Hobby

What is your hobby?  Why do you enjoy it?

This. This is my hobby.  Writing. There’s nothing that I enjoy as much as writing, except reading a good book. I’ve always made it a hobby. I started writing when I was twelve, and I spent all my free time in my room, writing stories in journals. I enjoyed it, because it was the one place I felt like I belonged. The characters in my stories were people I could relate to. The storylines were things I was interested in. And I felt that I could speak my mind without judgement.  I don’t have a way with words when it comes to speaking. But when I put those words on the page, it’s different. I know my voice, and that means something to me.

I have found multiple ways to write.. I used to only write stories. When I expanded beyond, taking workshops in nonfiction and in poetry, I found that I could express my thoughts even more. I wanted to.

I don’t understand a lot about the world, and I don’t always know how to express myself to that same world, but I can express myself in the page. I enjoy it most because, when my thoughts are written on the page, I know who I am.

It’s also just therapeutic. I can express my feelings in poetry. I can escape the world and fall into a fictional world full of characters that I love. It’s the same feeling I get when reading a book, only I get to create the words, and I love that just as much.

Fears

Write a poem using someone else’s biggest fear as the title

Commitment

 

Unable to look beyond the fear

That I could never let someone else in —

Fully.

Completely.

As if staring into another’s eyes can be

Interrupted.

Unable to hold a gaze.

 

And I ask myself why —

Am I afraid of letting someone else see me?

Completely.

Am I afraid of allowing myself to

Open up to another?

To Trust someone?

Unconditionally.

 

How can I if I can’t take the time

To hold another’s gaze?

We all sometimes feel —

Awkward.

Alone.

It’s enough to allow the feeling to stop

The need to feel —

Together.

Whole.

 

 

Outlines

Is it easier to write by plotting out the story or free writing?

I personally find it easier to free write. It’s hard for me to plot things out, because I never end up writing the way I planned to. That comes with allowing the piece to write itself. You can tell yourself it’s going to go one way, but when you start writing, the piece might not have the same plan.

I have tried on many different occasions to outline a story, to write character sheets, and to plan. But every time, I change things, my characters don’t fit, and I get bored because the scenes in between large plot points feel boring. I like to just let the story write itself. I like to develop a character by writing their reaction to scenes and allow them to be a part of the plot, not to force them into it.

But I knew that doesn’t work for everyone.. Some people need to outline and plan, and that’s cool too. I wish I had the discipline to plan something and stick to it, but I just don’t. I lose interest in a piece if I know too much ahead of time.  I’ve seen some very well developed outline from other writers and it’s impressive, but I think it’s easier storing those characters in my head, until they’re on the page.

Procrastination

How do you stop yourself from procrastinating when it comes to writing?

I don’t think there is a way to stop it. I think sometimes we need to take our time doing something, because we can’t force ourselves to do something we don’t want to do or aren’t ready to do. I do that almost every other day as a write. Sometimes I have things I need to get off my chest, and other days I’m just not in the mood. I ran into that problem just this week. I was out of town and my schedule became unpredictable. I kept telling myself that I needed to write, but I just didn’t feel like it. I needed a few days to get away from it and clear my head.  I needed to, because I try not to force myself to write, when I don’t know what to say. A piece should be able to write itself. If it’s forced, then it’s not going to have the potential it could have if it had been inspired.

On the days you want to write but don’t know what to write, don’t push anything complicated. Write about the chair you’re sitting in. Write about what you had for breakfast. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just something to get yourself writing. But some days, you won’t even want to write about breakfast, and that’s okay too.

But sometimes the job really does need to be pushed along. Motivation is the only thing that overcomes procrastination, not just in writing, but in everything we do in life. You just have to want it enough and you’ll get the job done.

Inspired By

Write a poem inspired by another poem you’ve read.

Doubt

After Our Greatest Fear

 

She’ll always deny

the things that push her

forward.

She’ll forever tell

herself she’s not 

good enough.

 

Even when they praise

her name,

and tell her nice things,

she claims she doesn’t

believe a word.

 

On some level,

she knows

that they are right.

Her talent is enough.

Heart as pure as gold,

eyes kind and bright.

 

But she’s afraid to admit

this to anyone

because her heart

won’t seem pure,

and her eyes

won’t look kind.

 

But he told her 

to let her light

shine,

because he hates

the way he feels.

 

And if someone so kind

can’t see her own heart,

how can he expect

to find his own?

Writer’s Block

How do you overcome writer’s block?

The key isn’t to force your writing. If you find yourself staring at a blank page, walk away and come back. Find inspiration in the world around you. Read a book. Take a walk. Call someone on the phone. You may not find inspiration from a blank page. If you force your writing, it’s not going to come out the way you want to. You have to let a piece write itself.

Most of the time, when I write, I have no idea what I’m going to say. I just start typing and the words just come to me as I go. That’s where my best writing comes from. And if I can’t get the words to come, then I take a break, because I don’t want to say what comes from my head. I want to write what comes from my heart.

Germany

What’s a country you’d like to visit? 

I would really love to visit Germany, because I want to experience my roots. I love experiencing new cultures and learning about new places. I’m German, so I think it would be really cool to experience that culture in every way. If my family hadn’t left Germany, my life could be completely different. It’d be interesting to see how different it could be.

I have a list of places I’d like to go. I’m a cheesy traveller, that likes to visit historical places, because I love the deep history that makes up our world. We are who we are because of our past, and I think it’s important to see those things and to experience them. That being said, my family came from Germany, which makes that place a part of who I am. I want to travel there and experience my own history.

Guest Star

If you could guest star on any TV show, what would it be and why?

Can it be a show that is no longer running? Because I would definitely pick Once Upon A Time. Not only is it my favorite television show, but the type of a role I’d have to play would be so much more unique than a role in a comedy or something. Who wouldn’t want to be a fairy tale character? The story lines are so unique and entertaining to watch. I can’t imagine how much fun it was to play those roles. I also think the cast would be an interesting group of people to work with. They’re so talented and they seem so kind. It would definitely be a lot of fun.

But if I had to pick a show that is currently running, I’d probably say Fuller House. I grew up loving Full House so much. I know every episode backward and forward. I grew up watching characters like DJ and Stephanie develop into the characters they are on Fuller House, so I think it’d be really cool to step into their universe and interact with those characters. It’d be so fun to be on the set of the house I always wished I could live in. It’d be amazing to meet the cast and see what really happens behind the scenes of the show. My eight-year-old self would have her dreams come true for sure.

Last Words

Use the last sentence from the nearest book as the inspiration for the first line of your poem.

Her same eyes

her same mouth

open in surprise to see

at last

her long-cherished wish —

him

 

His warm embrace

strong in uniform

and tears of gratitude to be

at last

where his heart had never left —

home

 

Where quiet nights

filled with noise

and broken hearts were mended

at last

where two plates were set —

reunited

 

To use flat pillows

and wrinkle forgotten sweaters

temporary things that would

not last

soon replaced with goodbye —

until September

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Place

Write about your favorite place.

There’s a reason they call it Pure Michigan. There is a vast sea of endless trees. The nights are quiet, where nothing can be heard but the sound of crickets or frogs. Farmland stretches for miles and miles, giving a chance for children to shout “There’s a horse! There’s a cow!” while driving down the highway. The waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula flow without ceasing. Deer roam freely in the woods, coming out to peak at you when the firelight is dim. The Great Lakes caress the shores on almost every side of the mitten-shaped state. 

Nature at its best.

Through the trees, the lakes, the busy cities, the endless highways, and the number of creatures that roam the woods, I have a spot.

My spot is on the edge of a dock, near the smallest of lakes, where the fish come to bite and the waters are as still as can be. It is where the sun begins to sink under the horizon leaving an orange picture painted on the surface of the water. It is where the fish swim beneath my bare feet, close enough to bite but ready to swim away if I move too quickly.

Jean legs are rolled up mid-calf. Shoes are lying somewhere on the other end of the dock with socks shoved inside them. The smell of a distant campfire lingers in the air. The promise of s’mores or popcorn waits for me, to help fix the hunger the day’s activities left. The mosquitos thirst for the moisturized air as well as for my blood. Bug repellent has become my scent to wear for the summer. 

Beside me sits a girl I’ve known my entire life. A girl that knows me better than almost anyone. Her feet dangle beside mine off the dock. The wind brushes her hair out of her face. She leans back on her hands to hold herself up. She stares off across the water and says, “I love it here.”

“Me too,” I reply. “For a moment, we can leave the world behind and focus on the present. Focus on what matters: family.”

The sun continues to set and stars appear. The stars normally hide behind bright city lights, where no one cares they are there. The Big Dipper makes itself known to me, dancing brightly in the endless combination of blue and black. 

We pull our feet from the cooling water, lying on the deck to search for the stars. “It’s so peaceful,” I tell her.

“I could stay here forever and just forget the world,” she replies.

We know it isn’t possible. On the other side of the lake, people, animals, trees, and every form of life are waiting for us to return to reality. As we lose ourselves in nature, our family is checking their watches, wondering when we would return to sit beside a blazing fire and tell stories of our past. 

When it’s late enough and we know our parents are worried, we rise to our feet and brush off our sandy jeans. We pick up our shoes and walk back to camp barefoot. The stones on the gravel path don’t bother us because we are used to spending our summers without shoes. 

When camp is close enough, the gentle glow of the fire illuminates the darkness that covers everything. The song of the crickets emerges from within that darkness. Stories, laughter, and, in time, the faint glow of embers trying to breathe under the smoldering logs bring the day to a close. 

The anticipation of morning sits with me as I climb into my sleeping bag. I anticipate walking through the woods, taking a paddle boat across the lake, riding a bike, and building enough sand castles on the beach to create a sand city. The greatest assurance I have is knowing that the boards of wood stuck together at the end of the lake, where the fish come to bite and the waters are as still as can be, would still be there. 

Quiet. Beautiful. Pure.