Growing up as an introvert can be a disadvantage in many ways but at the same time, it has helped shape my career. After all, it was poetry that kick-started my journey into the written word. It was the only way that I was able to channelize my emotions and express them. This was the starting point of my poetic journey.
The first time I ever wrote a poem was when I was in class 9, for a competition. I remember how it meant so much to me at that time. I wanted to do something with my life. It was just an online competition, so I began to write and within no time had my submission sent in. It was only later that I got to know that my poem had been selected for an international poetry contest where I was a semi- finalist. This was in 2002.
It was a morbid poem. Most of my poems had themes of recluse, loneliness and dark thoughts. But that’s what triggered my writing in the first place. Without any deep emotions I wouldn’t have been able to write anything at all.
I believe that William Wordsworth rightly put it, “Poetry is a spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings that takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity.” Sometimes writing can be therapy for us when we can’t voice out how we feel.
I began to pour my heart out through words. I filled pages with verses that came to my head. I even took part in national contests in which I surprisingly began to mark my spot. I received the “Kshitj Kalashr” award in 2003 and was also nominated as the poet of the year by the “International Society Of Poets” in 2004.
In school, I was the winner of a creative writing competition in 2001, which was a big achievement for me, since I was weak in studies. See, this is the magic of poetry. I could find solace in writing and express myself. A collection of my poetry was also published when I was just 17 years old.
However, I was drawn towards psychology and already had it planned in my head that I would establish a career in this field. So, I continued my studies in college and I completed my bachelors in psychology. Studies were tough and I was caught in two mindsets at the end of it, a deep loathing towards studies but a desire to pursue psychology.
I spent the next couple of years trying to find some sort of meaning to my life while also working different corporate jobs. I also did a short one-year postgraduate diploma in communications.
Writing was the most comforting way I could express myself. I never had the intention to write so that I could become a published author. I just had a whole bunch of feelings which needed to come out. Words were the only way my feelings could be released which made my heart bleed on paper.
It is really hard to fit in writing when our lives are taken up by a lot of other activities. Slowly though, my poetry skills were getting weak and I started paying more attention to my profession. I couldn’t have it both ways, or at least I didn’t know how to balance them both out at that time.
From a social worker to a sub-editor, my passion for psychology gradually declined and my love for writing was growing.
I did all kinds of jobs, but nothing ever seemed to keep me going. Eventually, I started web content writing, freelancing from home and also serving as a visiting faculty member teaching different subjects at MBA colleges. Poetry was at an all time low. Most of my effort was going in obtaining a job rather than seeing if I was happy in it. Maybe I gained a lot of experience in the whole process but I was not happy.
After a long period of 10 years (of not writing any poetry) and having a fair share of experience in the corporate field, my interest in writing came back. Of course, this wasn’t easy because writing can be painfully tough even if you have written in the past.
I was filled with emotions, turmoil, anxiety and apprehension of what the future held for me. I felt helpless and vulnerable. Voices kept chattering in my head and I couldn’t control it. There were times when my mind felt it was home to a drunken monkey that kept jumping around.
I attended my first poetry event in the beginning of 2016 just to get back on track. At that time I was a bit anxious not because of my poetry but because I would be performing in front of other people. This opened doors to my participation in many other poetry events as well. But in today’s times, there is a growing trend in the field of poetry that is taking over the written word and that is the spoken word.
Thus, I have been jointly working on both my written and spoken word.
As soon as I get words out onto paper I feel alive. Writing, in any form requires a lot of thought and balance of emotions. Whether poetry or prose, I continue to work on my writing. There is no particular end to when you can say that it has been perfected and it will always be a journey.