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The cringiest poem about love you'll ever read.
On improving my writing craft and exploring writing techniques.
Okay, so it may not be the CRINGIEST, but it’s definitely up there…
I have been on a mission lately to find ways to improve my writing craft. I recently decided that my first book will be a book of personal essays chronicling my experiences with mental illness. And, I have decided that I will be publishing that book myself.
Before now, I wanted to avoid self-publishing and go the traditional publishing house route but in a world that cares more about platform reach, than content substance, the reality is that I am not likely to be picked up by a major publishing company anytime soon and that shouldn’t stop me from releasing my work.
While I don’t have a set date that I want to publish by or even a concrete outline, I do want to work on improving my writing craft and exploring avenues of funding through grants and fellowships.
One way that I have been working on my writing craft is by attending writing workshops. I started attending in-person workshops years ago at The Writer’s Center here in Maryland. But, the pandemic quickly put those to a halt and like everything else, transitioned to virtual spaces.
One of the beautiful parts of the world being forced to move many physical spaces online was that more workshops became accessible to me. Recently, thanks to, I found a couple of poetry-centered online workshops being hosted in the UK that caught my interest. The series, “How to Write About…” brought in poets to give tips on writing about certain topics. The two I attended were “Mental Health” and “Love.” Both were so insightful and encouraged me to search for even more to attend in the future.
A few tips I learned…
Write "I'm Stuck"
When free-writing or just finding a flow on something we're working on, we can find ourselves stuck and it prevents us from continuing to write in that flow freely. The instructor gave the advice to continue writing anyway even if you write "I'm stuck." over and over until something else comes to you OR write how the inability to continue writing is making you feel.
When you get to the finish line, push past it.
That's usually where you're able to dig deeper. This specific tip was given to folks who felt like they were finished with the prompt before he called time. He repeated that if you come up to the finish line, push past it even if that means going in another direction or using the moment to incorporate conflict or a twist.
Embrace cliches, but don't overuse them.
One of the writing exercises during the workshop was to write a poem about love incorporating as many love cliches that are used when people write about or express love as possible. He then talked about being cautious about using things we feel are overused when writing about a certain topic, but if they add value to the piece it's okay to embrace them.
My cringe cliche love poem…
Wearing my heart on my sleeve, I openly bleed for you.
My love for you runs deeper than the ocean and I am simultaneously on cloud nine and over the moon in your presence.
Your love shelters and saves me and I would be lost without you. Aimlessly wandering in the sea, consumed by the sudden waves of our memories.
Never before have I experience being swept off my feet so swiftly and effortlessly. But, the moment our eyes locked, I knew then the twin flames ignited within us.
You are the better half of me. Who knew that I was so incomplete without you? I unknowingly searched for you in the eyes of lovers passed and came up short.
Once I stopped looking for love, you found me. When I least expected to, and all but gave up on it. The timely arrival of your love became a sail, guiding me to completion.
I hope our stars remain aligned and that we never part, for I will once again be doomed to endlessly search for you in the eyes of others, only to feel the coldness of our extinguished flame.
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