Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Newly Discovered Writer

Low self-esteem and laziness have kept me from exploring my talents as a writer. Ideas would come to me but would never end up on paper. I was not a storyteller, I was a writer who never wrote. Perhaps insecurities stemming from my bouts with depression caused my lack of motivation. A few months ago, I decided to reverse my inactivity. It is possible that all the ideas I had were lame, and my style actually sucked. Those worries obsessed me. However, I could not determine my quality as a writer if I did not, well, write.

I do not like to write - I like to have written.

~Gloria Steinem

Years ago, my sister saw a flyer about free youth creative writing workshops in Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn. Hosted by the New York Writers Coalition (NYWC), I was a little hesitant about participating because journalism is what I wanted to pursue. I decided to try it out. At the end of the summer the other participants and I read alongside the poets Sonia Sanchez and Amiri Baraka at the Summer Literary Festival. The experience was fantastic. I participated in a few of their readings after the festival but never got into the habit of writing.

That somewhat changed at the beginning of this semester when I fought my way into a creative writing class at the college I attend. Its now summer break but this is my first time having a collection of writings. I still am unsure about my ability but I am proud to now some shit to show for.

Yesterday, my fellow sister lemonswithsalt came out to support me at an open mic hosted by NYWC. In spite of my insecurities, my writings were well received. It is possible some people were being polite but I genuinely believe that my writing has potential. With a new found sense of promise I now possess the urge I was previously lacking. There are a few open mics in the near future I hope to hit up including one tomorrow when sister Zipporah Pearce and honorary sister Miss All Ass* will be there supporting and shit.

I tell my students that the only way to surely improve your reading and writing skills is to read and write more often. You can't give advice you don't follow.

*She selected the alias, not me

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