This Week’s Episode: Poetry and Procrastination

Writing makes me very excited.

This, I’m assuming, is at least slightly implied, considering the fact that I am writing right now. On this blog I created myself. On my own time. Generally indication that writing is enjoyed, right?

Either way, being able to craft a story of my own makes me feel powerful in a way, like I can actually do something and put something out into the world. It makes me happy to know that I can do whatever I want with these stories, no matter how ridiculous, because they’re my stories. Of course, showing them to others and wanting to appeal to them is a whole ‘nother story; but when I write for myself, I know I have the freedom to express myself in any way.

It’s not just writing these crazy, slightly insensible stories that gets me excited. There are tons of different styles of writing I enjoy, like drafting essays for school or experimenting with poetry.

And that brings me to the topic of poems.

And poetry slams.

For the past two weeks or so, we’ve been doing a poetry unit in my English class. In fact, here’s one of the poems I wrote for it. Over this short time period, we’ve written about four or five poems on our own, along with analyzing poems written by others and learning about the different devices used in writing. To conclude the unit, we each had to choose a poem of our own and present it to the rest of the class.

BUT.

There was another option. Instead of standing in front of just our own English class and reciting our poems, we had the choice to perform in our school’s annual Freshman Poetry Slam.

At first I was hesitant. Not about the performance part, actually- since I’ve been taking drama as one of my electives this year, I’ve gotten more comfortable with the idea of putting myself out there on stage. The thing I was the most scared about was presenting my own work.

See, in drama class, we’ve been doing projects ranging from simple monologues to entire scenes, and we’ve had to perform them in front of our class. I was incredibly nervous the first time, almost unable to go up there because I was shaking so much. Once I started, though, it all seemed to flow. I didn’t forget my lines, and I got through the entire piece with no troubles at all.

But even just the idea of showing my own work to an audience terrified me.

When I write, I always put a piece of myself into it. Everything I write has some sort of significance to me, and the thought of putting something like that out there for others to criticize makes me a bit nervous, especially when it’s as personal as this one particular poem I had written was. I’m open to constructive criticism- I mean, I do want to make myself a better writer and produce better work- but it’s the harsher comments that seem to get to me (yes, yes, I know, I gotta work on my thick-skinnedness quite a bit).

I eventually decided to give it a try, though, and I all of a sudden found myself up on stage in front of a mic with a spotlight on me. I took a deep breath and just let it out. It was all over  before I even realized it- to be honest, I didn’t even think about where I was in reciting the poem, I just kinda went for it and hoped that I wouldn’t forget anything.

I had a lot of fun.

So my lesson is learned here: Maybe if I start to try and share my work with more people, I’ll have even more fun with it- because if I’m surrounded by others who are interested in similar things to me, it’ll end up being more interesting to me, right? Plus, I’ll get more constructive feedback to help me better myself and the things I create.

And one more thing- when you have math homework to do, you better do it, because even if your teacher only collects it once a week… it is a gargantuan pain to scramble to do it all on one night. I speak from experience (a long story short, procrastination is a poop).

Other than that, it was a rather uneventful week besides the weird class schedule (there was some weird testing thing for the sophomores and juniors… it did mean that we got a sleep-in day yesterday, though! :D).  The Mush Project novel is coming along fairly, though I’m a bit stumped in certain places. I’m hoping that I’ll figure it out relatively quickly and work through it… my word-count is past 9,000 at this point, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll have more of the plot completely fleshed out by the time I’m at 10,000 (I didn’t do much planning coming in, to be completely honest).

Carpe Diem, all you lovely nerdlings,

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