I’ve struggled recently to put into words why I feel the need to publish what I write, why it isn’t enough to write just for me. Why do I want to seek publication for my writing, why doesn’t my blog feel like enough of a place for that? I think it’s ultimately a thirst for human connection, the desire to touch another person through my writing. I’ve read SO much and been touched so often in unexpected ways, sometimes by just a phrase, and I want to put myself out there and share, in the hopes of touching someone else.
Last Saturday I had a really super awesome experience that made me say, “Yes, I’m a real writer,” at the same time I got tears in my eyes. I wrote a poem and posted it on Twitter for #vss365. The prompt was the word “poleaxe,” of all things, and it was inspired by an unexpected but powerful resurgence of grief I’d had earlier in the week. Here’s the poem:
is a poleaxe
to the heart
that keeps coming
but never kills,
ready to strike
Not long after I published that tweet, a got a private message from someone on Twitter asking if she could share my poem. She was in India, which is having a really bad time with COVID right now, and had been touched by my words; she thought her friends might as well.
I wrote a tweet-length poem in a few minutes, and people halfway around the world experiencing immense grief got comfort from my simple words. It’s incredible, really, and I am so grateful this internet stranger took the time to tell me what my poem meant to her. So many writers never know, and I don’t expect to always get this kind of reaction – but THIS is why I want to share what I write.