Everyone has something they are good at. A talent. A “thing” that they do better than most. I have friends who can spit rhymes, others that draw and paint, family members that can sing. As for me, I can’t do any of those things. My “thing” is poetry.
I’ve been writing since third grade. My experimentation with paper and pen ranged from short stories to plays and everything in between. I discovered poetry when I was in junior high. I didn’t realize I had a talent for it until I got to high school. By that time I was confident enough to share my poetry with others and people loved what I wrote. I’ve been encouraged to attend poetry readings and submit my work to literary journals. It took me going away to college before I was exposed to my first spoken word event and at that moment my love affair with the poetry scene was solidified. Words have power. Writers can stir emotions, tell powerful stories, create movements. There is something enlightening about listening to someone on a stage speaking words from a page–to me at least. When I lived in Long Beach I was very much into the scene. I would even recite at open mic events from time to time. When I moved to Vegas I completely fell off. For one, the poetry community in Vegas in not as obvious as it is in Los Angeles/Long Beach. Also when I first moved, the scene wasn’t that big. There would be a handful of events here and there. Most would get shut down before they really had a chance to get established. As for the rest, life’s circumstance or straight laziness kept me from attending and for a while I simply stopped writing.
Recently, I’ve seen the Vegas poetry community strengthening. More events are popping up all around the city and they are fast gaining momentum. My writers block has lifted and I’ve been inspired to write more. I feel like I’m ready to jump back in. I have hundreds of pieces that are just sitting hidden in my journal. There is no reason for me to let them go to waste. Though I’m my own worst critic, others love my poetry. The common compliment I receive is that I’m very good at creating imagery and making others feel my words. Now I don’t know about all that (lol) but I have noticed that my talent has developed and evolved over the years. I need to continue to cultivate my creative outlet.
During an interview author Thrity Umbrigar remarked that the best way to become a good writer is to engage in activities that motivate you to write. What motivates me is listening to other poets at spoken word events. What motivates me are my emotions. What motivates me is life’s experiences. What motivates me are others relating to what I have to say. What motivates me is my love of poetry. I’m ready to get on stage and grab a mic.