The Bookish Parley: Lessons in Writing a Poetry Manuscript

My words on pages, published for people to see, to love, relate to, and appreciate was my dream growing up as a child.

I was nine years old when I wrote my first story. I remember how I’d folded hamburger style, blank typing paper waiting to be filled with my imagination. I can still picture the blue crayon background overlaid with an image of balloons intertwined closely with one another. My mind had filled with possibilities of bringing characters to life and I’m not sure if that was the moment I knew that I wanted to be a writer, but that day it sparked something in me.

Three or four years later I wrote my first poem. It was a terrible rhyme-y poem of the main character from The Clique Series, Massie Block(my favorite series as a 6th grader). I’d rhymed Block with clock and felt like a sort of genius. A week or so later pages on a legal pad became worlds for my emotions and thoughts I felt were only able to be spilled out with ink, and that day, I knew I wanted with everything in me to write poetry.

Now, 11 years later after my first poem. After notebooks upon notebooks, serrated pages, and pocket-sized slips of paper I have begun writing my first manuscript of poetry. The process has been slow, formative, and revealing.

What I’m Learning

Words are a gift from God to me. I believe wholly that when God formed me, he crafted me with a love for words and spirit full of them to share those words.

As a result, I’d like to share with you some of what I’m learning about myself, creativity, and what it’s teaching me spiritually.

  • Relatability | My words should never be solely for the purpose of creating what is only relatable. I had a professor once who would rant about how this generation craves relatability and if it doesn’t relate to one’s own life experience it is considered obsolete. I know some of what I write can and will relate and resonate with people, but my goal as a poet, as a writer is not to have people only read what is relatable. To me, this does not always evoke true reality or a true sense of beauty, life, and all it holds. Relatability changes based on any given person’s circumstance, experience, or opinion in life.
  • Patience | One definition of patience is, “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay.” I did not know that the process of writing a poetry manuscript would be this much work. Much to my surprise, just because I have a plethora of notebooks filled with poems and scraps of poetic inspiration lying around, it does not mean every single one fits the theme of my book. There have been many days of thumbing through pages and staring at blank documents trying to write new poems and even rewrite older ones. Yet, patience allows me to breathe, to grow, and further be introspective of myself and the life around me when I am seeking more inspo.
  • Spiritual Growth | My poems started out as prayers, as psalms unto God and stayed that way for quite some time. As I got older and began to understand more the creative nature available to all humankind, I began to realize that whatever I write can be glorifying and pleasing unto God when it speaks to life, to love, to wholeness, and freedom. Even in writing of pain and brokenness, there is glory and transcendence to be seen, because healing always comes when we allow Him to move in our lives.
  • Perseverance | I am a woman of dreams and goals and lists waiting to be fulfilled. If anything, writing this book is perseverance. It’s believing in the creativity my Abba has given me. It’s believing in myself and the power and transformative grace of God to bring me to a point of being able to write from a place of brokenness into a place of healing, a Garden of hope.

This list could go on even further. This process has taught me and is teaching me more about God, creativity, and myself. I am excited to keep writing poems and prose and beauty-filled words from my soul. I am ecstatic to see how God is glorified in the writing and I’m excited to share my words from my soul to yours.

So, stay tuned lovelies for book updates in the future.

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Sincerely

~ A

*Featured Photo Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash