When I was a child, I adored reading. Fantasy books took me away from this world and transported me to another, allowing me to peak in on adventures I loved to play with over and over again in my mind. Books allowed me to escape from reality, even for just a bit and join a life far more interesting than that of my eight year old self. As I got older, I fell out of love with reading, not because I didn’t still enjoy stories — to this day I still do — but because what I was looking for in the literary world, I couldn’t find. I was looking to escape from far bigger things than I was when I was eight, and there were few novels that had the power to do that for me. As I fell out of love, my time got scarcer and scarcer until I simply didn’t read anymore.
In school, reading became work. I can count the number of books thats I actually enjoyed in school on one hand, and this isn’t because they were bad books, it was because the purpose of reading was no longer for enjoyment, but instead for analysis. We had to pick each book apart until it was nothing but bones, everything pleasurable was stripped away. Books were no longer stories, but a compilation of technical aspects that had to be evaluated. We were not concerned with the beauty behind each word, but instead what this one metaphor on page 67 could parallel in the author’s life. Some times blue curtains are just blue curtains, not symbolic of a gloom casting tragedy that closed the author off from the outside world. Just a thought.
My mother is an author so the fact that her daughter stopped reading was quite unacceptable. And as someone who truly loved to read once upon a time ago, it was a bit unacceptable to me too. I tried to get back into reading, and was relatively unsuccessful. I would read a book here and there, some would suck me in so fast I couldn’t remember why I’d very stopped reading, but most were like drudging painfully through a never-ending onslaught of words that mean nothing to me. My imagination wasn’t being fueled, there weren’t journeys I wanted to go on, all the portals that previously allowed me to abandon my own world in favor of another seemed to have closed and I felt very much stuck. I began to rely on movies and tv to inspire my imagination, it was easier to get pulled into the story when it was visually portrayed in front of me but it was never quite the same.
I felt like I was cheating. I am a writer, just like my mother, but as I have learned, you can’t write without reading. They come hand in hand, a chicken and egg situation if you will, one is impossible without the other. But, and I beg of you to excuse the cliche, there is a light at the end of every tunnel. Even very, very, long ones. I started to look at reading through a different lens, instead of reading as a reader, I was going to read as a writer (bless my professor who inspired this). I began to read what I wanted to write, what I loved to write, and guess what, it’s not books, it’s this. I love to write for my blog, I love to write about beauty and fashion and the odd facets of humanity that I find play into my daily life. I love to write pieces that make me think, or pieces that inspire me to do something, or even pieces that I hope will inspire others. I like to write about my personal matters, my trials, tribulations, and even my demons. I love to tell stories, but not ones I’ve made up, instead ones I’ve lived or seen or heard. I’ve stopped trying to write for a bigger purpose than myself, and I’ve found I’m much happier for it.
Since I’ve stopped trying to write for a bigger purpose, I’ve also stopped reading things in regards to bigger purposes. Saving the world, being heroes, having grand adventures are all find and dandy but what I really enjoy reading now are things that allow me to connect with other people. Poetry, has become a beautiful middle ground. I never liked poetry as a child, I thought it was boring and I never quite understood what story it was trying to tell. That was until I found out that music, lyrics to be exact, is a type of poetry. I adore music and have always been particularly interested in the meaning behind lyrics and the tales each phrase tells. As I got older I began to be more interested on poetry because I was amazed at how such beautiful and deep stories could be told in such few words. Master wordsmiths are what I began to consider poets, and as that’s something I would quite like to be, I found the content those said masters created to be incredibly appealing.
One day, I hope that I will have mastered the beautiful writing that lies within poetry and have found a way to mesh it with the thoughts I wish to share with the world. I hope that my readers will find a deeper meaning within my text, but one that isn’t too large to grasp firmly and that that meaning inspires responses that will help expand the cycle of our thought processes. I want to be able to connect with others without having to be relatable™ (gag).
The two books that got me back into poetry and made me realize that not is as blood-curling as those that Edgar Allen Poe created was Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey and The Sun and Her Flowers. These books take a lot of criticism in the literary world but honestly who gives a damn. I usually love the things critics hate so I’m just solidifying a pattern here, care to join me? Her two books got the ball rolling for me and since then I’ve discovered so many amazing poets. A personal and continual favorite is R.H. Sin, who writes hauntingly beautiful poems about females and their empowerment from the view of a man. It’s fascinating, really. He’s written multiple beautiful books and I highly recommend them all. Rare but true words.
I’m sure there are hundreds of fantastic poets so I am all ears for recommendations. Happy reading!
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