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Art in Progress: Attempting Spoken Word

One of the main points of Creating Confidently is to share our creative journeys as we create without inhibitions. Back in March I shared my end product of a foray into the spoken word poetry world on creating.confidently. Now I want to delve into the process with you and share how this entire experience felt as I stepped into a new creative world.

I am not a complete stranger to spoken word; back in college I visited the Mahtay Cafe in St. Catharines on open spoken word nights - I knew some people in the community and, knowing my love of English, they invited me out to see it live.

Now, I am a novel writer; I loved writing essays in high school and have been writing fantasy and romance novels for the better part of six years (though I have yet to finish one), so poetry, though I enjoy the form and structure of it, is not my cup of tea. Poetry is a very specific form of writing - there may be many forms of it and ways to write it, but it requires so much thought and flow and finesse - all of which I respect, but have yet to master; and I know, I know, the only way to master it is to practice. But, I also know that using your resources is the best advice out there. Spoken word is a step up from the written word in terms of performative prowess. Not only do you have to be a great writer, but you have to be able to perform, and the merging of these two skills is best learned from a master.

Going back through some of my journals I stumbled on a piece I remember writing during that time period, when I was actually going out, and I could hear it in my head as I read it. When I decided to transform it into a spoken word piece I knew I had to reach out to an old friend who is very much top of the spoken word scene: D’Scribe.poetry. Graciously, he agreed to look over my piece and help me re-work it for the art of spoken word.

But, how are you supposed to grow in your skills and creativity if you never open yourself up to criticism - constructive criticism? Although I was terrified of the results, of being a fool, of being grossly inadequate, I knew that fear was going to hold me back from creating, and if I was out there spewing to others to create confidently and share our crappy creations

with the world as part of growth, I couldn’t shy away from such an opportunity.

Thankfully, we worked over Google Docs and with each attempt at a re-write the suggestive corrections became fewer. Not only did this tighten up my writing and format it better to poetry and spoken word cadence, but it forced me to really work through the writing process and dig deeper into what this piece truly meant to me.

The entire ending came solely out of this experience; from drilling down to collaborate with another creator and learn from him and his expertise, and that is the key to getting better - learning from and collaborating with other creatives. That is the beauty of this community - our willingness to share our knowledge with others, the willingness to teach and encourage rather than shut others out and keep the art for ourselves.

Though my writing and experience of the creative community may have expanded, my

ability to perform still fell woefully short. But, the overall experience and my attempt at spoken word poetry allowed me to break through a fear barrier; the fear of being criticized, of being made to look foolish and falling short of my own idea of what I should be able to do.

We are all growing and learning. We should not be ashamed of our learning selves, we need to thank them because they are brave and bold; they are the only reason we become better. Take a look at the edits and the progression in the document attached. I’ve also included the original audio file for your enjoyment at my clumsy attempt to perform, in the sense that I say the words out loud instead of in my head. You can see the original post here.

A Path of Edits
Download PDF • 44KB

Thank you for sticking with me and witnessing me as I share my creativity with all of you and humbly ask that you feel safe enough, bold enough, to do the same.

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