I’m not the most creative person.
As a journalist, I sometimes find myself thinking in-the-box instead of outside it. I was taught to write in a very specific way — using simple language I can explain the facts and get a point across to my readers. All of the important information goes in the first few paragraphs. Details come later. If I want to add colour to a story, I generally do so by observing details and describing it. Sure, that can be considered as creative, but I’m not actually making anything up. I’m not taking an idea from my head and forming it on paper. I’m not using a thesaurus or expanding my vocabulary. And since I’m not in school anymore, I’m not being pushed to try different things.
I know I’m a good writer, but a truly GREAT writer never stops learning and never stops challenging herself.
Last year, I did a video challenge. This was to help me overcome my fear of being in front of a camera. For 30 days, I filmed myself doing something and I posted it to Youtube. It was quite a success (although a daily challenge was a little difficult for someone completing their masters and working part time), and I hope this next challenge will achieve the same thing.
So, here it is: Every month I will write a poem using a different style — in alphabetical order so I can maintain some sense of structure in my life.
Why poetry? First of all, I haven’t written a poem since high school and I don’t exactly have a flare for it. I’m not the most patient person, and therefore I find poetry, which often can be interpreted in numerous ways, incredibly difficult to put together. Secondly, writing poetry requires a willingness to be abstract and vulnerable. These are two skills I do not have. No more straight-shooting storytelling for this writer. It’s all about the colour now.
I don’t promise greatness and I can’t guarantee these poems will be anything more than a bunch of jumbled words thrown together on the last day of the month — but I vow to do my best.
Saying all that, please enjoy the following acrostic poem about October. The first instalment of many.
Overcrowding at the Starbucks
Crisp leaves beneath my feet
Together we wander through candy-coloured trees
Opening the lids of our steaming cups
Beverages of pumpkin spice
Every day summer seems like a distant memory
Remembering to enjoy it before winter comes
If anyone has any suggestions of poets I should read, let me know in the comments below! Seriously, I haven’t read poetry since grade 11 English.