I specialize mainly in Journalism, having worked for HarlemLIVE, an online teen publication for five years. I love journalism because I get to educate and inform people about the prevalent issues going on in society. Although journalism has opened many doors for me, like introducing me to lots of people, I feel like it’s stunted my creativity a bit. As a child, I wrote poetry, short stories and a host of other creative writing. Working at a news publication, there isn’t much room for creativity. Journalism is strictly about the facts.
I joined Girls Write Now to tap back into my creativity. This past summer, I wrote a script, which is about the history of disciplining children in different cultures. It’s a creative piece, but it still has a message. I also plan to study film in college, so creativity is a must. So far, the workshops have been really helpful in allowing me to recollect my love for fiction and poetry.
The poetry workshop leaders were extremely insightful. The guest speaker, Matthea Harvey, introduced us all to found and erasure poetry. I had never heard of such poetry before the workshop. It was eye opening to learn about her preparations and adventures that prompt her to write. Hearing her speak made me evaluate myself, my style and preparation of writing.
The exercises were another great part of the workshop, because they made me look at writing poetry from a different perspective. The translation exercise was a unique way to probe inspiration. I will certainly use these exercises and others in our handbook to help shape my writing process. This is only the second workshop of the 2011-12 Girls Write Now season, but I am always inspired by the other girls and women in the room. I especially loved the group poem we had to make; I even thought it came out quite okay, considering we all wrote about different things.
In the exercise entitled, “Remix: Something Borrowed, Something New,” we had to use a line other than our own to start an entirely new poem. I wrote a beautiful poem called, “Where the Land Lies.” It’s creative because of the way I played with its diction and syntax, but it’s still true to me, because it has a message. I don’t believe in writing pieces that don’t serve a purpose or make people think. This workshop taught me unique ways to brainstorm and write creatively, but with a message. I am grateful to be a part of Girls Write Now.