The fear that keeps me from learning

Some days I feel like I'm in the middle of a world that's just a little too smart and a little too heavy for me to handle. For some reason, in my circle of family and friends, I have a reputation for being one of the intelligent ones. It's true that I know a lot of pieces of information about things. Whatever you do or say, I'll probably have a piece of info to share about it. But does that really make me smart, or does it just make me a trivia buff?

I'm thinking this because I'm a poet, or at least I claim to be. I have decently-sized mailing list full of people who have been following my work for years, so I know there must be some value in what I do. It comes from my heart and soul and I take it very seriously. Honestly, if I didn't have the ability to translate my experiences into poetry or lyrics on a daily basis, I'd probably go crazy.

But here's the thing—I don't know the first thing about crafting a poem in the classic sense. Sonnets, quatrains, etc.? Don't even ask me to define those. My lack of real knowledge on poetry sometimes makes me feel like a fraud. I've memorized all those facts a time or two, but the instant I'm not trying to remember them, I forget them.

And it's not just poetry. It's singing and songwriting too.

I've never truly invested my time in learning any of my crafts. I have natural talent in those three areas, which is why I gravitate toward them so strongly, and I have skills that are built upon my own experience. But very little of those skills are built on actual book-learned knowledge.

Clearly my way is to learn by feel. But I think I also shy away from acquiring real knowledge because of my own insecurities. The fear that I won't be good enough, or the fear that I'll actually find success and then what will become of my current life? Those are the most pointless fears to have, but we all have them. Or at least most of us do.

I believe that everything happens for a reason, and I choose to believe that by striking out on my own and not following the established forms, I have shaped my own style and created the most authentic poetry that I possibly can. But I do want to learn. I don't want to let my fear stop me anymore.

My priority right now is a little more heavily sprinkled on the singing/songwriting side of my creativity, because I feel that needs much more work than my poetry does. So I'm considering returning to my songwriting classes at Song U, and even more importantly signing up for some other music classes at Workshop Live. Maybe not just keyboard this time--maybe a little guitar too. Why not? I know that my brain by default disposes of anything it doesn't find interesting, so I'll probably lose some of the facts here and there... But hopefully I'll retain enough to make my songs all that they deserve to be.

Before I go, I just want to remind you guys to subscribe to my RSS feed, subscribe via email, or at least follow me on Twitter for a quick update here and there. I'm putting so much creative energy into this blog nowadays (just the way I always should have), and I don't want you to miss a minute. I'm not writing to empty space—I'm writing to you. So I hope you'll accept my invitation to stay connected for the long haul. ☺ I'm in it to win it, seriously. No matter where life takes me personally, I am committed to staying the course and pursuing both poetry and singing/songwriting, because those are the only spaces where I truly feel like myself. Like an athlete in the zone, you know? Those are the only areas of my life where I can instantly access that feeling.

Thank you for your never-ending support, and if you're new here, welcome aboard. Please subscribe and stay awhile! Fresh poetry coming up in the next few days...

Poem: Loving the Broken Half of Me

Downpour: Another poem from the archives