ignore how it’s taking over me. I feel a very real need to merge my prose writing with my poetry. Lately, my poetry has been overtaking my prose writing. Is this a good thing?
While I don’t want to sound all sing-songy, I want my writing to read better. I get so caught up in long sentences at times. While I do better with this now, I can still greatly improve. I want my writing now to feel more like a free verse poem. Who wants to just read yet another article?
When you feel that your writing isn’t doing what it should, it’s time for a rededication. Ask yourself, what is it that brings you alive through the written word? If writing doesn’t bring you alive, then you’re doing it wrong.
So, what brings me alive through writing? It’s finding connections between things that didn’t seem to go together before. I find in my poetry that ideas that don’t seem to develop well in prose gain new life in verse.
I wrote many free verse poems before. I’ll still write them here and there as the words demand it. But as I’ve been minding meter and rhyme scheme more, the poetry has become more rich. And when you go to force rhymes, verses can go in directions you never expected. Sometimes, things go off the rails. But other times you make something cool. That’s what I live for in writing: to put words together in new ways that create new and cool ideas.
There’s a reason that reading and writing are the two major skills that everyone must learn and develop. You never stop getting better at reading or writing. That’s why it’s imperative to do both early and often, even if you don’t consider yourself a full time writer. It’s good for your mind.
Your mind is your greatest resource. Feed it. Nurture it.
I want to go back and revise some of my older work. No, I need to go back and reimagine a lot of my old work. The ideas within seem trapped in between the words. Will I actually do this, or will I just press forward? I’ll surely do a little of both.
Have you ever felt that way? You write and write, but what you want to really say never really comes? I feel that way a lot. I used to seem to care more about the words themselves than what they actually say together in concert.
I know I’ve written plenty that resonates with others. But many times, I feel I come up short. That’s a writer’s life: always trying to find a better way to say something. At times, you’re saying pretty much the same thing, but in a thousand different ways. This just happens.
None of us are ever going to be perfect. But in the end, it’s all about your effort. The more you put into something, both when you’re at your best and at your worst, the more you’ll get out of it.
Writing is a strange animal. Some of us can only do it a few minutes at a time. Others pour our entire lives into it. But it’s just getting to do it that matters. The more time you can put into it the better, but just getting started and sticking with it actually matters more.
And I’ve found that reading more than writing is actually fine. It’s perfectly OK to take in more ideas than you put out. That’s actually been better for me. Otherwise, I find the writing well begins to go dry.
But even as I focus more on my poetry now, some things still read better in prose. So, the prose machine will never die. I'll keep trying to give actionable advice from my life experience. I feel like that's something a great writer must do.
So, my advice for you today: when you’re feeling stuck or down, it’s good to rededicate yourself to writing, or whatever else it is you love to do. Find what about it that brings you alive. And if you can't, you should be doing something new.
And just because someone’s done something before, doesn’t mean you can’t do it better.