I have always been in love with poetry. It’s hard to explain why it’s so special, but poetry is something that has always impacted me and has always been powerful to read. I’ve especially admired spoken word or slam poetry as it’s also known as. These were always the poems that hit me the most. Though I’ve always read poetry and absolutely loved it I never felt I could write it. Besides a few English assignments throughout the years, it was something I never really tried. I just assumed it was too difficult for me and simply only meant for me to admire and not create in my own time. I allowed myself to think this way for multiple years. I Just always brushed it off and never truly tried my hand at it. Until the summer of 2016. Something came upon me after a week-long summer retreat and I simply felt inspired. This mental block was finally slipping away and something I was convinced I couldn’t do finally felt achievable. I began writing a rough draft for my first slam poem, and I was hooked. I spent months writing and revising and going over these words until I felt like they were as perfect as they could be. Later that winter I got a chance to perform the same piece and it’s a moment I’ll forever hold close to my heart and remember. This is not to say I’m some world class poet, in fact I’ll be the first to admit I’m probably mediocre at best. I’ve only just gotten into writing poetry in the past two years or so and mainly write in free verse. I have a lot of learning and improving to do, just like anyone else. What I am here to say is that this was something I believed for so long that I could never do, but I was inspired, and I tried it and now it’s becoming a passion of mine. So, in light of NaPoWriMo this month, take a leap and try something new. Don’t let yourself get stuck in that toxic mindset of I can’t, or it won’t be good enough. If it’s something that interest you and is something you love, go for it with all the confidence you can muster. Even if the result is something you completely hate, it’s a start. All that’s important is starting and doing. Whether that be writing poetry for NaPoWriMo, or maybe even writing a novel, or simply writing in a different style or genre, take that little leap of faith, and start.
In terms of writing poetry, free verse is always an easy place to begin. It eases the pressure of having to always rhyme while still getting the feel for the art. There’s so many different methods and styles of poetry, so find one you like and run with it. It’s not going to be perfect, or beautiful the first time. But keep writing and keep working and editing that one piece if it’s something you want to complete. I really encourage you to participate in NaPoWriMo if it’s something you’ve never tried before, and you enjoy reading poetry. Don’t feel at all like you have to write 30 poems, or even that you have to write every day. Even if you write one poem for the entire event, that’s participation enough. Don’t let your own mind keep you from fully reaching your potential.