Friends, I’m super excited and giddy to get the word out about my poetry performance comin up on Tue. November. I have some stuff in the vault that might be ready for sunshine (or moonlight), and I’ve got some recently released poetry collections, so I may share some of those pieces as well. I hope you join me!
Spoken Word and Poetry Meet featuring Reza “Rites” Clifton, Tuesday, Nov 1 · 7:30–9:30 PM, hosted by Jaybird Walker at R1 Indoor Karting, 100 Higginson Ave, Lincoln, RI.
The night will start with an open mic, followed by me sharing poetry and storytelling from 3 AM IS THE NEW BLACK (@3amblack). I can’t wait!
When coping turns into a dinner date turns into a walk and ramen date turns into a walk and ramen date with a new drink and a new selection turns into a walk, dinner date with beverage and soup tasting AND an opportunity to register for a writing class offered by your favorite literary magazine. Yay, yum, and watch out.
#3amblackpoetry in July, Day 3: Applying the Courage Balm and Accepting Submissions
Is it possible to be a writer who wants to have her words read while also being a person whose soul and self-worth occasionally wither until sunbeams hit again? There are many creators around the world who will confess to existing in both poles – needy yet shy, attention-seeking yet hermit-adjacent. In fact, it is likely for this reason that historians and anthropologists find and showcase what becomes famous written and artistic work of others after finding them in journals and private archives. I, too, know this challenge. I want an audience or readership, I’ve told myself since childhood, but is this piece of writing worth sharing? Is this body of produced work worth anyone’s attention? Would it be better to just discard it all or start all over?
Questioning your virtues, values and contributions is normal, in general, but as a writer it is dangerous. Perfectionism and peculiar preoccupations when working interrupts creativity, dampens individual progress, and slows growth that emerges from repetition and a track record of completion. How I’ve come to deal with self-doubt and oscillating amounts of courage is by creating digital spaces where I upload and, from time to time, share my work.
Yes, I consider myself a digital storyteller, which means that now, when showcasing my creativity, I often include video, visual and audio elements alongside my writing. But to be clear: forcing myself to post work and building a “library of me” means I have become my own, personal archivist, and that means that very little that gets written or produced stays hidden or private. Some might call this a portfolio, and maybe it is, but to me, it is far less intentional.
Yes, in my most confident and productive times, I frequently curate, assemble collections, and share works through online and physical exhibitions, live and digital performances, and through juried contests reviewed by teams of professionals. But even in my darkest hours, and even if there’s an internal storm wrought with thundering doubts, I remove the emotions, dig through “recent” pieces, and post my writing. Does that mean that I forgo editing my work? Well, as a matter of fact, the process of transferring my writing from one format or medium to another is the exact step-by-step that also helps me proofread, and, if I daresay, find peace, though not necessarily perfection, in my work.
At this point, if self-doubt rears its head, like an old muscle injury that comes and goes, posting my work and building a personal archive is the balm or bandage that keeps me moving forward.
Do you have a personal archive or “library of me” housing your work? Have you built a strategy for overcoming self-doubt as a creative? Feel free to share your process, AND/OR if you want to, feel free to submit work you might want to see this month during our #3amblackpoetry in July series. Although there is no guarantee, I do promise that every submission makes submitting easier, so if you haven’t yet, try it with us!
Sunshine and laughter,
Reza Rites Educator – Writer – Artist – Cultural Savant And Publisher/Editor of 3 AM IS THE NEW BLACK
Welcome to Venus Sings by Reza Rites at www.VenusSings.com
About Venus Sings / Reza Rites / Reza Wreckage
About Reza Rites (Venus Sings/Reza Wreckage/the #AmbitiousBlackFeminist)
Reza Clifton has many nicknames because she is a writer, digital storyteller, and cultural navigator based out of Providence, RI. This means she works and makes her income in several different ways, including but not excluding sending and publishing written work, multimedia stories and interviews with artists and community leaders; DJ'ing at professional, cultural and family events in different cities; giving speeches, workshops and lectures on college campuses and in community sites; and curating and producing community arts events.
This site, VenusSings.com, is about her interests in music, art and culture; her adventures as a DJ; and her collaborations with artists and community members. You can also follow her on Tumblr, www.AmbitiousBlackFeminist.com.