Today's post is by our intern Ben Kostyack, a senior at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington D. C. Welcome, Ben!
In my creative writing class I recently encountered my most dreaded sort of writing: poetry. I decided a long time ago that it took a certain type of person to write poetry, and I wasn’t that type. I’ve always thought that it took a certain amount of intense emotion, usually resulting from loss or heartbreak, to write poetry, neither of which I’ve experienced a lot of.
In middle school I was forced to write poetry about a time I was scared (the assignment was given around Halloween.) I wrote down ideas and erased them, and ended up with a blank paper at the end of the class. I struggled to pick the right words, and every rhyme sounded corny to me.
Four years later, I found myself staring down at a similar blank piece of paper with the same defeated feeling. Writing has always been my forte. Why is this poetry thing stumping me? My best style of writing is fiction. It comes naturally to me, and I am able to write it non-stop for long periods of time. Writing fiction is when I feel the most creative.
What I’ve learned from my experiences with poetry is to find your niche and stick with it. Even though I have only been writing seriously for a few years, I’ve found that trying to force yourself to write something will never result in a piece you are satisfied with.
I’m not saying that exploring different types of writing is bad. Writing poetry can improve your diction and tone, and that transfers over to your preferred type of writing. Your word choice can turn a good piece of fiction into a great piece of fiction while establishing the tone of your piece.
Try as many different kinds of writing as you can, and pick the one you feel most comfortable with. After you find it, run with it.