Proving yourself sounds so dramatic. It’s as if someone expects us to throw ourselves on cue in the path of peril to salvage the honour, pride and wellbeing of a cause larger than ourselves. It’s mostly squaring up to adversity, stepping up to a challenge and making the best out of a given situation based on our resources. I’ve come to the stage whereby there are some things that do not require any more proving to justify my existence or abilities. It’s either I can perform or not at the given time by executing some action or judgement that balances the known and unknown for an outcome that we hope will eventually turn out in favour of our invested efforts.
19 May 2016
Years ago I decided that after spending 4 years of critical appreciation of other people’s work, I’ve had had enough of sifting through and analysing other people’s work. I longed for a return to my initial draw to literature, specifically how the work of others moved and inspired me in return to create works of wonder, profundity and beauty. That was the attraction of literature to me and definitely not an endless cycle of critical appreciation. Although I was offered the pathway to teach, that is not my true calling. The offer to teach did not stir any desires or ambitions in me. I would rather inspire others through my creative works just as those before me had done.
I aspired to create, to have my own spin to concepts and what I needed was a handle to work on them and then spread the branch of possibilities. So I walked away from a possible life of teaching, I turned away from a possible life of academic learning concerning literature and decided thereon that I preferred to be a writer. Many things have come to pass creatively since then. Those works of poetry that I dreamed about, they have been written. Those stories weaving philosophy, action, comedy and spirituality, that too had been written. What’s left now is to continue in the multiple branches that I still gravitate towards. I still am predisposed towards philosophy, poetry and a mash up of genres in storytelling. As we go about this life, we strive to leave behind our legacy which we bequeath to humankind.
2 May 2016
When you’re a poet faced with the many words that come to us immediately in thought and conversation, it is too easy to rhyme with the obvious. Since a poet is an artist with a considerable vocabulary, we owe it to ourselves to press on and go for a higher challenge while still keeping the subject matter accessible and fun to readers.
When I was starting out, it was too easy to just mesh all the obvious words one after another. That was just an initial stage. When you get better at it, there is a yearning for a different challenge and to see if you can make things interesting while peeling through the next stage of creativity that lies within oneself.
If you have a point of reference or points of reference or perhaps someone whose body of work inspires you to be an even better version of yourself, then see what it is that moves you so. Strive to emulate, not imitate.
During creative activity, never forget the element of engagement with the readers, the fun it invokes, the wit or beauty of construction that creates an impression, the type that lingers on in mind, heart and soul long after the first encounter.
It’s hard work and requires much thought. The finished, polished work, the version that you’re satisfied with is worth the effort.