An in-depth look at one of my more popular blog features
My whole life, I have enjoyed writing in various ways. As a child, I would write short one or two paragraph stories about little mystery adventures of some sort. I believe I still have those, actually. And over time, I just wrote little things here and there.
Then one day, I stopped writing. Around high school time to college, the pen laid dormant. Those years were not the brightest in my life, and I was so focused on trying to make it through it that I forgot about writing. I didn’t think of it as therapeutic, either. However, there was one English teacher my junior year of high school who actually saw the gift that I had. I didn’t think of it at the time, but looking back on it now she may have saved me from never writing again. I just wouldn’t realize it until several years later.
After I graduated from university, I wanted to try to get into medical/physical therapy school. I believe it was then, that I began writing in a journal to just talk about my struggles with the classes and what’s next in my life. Then I ended up getting into a different master’s program. I didn’t write much, only once in a while, but a little over halfway through that program my birthday came up. My longtime readers may remember my “dear old friend” from the program, and we shared a birthday two days apart. That year we celebrated with other friends, and as a gift I was given a new journal. They knew how I enjoyed writing, and this was their way of encouraging me to continue it.
For some reason, it had the opposite effect on me. In my mind, the journal felt like an encouragement to write only for myself. When all around, from my high school teacher to my friends, they were saying I shouldn’t hide it. And so, while I did go on to buy myself a leather-bound journal to document my personal life, it was after that birthday party that Tripseekers (aka Chasing Hope) was born.
I was tired of hiding my words to myself, and I wanted to share it with the world. However, I was still trying to figure out where I wanted to go with this blog. Some of you may recall how the design of it has changed over time. Anyone remember the tile format of Chasing Hope? The same applied to my writing styles for the different types of posts. And so we reached the poems.
Again, I love writing stories and I am hoping to find time to begin writing the novel ideas I have on my laptop. When it comes to poetry, I like how it can quickly captivate the mind and evoke different emotions. Whether short paragraphs, or several pages, poetry knows no boundaries much like music. When I was doing my internship in grad school, I was a co-facilitator of a poetry group every week. It was there that I became more interested in it, as I watched how helpful it was for the group members in it. I was even published in the local poetry journal in town for one of my writings. During that time, back on my blog, I decided to try poetry as a way to not only tell stories that are relatable, but also let a part of me out in them.
And then I wrote my first poem: Dark, noisy lounge. When comparing it with my more recent works, you can clearly see the changes within it. Then again, not every poem follows the same format as some rhyme and others don’t, some lead you falsely until the truth is revealed while others are straightforward, and some are very metaphorical while the rest is subtle. However, in those early days, I wanted to keep it short and to the point. To me, that is still fine but I felt like while it can evoke quick emotions to it, a little bit longer and it can hit the reader even harder. I was also learning my own writing preferences; did I want to reveal the meaning directly to you or have you try and interpret it yourselves?
Even with my first poem, I used images to help give readers an idea or inspiration as to what I was going through while writing it. What I had in my mind, I should say. Sometimes the poems were simply based on my own experiences, while others were tied with inspiration I came across. Often, it was from late night Youtube binges. Whether clips from television series, movies, or music videos, something pinged into my ear canal that gave me ideas for poems. Eventually, those video ideas made their way into my poems where I attach the video at the end that I felt gave the poem even more power to draw out emotions. Since I’m not there to act out the poem, having some sort of media to highlight the atmosphere of the poem seemed useful.
Do I see myself changing my poetry style? I don’t think so, although maybe shorter poems could make a comeback. This post, itself, was inspired from my venture into Instagram and finding those shorter poems. In an effort to raise brand awareness for my blog, I found poetry and travel Instagram pages. For the poetry ones, I reached out to inquire about shout outs. I was told it can be done, but I had to submit a short poem that would go into their image post. That’s when I saw all the other poetry Instagrammers; who were writing short poems/haikus that were only a few lines long. I was not a poetry Instagrammer, nor am I ever going to be one, and although I could write the very short poems it just isn’t my main style.
Everyone has their styles, and art is subjective, so while some may be fond of the shorter versions I lean more into the longer, in-depth style of poetry. To tell a tale that allows you, the reader, a longer opportunity to feel a certain emotion and walk away trying to interpret what you just read. Sure, it takes a little longer to compose it, but I feel the payoff is grander in the end. However, there may come a day where I run out of poetry ideas. When there is no inspiration, both personal and non-personal, to give me an idea to write about. I don’t know when that may happen, but sitting in my drafts folder are quite a bit of other poems waiting to be completed so don’t worry yet. Plus, maybe I could dive back into telling short stories on here as well. What do you think?
Do you prefer the shorter poems from my early days or haikus? Or are the longer ones, like now, perfect as is? Would you like the short story journeys to return? Let me know in the comments!