You know that Jamaican people have proverbs and axioms for everything, don't you?
Back in the awkward college dating years, my mother would console me after any not-so-great experience by saying, "Every hoe have dem stick ah bush." (I beg your pardon, but 'hoe' in this axiom means garden tool! Get your mind right 😉
The saying simply means that every hoe has its matching wooden handle that fits it perfectly, somewhere off in the bushes. In other words, there's someone for everyone. Or as I like to say, when applying this idea to a wider range of life situations, from career to spirituality:
Someone is singing your song.
You don't think that the things that inspire you and move you appeal to only you, do you? First of all, that's mathematically impossible. Second, there is a reason we say something 'resonates' with you. You have your own 'vibe', your own 'wavelength' that's unique to you. And and when you just do you, you will fall into harmony with those singing your song and eventually make a beautiful symphony.
But to find out who you might harmonize with, you have to sing your song loud.
When I first set up my fan page, I was pleased to see my content resonating with people from as far away as Madagascar, Japan, and Australia. That energized me to keep going. A young Nigerian poet even asked me to blurb his debut poetry collection. I was really honored to read his work and also make a real meaningful connection with a fellow poet all the way across the Atlantic.
So you've got to boost your signal and let people hear your beautiful song. They've got to know you exist before they can connect with you. Here are some suggestions for writers:
Hit the open mic. The first time I went up on the stage of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe some 20+ years ago, I was nervous, but I pushed through it. In the end, it was worth it. The crowd loved what I had to share, and I've never stoped sharing my work on stages since then.
Send your work out. Writers write, whether they share the work or not. That's true. And it's cathartic. But to get really good at what you do, you need to share your work, and get feedback from others. So send your work to literary journals and magazines. Poets & Writers magazine is a great resource for journals accepting submissions.
Read Read Read. Read everything--not just the people writing about what you care about but those with opposing viewpoints as well. Read all genres too. Reading and writing are like cardio and weights. You've got to do both to get into the proper shape as the artist you really want to be.
And remember, the world is huge and we are more connected now than ever before in human history. Let's take a moment to think about how amazing that is....
So start singing! Before you know it, others will be sining your song too. And you'll feel like you're living more fully. That's the ultimate point of any of this, in my opinion.
Let me know how it goes.
Posted on Mon, December 18, 2017
by Keisha-Gaye Anderson