From the Vault – Childhood Poetry

Hi everyone,

A little while ago I was looking to see if I could find some of my old poetry, and I remembered a website that I used when I was 11 and 12 years old. It’s called Allpoetry, and it’s a place where people write and post their work, enter competitions, win points, etc. It’s kind of like Facebook but for poets. I was a bit of an odd kid, I know. I miraculously remembered my username (it’s too embarrassing to share), and reset my password. Now I have access to 22 poems that I wrote in the 7th grade. I spent way too long reading over them, getting nostalgic, and messaging the people who always commented to thank them for encouraging me, and to tell them what I’m up to now. Most of all though, I got a good laugh; my old poems are absolutely, awfully hilarious. It’s interesting to see how I grew in the year between age 11 and 12, and how my writing style matured. I thought I’d share a few of them with you so we can laugh about them together.

11 years old:

Happiness

The sun beams down and lifts my soul,
covering up the big black hole.
It brings warmth and laughter to you and me
and makes us feel so light and free.

Love is sometimes good and bad,
when you love someone other than your Mum and Dad.
Love is something that occupies your heart,
And when it ends, it’s just the start.

Sometimes love takes away your sight,
and all you can see is a beautiful light.
Coming straight from the sky,
Making you feel like you can fly.

Flying free like a bee that goes buzz,
but you have limited time like everyone does.
So insure your life with happiness and laughter,
and live very happily ever after.

Oh wow, how insightful (face palm)! It gets worse…

Here It Goes Again!

“Meow” Crash! Bang! “Oops!”
“Oh not again Puss In Boots!”
Squirming on the floor were my beloved pet eels,
The fish tank however was head over heels!

My cat has tried to eat them up,
considering the fish tank his personal cup.
He drinks from it looking nice and sweet,
but really he’s slurping a forbidden treat.

Even though he’s so naughty and bad,
when I’m angry with him, he looks sad.
I pick him up and cuddle him,
I see the knots, he needs a trim.

“Meow!” Scratch! “Oh the pain!”
It’s happening all over again.

Pet eels… really?

Here’s one I wrote the following year, when I was 12:

Mosaic

My life is like a flower mosaic.
Every day, representing every new
brightly colored tile.

Every day tells a different story.
Every tile shows a different picture.

My life story, told by art.
My secrets hidden underneath the tiles.

Surrounded by my family,
gazing at me with very proud eyes.

Every emotion, a different petal.
of the flower mosaic.

But the flower mosaic,
the work of art, is not finished yet,
as a tile is added every day of my life.
Causing it to grow and
grow.

 

I hope you had a good laugh reading my 11 and 12 year old poetry. I’m so glad that I have these to look back on, and to remind me where I came from. I wonder where the next 8 years will take me.

Thanks for reading,

Yours truly,

Tamara Drazic

 

 

Dealing with Rejection

As a young writer, I have a pretty big collection of rejection letters cluttering my inbox. I’m a very sensitive person, but over the last two years I have developed what I like to call a writer’s shell. It lets the rejections bounce off of the outside, and lets me keep in all of my positive thoughts, ideas and creativity. Before I started regularly submitting work, my creativity levels were directly related to the feedback I received. If it was positive, I would write for days and have endless ideas; but if it was negative, I wouldn’t write anything, for fear of it not being perfect. As you can imagine, that way of thinking was extremely unproductive. I had to get out of it if I was ever going to get something published, so I decided to follow my own advice, and the advice of my amazing tutors and lecturers. Below are a couple of tips that I use to help me deal with rejection.

*Remember that it’s normal – After getting a couple of rejection letters in a row, it’s easy to start doubting your writing ability. You have to remember that rejection is just something that comes with the job. Every single writer has been rejected.

*Don’t take it personally – A lot of the time, your piece just doesn’t suit the other pieces in the issue, or the market at that point in time.

*Do keep improving – In response to the previous tip, it’s equally important to never stop learning and experimenting. If you’re getting multiple rejections, and you just keep sending out the same piece, maybe it just isn’t quite finished. Take advice, make drastic changes, and kill your darlings.

*Honour your rejection letters – Ok, so you don’t have to frame them and hang them on the wall, but I think it’s important to not just disregard your rejection letters. If the editors have taken the time to give you feedback, use it. Keep your version saved, but also make the changes that the editor suggested and see what happens. Even if it’s a generic letter with no feedback at all, keep it and remember what that particular literary journal or publisher does not want.

*Don’t compare your successes to those of others – You are on your own path to becoming a better writer. You have your own style, voice and goals. Try to be happy for fellow writers when they succeed. Don’t look at someone else’s success and think you will never achieve what they have achieved. Comparing is a sure way to kill your creativity.

*Write a blog post about how to deal with rejection – This one is pretty self-explanatory.

Remember that you are emotionally invested in your rejections because making it as a writer is something that is important to you. That means it is worth trying for. I know the feeling. I’ve also found that the closer your piece gets to publication, the scarier the thought of getting rejected is. One of my pieces is currently on a short list, and I feel like I’m going crazy. I don’t know if this feeling changes once you’re an established writer, with pieces in every major publication. For now all we can do it keep doing what we love to do, and just keep submitting.

Best of luck to all of my fellow writers out there!

– Tamara Drazic