A Fire Rekindled


Once upon a time I blogged every single day. Then it became almost every day. Now it’s been like once a week. I know I don’t have to blog everyday, and many great writers don’t; however, today I got some inspiration back to push myself to write everyday again.

For AP Lang Kat and I have been doing a lot of analyzing about the American Dream lately. We read The Great Gatsby, we did dialectal journals on various media forms, we hosted an event for students and teachers to share their thoughts on the topic, and recently we did a timed synthesis essay on the topic that we are currently in the process of editing. With all of this work we have done on the topic, we wanted to share our discoveries and thoughts is some sort of cumulative way.

One of the things we’ve been particularly inspired by throughout this process, is the art form of spoken word poetry. We watched several videos by spoken word artists and thought they were all really powerful and required a lot of control over rhetoric, so we’ve decided that we want to write our own! However, we’ve never actually written a spoken word piece before, so we have been trying to learn for ourselves.

We watched a bunch of videos, and then, today we actually talked with Mike Young a spoken word artist who is friends with one of our facilitators. While we had some tech problems with Google Hangout in the beginning, I think the conversation went really well and I’m so glad we got to talk to him!

It was times like today that I am especially grateful for what ID has taught me. I believe it is because of ID that I have the drive to want to make things bigger, the understanding of how working with external mentors/experts can really help with learning a new skill, the confidence to reach out to people in the community to seek their guidance, and the commitment to make things happen. Knowing that someone from the community takes intreats in what you’re working on motivates me to want to make things the best that they can be (more than any grade ever has…) and it makes me feel like what I’m doing is really important and valuable to try.

The whole conversation today with Mr. Young was really helpful for us to get some insight on how to write a spoken word piece, and it was interesting to here about his journey to discovering the art as well. I really loved hearing about the freedom to the art: “The beauty is, there are no rules.” He was saying how he doesn’t necessarily think specifically about a time limit or using certain rhetorical devices most of the time, but he just focuses on what he wants to communicate to an audience and then thinks about the best way to say it; which often includes repetition, alliteration, using homophones, etc. He really encouraged us to focus on all of the elements we can control with giving a performance, like the tone and speed at which they hear specific words, and to practice the piece a lot before performing it to an audience, which as an actress, makes total sense to me.

However, out of all of this, the thing he said that effected me personally the most was, “If you want to be a good writer, you have to write everyday and be disciplined about it.” He went on to talk about how he often jots down thoughts every now and then in a notebook or app on his phone, but then he always has to dedicate a specific amount of time to just write and bring things together, and that’s when his best work often happens. There has to be a certain balance between engaging and disengaging to allow open space for pieces of inspiration you wouldn’t expect to find. 

When he was talking it just reminded me of how much I enjoyed writing everyday, and how my writing improved over time because of it. The constant habit made me observe the most random things and then talk about them simply because I needed to find inspiration from somewhere. Lately my passion for writing has dwindled, but today it was rekindled because I was reminded of the benefits of having a constant time to stop and reflect daily.

I hope to get back to my habit of daily blogging, and now I have the motivation to really put in the dedication in order to commit to this challenge once again.

So thank you Mr. Young for all of your help today.