Poetic Potential was one of the biggest passion projects I have ever undertaken. There was something about the mix of science and anecdotes, fact and opinion, that made this book so meaningful to me. Through three sections of healing, empowerment, and activism, I wove my own stories together with others’ and found solace in different messages and themes.
With that being said, yes, of course I had a favorite chapter. Located at the end of the Empowerment section, the eighth chapter was a special one. I mention it frequently on social media, so I thought it was only right of me to dive into an explanation as to why it holds the award for best chapter.
The “AHA” Moment
Writing nonfiction for the first time was a 180-degree turn for someone who had focused her free time on poetry. Yes, I had written research reports and academic essays throughout my time in school but this was different. I was passionate about this topic, which led me down many research rabbit holes on the internet at odd hours of the night, but all of that passion led to endless documents of different ideas.
Where were the connections between thoughts?
I knew they existed but, with the way I was writing, it was difficult to visualize them distinctly. I had individual interviews, statistics, quotes, and memories that each stood alone but I needed to combine these pieces into chapters. I needed to write the narrative – tell the story – so my message would read clearly.
What does all of this have to do with chapter eight?
I can still picture the moment in my head – a Friday morning at a Starbucks on campus, alone except for my notes and my thoughts, with too many open browser tabs. Encyclopedia, interview notes, research, documentary, and a blank document where I was trying to make a story come to life. And just like that, reading one article changed my state of frustration in the blink of an eye. All of a sudden, I saw connections everywhere. A definition appearing in two different contexts, but meshing well with my theme? Saw it. A researcher’s name heard in a video but also found in a different type of research? Saw it. Words were matching up, definitions aligning, thoughts and statistics and opinions all culminating in a single message that ended up titling the chapter:
It was that “AHA” moment everyone dreams of having, no matter what facet of their life. It was the day I found loose threads that I could tie together and create the masterpiece I wanted. It was incredible.
More than all of the puzzle pieces coming together, chapter eight (as indicated by its title) summarized what I thought was the most important message of my book.
I wrote Poetic Potential because I realized poetry was what had helped me find my voice and rediscover its worth. Throughout my research, more benefits of poetry were added onto my thesis, illustrating the healing powers of poetry and how words can be used to change the world, but it all boiled down to that central idea of empowerment.
My goal was (and still is) to show women that their voices matter. Maybe they have to learn to love themselves and take care of their minds first before they get there. Maybe, after they realize their potential, they can use their voices to speak up for themselves and others (and I hope they will). But it all aligns with that main theme of empowering women to believe in themselves so others will have to believe in them too.
Read Chapter 8 for Yourself!
If my goal aligns with yours, my hope is that you pick up your own copy of Poetic Potential today, wherever books are sold. Give it to a sister, a friend, a daughter, or keep it for yourself. Help spread this message of empowerment, self-love, and self-worth to anyone and everyone who needs to rediscover their own voice.