One Year of Poetry: The Journey so far

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Today marks 1 year since I started writing seriously. Today also marks a year since I started sharing my poems for the world to see. Writing constantly for a whole year wasn’t an easy challenge, it wasn’t just a walk in the park, it was work. In July last year, I decided to start writing at least one poem every month. I didn’t think I would make it to a year, I just thought I’d “see how it goes” but here I am. There were many months when I found myself searching for inspiration for what to write 2 days to the end of the month but I did it. I was determined to start something I wasn’t forced to do and that wasn’t related to school and see it through to the end. Something I have never been able to do.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a writer. As early as primary school, I wrote many poems and stories. A small number of these stories were finished, but there are more that were never finished and a larger number that hasn’t been expressed on paper. But i stopped for a long time. “So what went wrong?Why did I stop writing?” some of you might be wondering. Here’s my story.

I first experienced boarding school life when I was in Senior Secondary School. The structured schedules, early lights-out, and early lights-on, the morning teas and the nightcaps, the classes and the prep times were all overwhelming. On my first day of classes, I wrote a poem during night prep. I had been told during the orientation that prep time was meant for quiet study, assignments, and reading but I was met with laughter, play, and noise. Looking back, I realize that the returning students had resumed the previous day and thus, they would have wanted to catch up with their friends. Ignorant to this current revelation, I wrote a poem titled “Class”. Right now, I don’t know the exact words I used but I remember the words that set me up for a bad first year and the hatred of half of my set mates.

“A class filled with unserious students who don’t seem to have a future”

I don’t think I knew the weight of what I had written until one of my roommates read it and blew it out of proportion. I tried to justify myself but it was too late. Words are the hardest things to reverse whether spoken or written and as soon as they drop, just like raindrops on a sloppy street, it finds its way to every crevice until it can’t go any further. This was the case of my poem.

The next week, the nightmare began. Hateful words flew in my direction, the bullies found a prey, and my twin, who knew nothing about the whole situation, had to pass through the same madness.

In my second and third years, I was able to redeem myself but I decided not to write publicly again and instead of words, I decided to use arts and crafts to express my thoughts and whenever I had dreams, I wrote stories about them. Stories for my eyes only.

In college, I got the experience I had hoped for. A new start without issues or stories from my past, new friends that didn’t judge me, and best of all, I didn’t have to constantly prove myself to them. But with all the workload of college, I didn’t have any reason to write and I didn’t want to repeat my mistakes from secondary school. So, I pushed writing farther away from me like an epidemic.

In the summer before my third year, I had my first heartbreak and that got me writing poems again. That was the only way I could let go. That was the only way I could pull down the weights to fly. These poems remained in my secret place and no one read them.

My 2018 started with a reflective article written by my friend Ife, a better writer than I am by far. His writing sparked a fire in me that had been dimming slowly. I started contemplating whether to start writing again seriously or whether to kill that urge to express myself. As if he knew the war going on in my head, he posted another article “Just write!” where he talked about one of his new year resolutions, writing. That was the springboard I needed to dive fully into this world of writing and I did. I started writing my thoughts and experiences but it wasn’t until this day last year that I decided to post my first poem, “The Soldier’s Wife” for the world to read.

At that time, I thought I’d just drop one bomb and “see how it goes”, “test the waters” you know. I didn’t plan to make it a constant thing. Until another friend of mine, Enkay, another writer I look up to, sent me a link to an article titled, “The Interviewer Who Cursed Me Out and Changed My Life” and he encouraged me to keep writing. That was when I decided that I’d try to post at least one poem every month. It’s a year now and I haven’t missed any month. Like i said earlier, the challenge wasn’t easy at all. But I learnt a few things along the way which I’d like to share.

  1. Be consistent. Create a pattern and work with it.
  2. Be sure to finish whatever you start.
  3. Don’t throw away any thought, write it down. You can always build on it later.
  4. Never delete any idea you have. It might come in handy later.
  5. Pay attention to your environment. There are so many things happening around you that you can write about. You can put yourself in other people’s shoes too. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll see.

I plan to continue this challenge and push myself to add short stories and possibly long stories as the spirit leads. Thank you for reading this far.

Thank you, Jesus, for inspiring everything I write, Thanks to my friends and family for the motivation and support and thanks to all my lovely readers for sharing this journey with me so far. Expect more from me.

~ Esther Ohifumere Adeoye



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