While I’ve always loved writing, throughout my life, I’ve confined myself to more or less one literary form; if it wasn’t dramatic short stories about witches in the 1800s (I was eleven), then it was metaphor-charged poetry about the female body and its rage. When I started my MA in Creative Writing, I very quickly learned that it wasn’t enough to have a way with words; you had to be – in case it wasn’t obvious – creative.
I was suddenly thrown into an environment filled with writers and poets, just as passionate as me and just as ambitious, if not more, and I knew that reading a bit of Ginsberg here and there wasn’t going to be able to get me where I wanted to be; as an all-rounded writer who could actually put something impactful out in the world. I needed to be more than my words.
When I finally did understand that, I realised how comfortable I’d gotten within the label of ‘writer’ or ‘poet’ that I’d been categorised into throughout school and university. I care a lot, about a lot of things, without anything to show for it. Whether it was why Disney live-action movies were the worst, or anguish over the declination of pink dolphins, I never took the time or the effort, never mustered up the courage to say anything.
I like to look at this as a sort of growth, a confidence in my own thoughts. A documentation of learning to claim the space I want to occupy, of allowing my own voice to be heard, challenged, resonate somewhere other than the inside of my own brain (or during rants over the phone with friends).
I’m excited (and terrified) to begin speaking out loud. I can’t wait to see where it takes me.
Artwork by Dan-ah Kim
Recommended listening: Svefn-g-engler by Sigur Rós