Your Words Are More Than Just Numbers
Four years ago I decided after a long haul of not writing poetry, I was going to start again.
After stumbling onto a poetry account when I was on Instagram one day, I decided I wanted to write again, and I was going to use Instagram as my platform.
I wasn’t any good in the beginning, most of what I wrote sounded like those poems you read in children’s books. It wasn’t until I started reading some of my inspirations behind Instagram poetry, that I started to get better at the craft, less rhyming and more guts.
I was going through a lot of heartbreak at the time that I had been suppressing, being able to put it into words really helped.
I remember a small piece I wrote “Poets will dig their scars raw just to recall what once made them bleed.”
If that doesn’t describe what we’re doing here, I’m not sure what else would.
When I started the account I had every intention of remaining anonymous, but after awhile of developing friendships and one of the writers telling me my work deserved a name on it, I decided it was time. My name started going on my poetry and I posted a selfie as well.
I started getting a lot more feedback, which meant I was interacting with a lot more people, I watched my follow count jump, and I became hooked.
I made a lot of friendships with the writers and behind the scenes it was a whole other world that sucked me right in. The group chats, #writerscrushwednesdays, reposts, shout outs. Some were even paying to be featured on accounts that had huge followings. For me, it started becoming more about the number than it did the poetry.
My posts became shorter, eventually nothing more than a couple words thrown together for some likes. People didn’t want to read, the posts I wrote that were longer than quotes always got passed over. So I gave the people what they wanted and in the end I lost myself.
After what I realized what I was doing, I started kicking myself as I posted those quotes. They weren’t me, they were what everyone wanted them to be.
It bothered me so much that I ended up giving myself writers block and eventually closed my account.
I didn’t tell anyone I was leaving. All the friendships I made went with the account, and that is the only thing I regret. I was so disappointed with myself for becoming everything I said I wouldn’t, I didn’t want them to be disappointed in me too.
I wasn’t able to write until recently. I’m not sure what made me decide to come back, all I know is how relieved my heart is to be writing again.
Instagram is an amazing platform to be able to share your work and connect with other writers. It can also chew you up and spit you out if you let it. Don’t lose yourself in the process, your words are so much more than numbers.