My Old Poetry and #ROW80

Do you go back through things you wrote a long time ago? I picked up a journal I kept in college (more than 20 years ago) and read through the poems I had scribbled within its pages. Like many young adults, I was conflicted. I was intense. I was super-deep (I thought).

Here is a sampling:

Silent Soliloquy
We’re living our lives like a line of calligraphy
With loops and twists and angles that need not be
I want the raw essence to scrawl on my page
As the pen searches the language and the paper becomes my stage

I think I’d write that notion a bit differently now. More light-hearted. Happier.

But it was nice to realize that while my answer to the Have You Always Been a Writer? is not an absolute yes, there was a spark even then of wanting to find the right words and arrange them on a page to communicate a message. I like the phrase “raw essence,” though maybe my essence would be battered and deep-fried nowadays. After all, life is short; you might as well enjoy as much of it as you can.

Now on to the raw essence of my ROW80 progress:

  • Finish editing Grace & Fire mystery novel and send to reader. Check. Finished on January 19.
  • Write 2,500 1,500 words per week on young adult novel, Sharing HunterHaving done great last week (3,375 words), I thought perhaps I should increase my word count expectation. Juliana Haygert, however, suggested that I “wait a couple more weeks and see if you keep crossing the 2000 words mark.” I agreed. Since then, I have written 764 words. Monday and Tuesday were not good health days.
  • Blog twice a week on Amaze-ing Words Wednesday and Deep-Fried Friday, and check-in with ROW80 updates twice a week. Check. Posted Swimsuit Cover and ROW80 on Sunday and Getting in Last Words today.
  • Comment on at least 10 15 blogs per week (not counting ROW80 update comments). Check. Commented on 16 blogs so far this week.
  • Read one writing craft book. Check. Finished On Writing by Stephen King. For those of you asking what I thought of On Writing, I didn’t get as much out of it as others have. There were some gems in there, but quite a bit of the book covered King himself and his writing. I’m not a big King fan, though.
  • Read five eight fiction books. 6 down. Now reading Family Magic by Patti Larsen.
  • Exercise three times per week.
  • Read through Writer’s Digest magazine issue. I’ve read a couple of articles, but have a way to go.

Wish the best to my fabulous fellow ROW80 writers HERE.

What gems have you discovered when you’ve gone back through old writings? How is your ROW80 going?

23 thoughts on “My Old Poetry and #ROW80

  1. You’ve accomplished so much. I wonder if ROW80 would kick my butt into gear this spring? BTW, I hope you’re feeling much better.

    As for looking at my old writing, it’s largely composed of poetry. My favorite poem, from fifth grade, includes these lines: Feelings of my sister, when she gets a blister, and Feelings of my dog, when he eats a frog. Classic, yes? Lighthearted, certainly. I like your “raw essence” phrase as well. Impressive insight for a young woman.

    1. I am better. I still want to stomp my feet like a toddler not getting her way because I don’t have the energy I’m used to having. I am not a patient patient. But I am getting better, Jolyse. I appreciate your well wishes.

      I love your 5th grade poem! I bet you were a fun gal then — just like you still are!

  2. I didn’t write poetry, but I write a lot of stories in old notebooks (I guess I haven’t changed all that much, lol). My mom has them all tucked away with all my other childhood stuff, lol. Sounds like you’re having a great week, and I think Juliana’s right. The worst thing you can do is set too high of a goal and end up failing. Keep up the great work!

  3. Hope you are feeling better. Sickness and writing are never good partners!

    I like “raw essence” too! Revisiting old works is like a stroll down memory lane. When I wrote my novel, I based a lot of the teenager’s emotions off of my diary entries (yes, I kept my diaries).

    Hope you have a great writing week!

    1. I kept some of my diaries but not all. Reading back through my high school ones has also helped remind me what goes through teen’s heads. I’ve got Depression Cookies on my TBR list. Need to get to it soon!

  4. I cringe at my oldies – even last year! But I have poems from many years ago and oh my goodness – BAD! 🙂 But they were never for critiquing in my defence. They were tiny parts of my soul seeping out onto the page, for cathartic reasons.

    I love that you’ve reassessed your goals too – I had to. And regarding yours – well done, seems you’re on top of the majority of them. Good for you.

  5. I love poetry 🙂 Nice job! Looks like you’re doing some serious goal busting. I find I have to temper my goals after a few great days of writing. I get so excited that I trick myself into thinking it will just keep being that way – and then I’ll do some crash and burn thing. So fun, lol.

    Good luck with all of your goals for the rest of the week! I wish you good health and creativity!

  6. I love your poem. It so reminds me of the deep stuff I wrote in my teens called the meaning of life. oh my word I must dig that out sometime.

  7. I signed up for Row80 last Wednesday and I became instantly swamped with craziness! Not giving up just going witht eh flow and trying to figure things out.

  8. Beautiful writings from the past. I just recently went through my old journals (teenager) and realize that A) my mother deserves a medal and B) I was insane. LOL! Although I will say there’s some interesting poetry among the wreckage. I keep meaning to go back, mine them, and then burn what I’m not keeping. LOL!
    Here’s to a kicking ROW80 weekend. My week was pretty slow going to on the writing front (I hear ya) but you rocked the blog and social media so here’s to nailing some words on the page this weekend! Woot woot!

  9. I haven’t really done much writing in the past. But I’ve looked at some of the poetry I wrote in high school. It was okay but no phenomenal. I’ve come a long way since then. Yet, I’ve checked out some of my blog posts from the beginning and have definitely seen the change in how I’ve approached blogging. I’m way better and a better writer as well.

  10. I’ve gone through some of the poetry I wrote in high school. It was good but not phenomenal. With having checked out my blog posts from the beginning, I’ve come a long way. I’ve become better at blogging and writing.

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