Writing Across Genres: My Decision to

In 1998 I began writing poetry. Two years later I switched to essays and short stories. Five years passed I tossed the stories for poetry. In the last nine years I’ve written many more essays and poetry, and have had the privilege of writing news articles, recipes, a script for a five-minute video, an instruction manual, a research paper, and blogs about life, writing, and learning Korean.

Some of the genres were written during my schooling in elementary, secondary, and for my assoicate’s degree. And may other students can attest to writing these genres as well. Nonetheless, I am pleased to have been introduced to them. The more genres a writer is able to aptly manipulate the better his view of the playing field. I was introduced to various essay types, among others during my associate’s degree program. My decision to become a research writer stemmed from my experience with it there.

For quite some time I knew writing was where I wanted to be. After giving in to it I spent a very long time trying to decide what exactly I would spend my life writing. Despite the fact that poetry is who I am (or so I say), I didn’t feel complete thinking that I’d spend my life writing poetry. It was adequate, but it wasn’t filling. I told myself I could be a novelist and tried my hand at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I was terrible at it. Not only was the writing process tedious in a way I’ve never experienced it was also difficult to read because the words sounded forced, and the story was depressing.

I attempted short stories but I was only able to write one. (It was placed second in a local competition for which it was written.) It felt like poetry, and it’s the only one I’ve written since leaving high school. For some reason, after I left high school my creative juices in relation to short stories evaporated quickly. I tell stories with my poetry, but I have not been able to wrap my fingers around the short story genre just yet. I will conquer it, but the thought of writing short stories for the remainder of my life didn’t calm me.

So I settled for poetry. It gives me freedom. I give it life. I could live there in that world, that vast world. I had room to grow. I write free verse. But there are rhyming poetry, cleave, haiku, sonnets, trichenvy, and many others for me to explore.

But after writing a quarter of my research paper I coaxed a few friends who dislike reading, and history to read approximately one thousand words about the changes made in the Americas after the abolition of slavery. They read without pause, and had questions on how factual the new bit of information were.

My friends are visuals: designers: photographers and the like. When given one hundred-word paragraphs, and three hundred-word poems, they ask: “Do I have to read all of this?” and “Why is this so long?”. At the end of reading the give use one short sentence: “I like it”, “It’s okay”, “It’s good”. The first two mean it ranges between not good, and average. The last means what it says, thankfully. Of course, I do question them on their thoughts, exactly how the piece made them feel, whether or not the emotional bits stayed with them at all, the works. I drill them as much as I can. Due to their lack of desire to read, however, I generally request reviews online.

But the research paper was different because it was an experiment, a small experiment. I had enjoyed writing the paper so much so that I’d began wondering how worthwhile it would be to continue writing them for my region. Hence the need to have persons in the region giving me feedback. Feedback which helped me to make the decision to add research papers, and text books to the type of writing I would be doing.

A poet who writes research papers, and textbooks. That may sound a little strange, but I’ve taken to being called a poet (by myself). After all poetry is the first genre which I wrote, and it is the genre in which I feel the most at home, and relaxed. I do intend to experiment and write other genres. I will write at least five novels, one screenplay, one documentary, and have them published and produced over the course of my career.

I’ve already got poetry, and news writing under my belt in the professional arena. Though only on a very small scale I am comfortable with it. I am anxious sink my heels into the foundation of research and textbook writing arena, as a continue to write and compile my poems.

Writing across genres isn’t as easy or difficult as some may thing. But we’ll discuss that another time.

See you next Tuesday.

*Life has been moving too fast for me to get a firm foot hold for the past few days. Please forgive my extended delay publishing this post.

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