I started writing poetry more than two years ago, but the small amount of finished pieces I have makes it seem like I’ve only been writing for a few months. If I were to publish my portfolio as is, I could count on my hands the number of pieces I would include.
The small amount of pieces I’ve written over such a long period of time is the result of constant barriers to creativity and my recurring writer’s block. I could go months without writing poetry simply because of the struggle of manifesting my thoughts into words.
Writer’s block always finds its way into my life — halfway through a sentence, at the beginning of a good concept or in the days leading up to a deadline. It almost always causes me to doubt my own talent and creativity.
During the fall semester, I wrote very little despite having plenty to write about. Even when I was inspired by new experiences, people I had met and people I had lost, every word I wrote felt dull.
I ended the semester with relatively few contributions to my portfolio, and I was so upset over my uninspired feeling that I started doubting the poems I had already written — the pieces I knew I loved.
In a spur-of-the-moment decision, I purged my Instagram account of any poetry I had previously posted. Anyone who followed me from then on would never know my writing. I felt like my writer’s block had ultimately overpowered my creativity.
I’ve had high ambitions for my writing, with the goal of compiling my favorite pieces into a book one day. The title, “Glitter,” was something I had chosen years ago as a symbol of my sexuality, self-love and self-acceptance, and is used in notable lyrics by Frank Ocean and Tyler, the Creator, who are bisexual like me.
But my writer’s block kept me from filling in the pages.
When I removed my poetry from my Instagram account, my best friend Cassidy expressed her concerns. As someone who knew me before I started writing, Cassidy is one of my biggest supporters and an informal editor of sorts. She pushes me artistically. And for Christmas, she held true to that.
During winter break, Cassidy kept asking me to repost my poetry. Because of my longstanding writer’s block and the insecurities that stemmed from it, I had my issues with making my poetry public again. But Cassidy insisted I do so. She loved reading my poetry and wanted others to read it too.
So eventually, I gave in and posted everything I had written thus far and hadn’t thought about it too much after that. But one week later, when my best friends and I exchanged Christmas gifts, that changed.
I opened Cassidy’s gift and was amazed. In a black sketchbook with my initials engraved on the side, she glued copies of my poems to the book’s white pages.
The poems were typed by Cassidy on an old typewriter and glued to the page, with the remaining pages of the book empty for me to fill.
Engraved into the book’s front cover was the word “glitter.” It was a piece of art that finally felt tangible.
As I flipped through the pages of my new journal, Cassidy told me how much she loved my poems, mentioning her favorites and pointing to what she loved most about them. She picked up on the themes, motifs and symbols I use, and for once it felt like I was proud of what I had written.
Knowing someone loved my writing enough to make it into a book was moving. Even when my insecurities stand in my way of loving my writing, someone else does. Cassidy’s loving support pushed me to cast my negative thoughts aside.
Since Cassidy gave me this gift, I’ve resolved to write at least once a day, even if I don’t care much for what I’ve written. I’ve already written a substantial amount of poetry since the start of the new year.
I’m more inspired now than ever to continue writing, and I hope to once again fall in love with my words. Thanks, Cassidy.