Join me for a moment as I reflect on my 1600th post (on this blog alone) and the 5 year mile marker. I’ve come almost full circle on a colorful and interesting ride.
What I’ve learned about blogging as a poet:
When I first started blogging, I joined an on-line poetry community. It was supposedly very active for a poetry group. We would put our poetry directly on the site – this was before Linky came into being. I rarely got a comment. I finally met one other person who liked to discuss poetry – one person to give me scraps of insight. The one thing I gained was the “nerve” to post what I had written on a public wall. I’m pretty private about the stuff that comes from my heart and soul.
The next poetry community I found was growing quickly( obviously there was a vacuum when it came to creative sites.) It was a good place to meet people, the hostess was nice, and the number of comments you got each week grew exponentially. My skills as a script writer (or commentor) were unnecessary as the comments ranged from “nice poem” to “I like your poem.”
Poetry is an unusual form of creative writing as it evokes different feelings from people.
Consider this phrase:
he knocked on her door once
she was unable to answer
the next time he came
her bags were packed…
Depending on where you are standing, “He” and “it” can mean vastly different things. For one person, this can be romantic for another dark, and yet another person may think of the inevitability of change. I was thinking about death. If you tell me”you liked the poem”, I gather the poem said little or nothing to you.
Poets like to (at least occasionally) see what window they have opened for the viewer. “I like your poem” is a closed window.
The next poetry community was one I decided to form (after attending a writer’s conference.) I birthed the idea for two reasons: I was tired of 20 “I like your poem” comments and I wanted a pilot (practice) for writers in the special needs community. The pilot was called One Stop Poetry. The goal: to inspire emerging poets to write and get feedback and give existing poets a place to get and give feedback. We (the 3 “ms” and a “D”) never expected to grow like a weed and did not have the plan in place to handle the massive numbers that we were gaining. In a matter of months, we went from one day of poets sharing their work to a week-long format with articles about form, articles about poets, photography, art, chat rooms on twitter… In 6 months, we had thousands of followers (which meant 100s of comments in any given day.) In 8 months, we had won an international award in the arts. I had interviews and a meeting scheduled (with a financial backer) to discuss creating an on-line poetry (arts) program for children.
In 12 months – Too much too soon never ends well. I’m still not sure why the train was derailed (and a poetry community shut down). I did hear rumors that I was very sick. To anyone who was part of One Stop Poetry (who is reading this) I am grateful for the ride and the relationships with fine and talented individuals. The next year was a hard year. I got the advice “stop blogging.” I almost did – I was stalked, hacked, someone had borrowed my identity… I asked the proverbial question, ” What have I done wrong?” Looking back – nothing! What is the saying: “Imitation is the highest form of flattery…” There are other blog sites today that branched off with poets that had met at One Stop. How wonderful that people met through something I was part of.
Sadly, blogging does have its problems like piracy, identity theft, and other mean things that inhabit the real world, but it also has some truly fine people.
The next poetry community I entered into was a wonderful haiku community that was unobtrusive and challenging to my writing skills. I laugh because haiku, since I was 10, has been a daunting task. I’d offer to do the artwork if the teacher would let me off the hook, as I felt incapable of writing a poem in 17 syllables that said “something.” If you haven’t written haiku – and you want to be a serious writer- take some time in that pursuit. I read the most beautiful, full stories in 17 syllables. I’ve met gifted and kind people who deserve hugs and a huge thanks.
Then I actually found myself bending back on myself. I’m a writer and I always have been. My blog started because I was sad about the closing of a independent(international) radio station that several of us had high hopes for. I wrote the sketches for the children’s hour. When we closed, I had a huge void.
And here I am looking at myself 5 years hence: The book I wrote (almost 5 years ago for special needs children) should be published soonish, I have returned to my study and pursuit of art after a long haitus, My stories with my favorite co-author are being published in other countries for education (I just sent off book 1 of 3), and I found a wonderful artist to illustrate two dragon series in the final development stages.
What did I gain? A better look at myself, a deeper love for poetry and haiku, really amazing friends and co-writers, and so very much more…
After five years of blogging, I still get the occasional comment “nice poem.” Now I chuckle and remember back to the beginning.
In the next five years, I hope to still write poetry here. I also hope to get my little dragon book into the hands of boys and girls. We are excited to see what comes from this dragon with a big heart. If you want to see a piece of what we are doing visit Dragon Tales and Scales
The artwork © moondust designs ’14