So yeah, you might’ve noticed by now that I’m a poet.
Not just another poet…but another poet tryna make it.
The phrase “make it” means different things to different people. To some, it means being well-known/famous/popular. To others it means making a ton of money. Or it can mean that they’ve achieved a particular goal that they’ve specifically set for themselves that has nothing to do with money or fame.
If you want to know what “making it” means for me, it’s this: yes, I would love to be well-known for my poetry. I would love to see copies of my poetry books on book shelves in bookstores, or even seeing the cover while scrolling through books on Amazon. I would also love to make poetry my main source of income instead of working for someone else, like I’m doing right now. But ultimately, “making it” in poetry means this to me – that I connect with someone with my words. That any and everything that I’ve gone through and written poetry about touches someone’s heart, and they’re able to read my work and say, “Yes…I felt that. She gets me. She knows.”
And not only that, but I would love for people to talk to me about faith, and how I incorporate that into my poetry. Because it is a HUGE part of who I am. Do I have it all figured out? Definitely not…but I think that’s the beauty of some of my work as well. It’s less concrete, and more real; because I can’t express how many times I’ve questioned God in poem form. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prayed poetically, and still not come to solid conclusions about things in this life. But I do know that He is good, that He is loving, that He isn’t afraid to come at me head-on with my questions and queries. And I want people to understand that too.
I feel like “God” and “Christianity” are terms in the society I live in that are cause for eye rolling, and immediate shutdown of conversations. And it breaks my heart that people (including myself) are more comfortable avoiding the topic than delving into it, and boldly asking questions. Not everyone is timid to have these conversations, and although I myself have tried to avoid those brave people for asking questions, I am now realizing that I would rather talk about things than for me to hide in shame or fear of judgment. So I long for my poetry to bridge that gap; to help me start the conversations, so that I can continue them, whether in interviews, conversations at meet and greets, etc.
That is what “making it” means to me. Maybe that means I’ll still have to work a part-time job while doing poetry, or maybe it means I won’t be extremely well-known, just locally known, and if that’s the case, then that’s okay. But if I can connect with people poetically…wow. That’s the biggest blessing, honestly.
So with that being said, you’ve probably also noticed that there are LOT of poets releasing their work these days. From Rupi Kaur to Reyna Biddy to Cleo Wade to r.h. sin and everyone in between, which is amazing. The world needs more poets to write and speak the truths that we sometimes find hard to communicate ourselves, and I am inspired by all the poets I named, and then some.
But honestly…it can be hella intimidating and discouraging sometimes. Do I think that poets need to come together to support and encourage each other in the craft? Absolutely! And I’ve witnessed and been a part of a community of poets that does so, and I’m grateful and blessed for that.
There are times though, when I get discouraged because there are SO MANY poets coming out with stuff that I feel like sometimes what I have to say is irrelevant. I know that every writer and poet has different experiences, and expresses them in different styles and words, but I still wonder if what I write can even connect with anyone anymore. This kind of thinking not only discourages me, but it also causes me to be a little unmotivated. Like, why should I even try if there are already so many amazing poets out there? What difference will my words make in the world anyway?
Of course, this kind of thinking isn’t limited to just poets – I mean, you see how many musicians, painters, mixed media artists, DJs, etc. are out there. Being a creative is a competitive field, and unfortunately, not everyone makes it where they want to be. And that’s something that just scares me – being one of those that doesn’t accomplish the goals and dreams I have for myself. And if that happens, I do have faith that God has a better and bigger plan for me, even though I don’t know what it is. Will it still hurt if I don’t “make it” per my definition? Of course it will!
I’m not writing this post for sympathy; meaning, once you read this, I don’t expect you to send me a message assuring me that my words are relevant, that there’s a place for me in the poetry world, etc. Because I’m just revealing a feeling I sometimes get as a creative, specifically as a poet. Even though this is a negative perspective, there can be positives about seeing other poets succeed – it makes me think that if they can make it through all the different outlets they used (tumblr, SoundCloud, Instagram, publishing a book, etc.), then truly, I am capable of doing the same!
All-in-all, I’m not here for the numbers; sure, it would be amazing to see how many people could be impacted by what I write and speak, but my main goals with my writing are that people can see the lacing of Love in the Gospel through my words; that they can connect with the emotions, feelings, and situations that I write about; and that one day, I am able to look in the eyes of every single person who is touched by my poetry, and hug most of them (all of them if possible) so tight because hugs are important to me, and I want to be able to do that to thank them in person for even sticking with me, ya know? These are things I dream about when I write.
So, after thinking on these things, these dreams (and after being encouraged by one of my big sisters to write down my serious goals for myself), and after being confirmed several times in this gift that God has given me, I know for a fact that my words mean something; that they’re valuable, and that they are relevant. And maybe they’ll only be relevant to one person, or for one season, and that’s okay. If that is all the Lord gives to me, I will be grateful for it.
I’ll keep writing. I’ll keep speaking.
Because, yes…I’m another poet tryna make it. And I believe that I will, indeed, make it in some way.