Wednesday, May 19, 2010

About Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

It's a part of human nature. Do what makes you feel comfortable. Resist change at all costs. But isn't there a line that needs to be crossed for us to continue to grow and develop and learn new things about ourselves?

I am a prose writer. A writer of short fiction and ambitious enough to attempt the novel. Recently I even dove into the area of creative non-fiction and I think this is what really gave me that final push to confront that nemesis, poetry.

The non-fiction class forced me to delve into a side of me that I was hiding from through fiction. It made me open up and brought the realization that those things, good or bad, that happen in life, need a voice and sometimes that voice does not have to be made up. So in comes poetry. Much the same as non-fiction, it comes from the heart. It delves into that emotional side that so many of us keep hidden. And for what reason? Are we afraid to face the facts or are we afraid to share those facts with others?

Many feel that writing is cathartic. A gentle release of all those pent up feelings that you just can't share with others.

Some just like to write. To make up stories and share them with the world. Or hope to share them with the world. I have heard many say that writers write because they have something to say.

Where was I? Comfort zone...poetry. Right.

I have been afraid of poetry for as long as I can remember. From early years in school, whether I was forced to read it or write it, I just could not wrap my head around it. This thing called metaphor. Say something without really saying it. I was forced to actually think and my goodness, did my brain ever hurt. Then I began to attend poetry readings. At first listening to it just made me nauseous. You know, that queasy feeling when you're really bored or anxious? I didn't want to have to think. Give me a good story where everything is spelled out for me, something that I don't have to look deeper for that hidden meaning. What is the poet REALLY trying to say? As far as I knew, only the writer knew and isn't that really all that mattered? Why do I have to rip this poems apart, line by line and look for something. What I get out of it is going to be completely different than what another gets out of it. For the most part at least.

As much as it made me feel ill, I still attended these readings. Mostly they were short story readings with a sprinkling of poetry. I could live with that. At one of these readings, I heard a poem by a man that I now deeply respect as a writer, poet and person, and it changed poetry for me. I suddenly got it. I still don't know what it was that stood out to me. His presentation, the poem itself, something deeper that just struck a chord? It didn't really matter. I even started reading poetry. But I still did not attempt to write it.

So back to the non-fiction class. When I realized I could open up a little and let my true self show, I suddenly realized that maybe I could write a poem. So, like a newborn taking its first tentative steps, I enrolled in a poetry class. What I have realized? It's not so bad and I am not half bad at it either. There is only one more class remaining and I have to say, it kind of saddens me. I have only just begun a journey that could end up being incredibly rewarding and I want more.

Who would of thought??


  1. That's really cool that you're from Calgary. That's where I lived most of my life. That's also cool that you're a writer. I'll make sure to keep reading your blog.


  2. Robin, you just made my day.


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