Best Sellers of 2021

I have been a passionate writer for years now; it’s only recently that I’ve begun to delve into the world of getting my works published. I know it’s easy for people to point out trends and show what’s forecasting to be popular in 2022. I know it’s easy for people to point to statistics and say, “This is what everyone is reading these days.”

But I don’t want my books to be for mass consumption. I don’t want my books to be plastered with stickers like an “As seen on TV” toaster. I’m not saying I want my writing to be obscure or unknown, but I am not writing for a mass market. I want people to read my writing because it resonates with some deep part of their soul.

Today, I received a series of messages from a fellow poet. She lives in South Africa, but she admitted to me she saw parts of herself in my poetry. Another author from Chile told me that parts of her were reflected in a poem I just finished. That’s what is important to me. I don’t care if I’m on a best seller list or if no one buys my books – I want my words to reverberate truth to those who read them. I want my writing to be something that stirs in the hearts and souls of those who read it.

Last night, I received a letter from my son, telling me that I’m a good artist, and to be honest, after growing frustrated with the numbers and the followers and the algorithms, it was nice to be reminded why I do this.

I write so that others may find their voice among the fray. I write so others don’t feel lost or lonely. I write to be someone’s candle when all their lives they thought themselves blind.

In 2022, I hope to write more, publish more of my writing, and continue to spark awareness in others. I pierce my own veins so that poetry uncoils from the skin, and the reader sees me as a mirror. So that the reader knows they are not alone.

Ps: Don’t forget to check my blog over the next couple of days for the three installments of “The Great Novelist”.

Poetry Writing

Olivia Rodrigo in an article by Ben Henry, BuzzFeed News.

I read this quote from Rodrigo defending her use of describing a “blonde girl” (when really, the girl in question, was a brunette) in her song, and immediately, her words resonated with me.

As a poet, I tend to get specific. I say an ex-lover’s eyes sparkled like jade with the rings of Saturn orbiting her pupil. I describe the way he smelled like piney marijuana and patchouli when he danced with me. I might say another’s name tasted like taking a bite of a red apple in autumn but later, all I could taste was the scorch of burnt ash.

So I understand the need to get descriptive, but as a fiction author, I also know it is frowned on to give a laundry list of description: “He was 5’7″ with a close-cropped beard and eyes that glimmered like blue topaz whenever he saw her. He had a freckle underneath his eye that lined up with a freckle she had underneath her eye, so when they kissed, their freckles exchanged intimate greetings as well. He wore oversized dress shirts with the cuffs hanging over his small hands. His hands were stained with tobacco and always moving with a nervous, frenetic energy. When he smiled, she could see his imperfect teeth, but it was a genuine smile. He weighed around one-hundred-and-sixty pounds and was self-conscious of the hair on his stomach.”

…did you enjoy reading all of that?

I tried my best to make it interesting, but let’s be honest – that’s a lot of detail.

So, an author might pick and choose so her audience doesn’t feel alienated from her. While a fiction author has the luxury of using more words, it doesn’t mean a pile-up of details forced down her readers’ throats.

That being said, a poet wants to create a specific person but still leave the details a bit hazy, so when you’ve finished reading, you can tell yourself that the poem was about you or your ex-girlfriend or your fiancé or your next door neighbor or your grandpa who died eleven-and-a-half years ago.

Also, like Rodrigo touched on, the drama can take away the song or poem’s impact because everyone is analyzing it, waiting for reactions, and caught up in the scandal. I prefer amalgamations of people or details that aren’t really details like some of what I’ve written above.

Just my thoughts.