After reflecting on my post, “How Does My Talent Fit Into My Life Plan?”, I have decided that the only way I would know how this relationship with me and poetry will end, is to again become an active participant with the art form.
Since posting, I have re-engaged with poetry by performing, writing, reading, listening and watching others perform.
I am going to make a decision about me and poetry using logic instead of fear. By stepping away from the art form, I have prevented myself from using sound judgement to make a decision.
It dawned on me that I had not actually agreed on my personal idea of success as it relates to poetry. Although, I will always write and perform, I am at the crossroads of deciding exactly how much intentional time I will be giving to this component of my life. By re-envisioning how I want to be known in the world of poetry, I am able to develop my talent more efficiently.
I realize that I was also isolating my experience with poetry to artist and audiences I was already familiar with. I found myself comparing my talents to only those that have performed on Def Poetry Jam or like artists. By not setting clear expectations for my idea of success, I deemed myself a failure.
After performing at a local set (poetry event) put on by Students for Justice in Palestine at the School of the Art Institute (Chicago), I realized that I have not been exploring enough spoken word poets, nor have I been considering a diverse audience. At this particular event, there were Jewish poets, white poets, me, and a Palestinian poet. That night, we all spoke about justice and told stories about our tragic realities.
Ultimately, I have limited myself to a particular style of spoken word by not thinking of myself as an artist. There are several genres of music, pop, hip-hop, R & B, etc. There are also different styles of spoken word that is geared toward a particular audience OR even a different cause, which means, there is a place for me.
Simply put, moving forward, I am facing this battle head on. These are the steps I have taken to overcome my fear:
1- Identified the fear- Does poetry fit into my current life. Is it worth my continued investment?
2- I decided to commit to exploring my relationship with poetry over the next 3 months. The only way that I can know HOW to continue with this art form is to perform in a variety of venues. I have already stepped out and performed at the Green Mill, a Chicago Gem that has been hosting open-mic nights every Sunday for 10 years.
That’s it! It was actually two very easy steps, that in the long run, will allow me to make a decision I am confident with based on experience instead of fear.
What steps do you take to overcome your fears?
Below is a web entry that pertains to overcoming your fears. This entry provides in-depth tactics on how to look within and take the big leap.