I love them. I always have.
Short stories, affirmations, blog posts, full blown books…putting my words down for other people to see them is part of who I am.
But even still I have been holding myself back.
When I was a teenager I started writing poetry.
I did it in secret because my poems revealed who I was and I worried my siblings would find them and take the piss out of me.
Occasionally I would submit one for an English or drama class…but it was a side of me that made me feel a bit vulnerable.
When I headed off to uni I had a bit of a resurgence, maybe it was because I was away from home, creating a new identity for myself and missing the diversity of East London a million miles away (or so it seemed) in Winchester.
I started writing poems and posting them in online forums.
I used spoken word in my final year dance project, helping one of my performers to tap into who she was, her cultural identity, in a piece called “Looking In”
Later I would go on to use spoken word with the hundreds of young people I worked with as a drama practitioner, and even though it wasn;t really poetry I would use my writing skills when writing speeches for politicians when I moved briefly into the public sector.
Somewhere along the way spoken word became cool.
The lines between music and poetry became blurred (maybe it always had been with music forms like rap), but bands like The Streets, and even popular music like Lily Allen…spoke to me and my life, and I would use these lyrical pieces in films I made as part of projects I worked on.
And somehow my own writing suffered.
I stopped writing.
Well, writing anything which even remotely resembled poetry.
I can’t even remember the last time I even attempted to sit down and write anything that wasn’t bog standard non fiction, or at a push a slightly ranty almost poetic blog post.
That was until about a month ago.
I had wanted to write a script for a promo film I had an idea for in my business coaching programme Tribe Builder.
And I got serious writers block.
When I did write it sounded poncy and cliched.
I was stuck.
And then I started just writing down phrases, things which frustrated me about the world we lived in…and that’s when I saw it, the flow the rhythm of the words, the way that some words jumped out of the page as if they were begging me to make them rhyme.
But even then I kept looking at the piece thinking
“this is stupid”
“its too rhymy”
“its too ranty”
“its too juvenile”
And then I got brave and read it outloud to a business friend who is the most straight forward person I know…and she said it gave her goose bumps.
So I knew I was onto something.
Sharing my idea with the brilliant Justina Rosu, film maker in her own right was scary. She has a background working for the BBC, and she helps entrepreneurs bring out their brand stories…what if she hated the spoken word idea?
Luckily she didn’t.
She was as excited as I was, and really listened to what I wanted.
The day and a half we spent shooting was simply the best adventure ever…I had so much fun. So OK the words were hard to remember and I struggled to do them in one take…but they flowed, even with hundreds of people around looking at me like,
Who is she?
I can’t tell you how proud of what we have created.
But also its hard to describe how revealing it makes me feel.
It won’t be for everyone…and I can almost see the eye rolling, and hear the sighs of “really, get over yourself love”
But this is me.
Every location in that video was chosen not because of its aesthetic, but because of the meaning behind it. Those market stalls are where I buy fruit, the canals are where I run, that bench is where I sit and watch my daughter play after school.
Authenticity is an over used phrase….but how can I promote it without leading by example and showing people who I really am.
So there you have it.
I am a poet.
And now you know it.
Now I am thinking what next? What else do I want to express through the power of words and imagery in this way?
I’d love to know what you think of it.
Let me know what you think, like it, leave a comment, and share it for other business owners to see.
Oh, and if you are interested in the concept of Tribe Building and finding a different way in Tribe Building, then the cart is currently open for the Summer cohort of my 10-week programme Tribe Builder.
The early bird rate ends on Friday 31st June, and if you want to find out more about the basic principles of Tribe Building then why not join me next Wednesday in my FREE Fundamentals of Tribe Building webinar.