Just over a year ago I began writing poetry. It was an outlet for my emotions as I dealt with depression and anxiety. As the poetry continued to flow an idea came to me to perhaps do something more than post it on social media. Prior to this I had only written and published fiction so I decided to publish my poetry in a collection. I had come across a poet by the name of Rupi Kaur and her work gave me encouragement to persevere towards a book.
The poetry in Fading Footsteps gives a small window into my childhood and some of my early challenges as a teenager to my current state of mind as I work to get myself well again. I have also included poetry about spirituality, fiction and random musings in a chapter called 'A Box of Chocolates.'
My main reason for putting out this collection is to help others going through challenges with their mental health. I say to myself as an author if i've helped just one person through a bad day, given someone inspiration, made them laugh then my job as a writer is done.
If my book does find its way into your hands, I hope we form a connection and for that short time my words can give you what you need.
Fading Footsteps will be available for purchase on Tuesday July 19th through Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.
Her eyes open prepared for sunlight
Still a black cloak remains
No position is comfortable on this bed
The body aches as though this mattress is a slab of led
The alarm tricks her and remains silent
A bolt of fear strikes her eyes staring at the lateness
A hundred things to do
Now is the time chaos will ensue
All the cars on the road are working against her
Pedestrians shake their head
Her stomach rumbles pleading to be fed.
She forgets the directions told to her
Round and round she goes
She wishes she could start the day again
She closes her eyes for a moment of zen
It has just gone nine
A sigh of relief as she parks
Her interview is due to start at quarter past
The waiting room is a chamber of torture
The ticking clock counting down her demolition
A man then steps outside with a glint of sorrow
He tells her she has come on the wrong day, her interview is in fact tomorrow
I cannot remember the moment I decided to write my first poem just as I don't recall my first lines of fiction. I do know that both of these art forms came out of pain and a desperation to express it.
In a short time this venture into poetry has been a profound journey. Scared of what I was writing I created anonymous social media accounts. I had the courage to post on my named account sparingly but continually returned to the safety of anonminity.
As an author it made sense to publish my poetry under my name to build on my previous works, however, the anxiety was overwhelming. Many days throughout the week I would partake in letting my fears get the best of me and allow my weaknesses to dictate.
On those rare days of calm I had the strength to persuade myself that I had something to say, to share with others, that all these years of suffering with depression could be put to good use. I decided I would put these poems, which had gradually piled up, into a collection that I could publish.
I still go back and forth, being determined to put out this collection one moment to walking away from writing altogether the next. Only time will tell what will come to fruition. I have no expectations and have detached myself from outcome. As of now writing poetry is supporting me through my time of need, and of course I will continue to write fiction for as long as I am able.
I seek out lessons from others. Often I observe and take note of people’s drive especially those individuals who are the best in their field whether it be writers, actors, athletes, or even a magician.
Sometimes, though, it’s so easy to fall in to the trap of just becoming inspired without taking action. I found myself in this spot and I kind of still am, where I feel moved after hearing David Blaine say how many hours each day he practises his magic or the intensity that Floyd Mayweather trains with and then do nothing with that drive.
It got to the point when it was painful to hear or read what was once inspirational and moving as it gave me a stark reminder of my shortcomings. The remedy was simple – take action – but knowing and doing are very different especially when not in the most useful mindset.
So it may be a good idea to be aware when a useful exercise like gaining inspiration turns into procrastination. We all need it at times, but in careful doses, it can spur you on to get the best out of you.
Some of the well-known public figures that inspire me are Anthony Robbins, Wayne Dyer, Floyd Mayweather, and David Blaine. What I’m inspired by the most is an individual’s dedication and worth ethic.
What or who inspires you?
I recently thought about when I first started writing and found it hard to believe that it had been ten years. I started looking at time differently and I became more aware how fast it was ticking by. This time last year now seemed so close after recalling where I was in my life; it was scary to feel that so much more could’ve been accomplished.
Soon I had an array of references of how much time I had wasted and moments where I had begun something new and how much progress would’ve been made had I kept it up. I felt down and deflated and it was hard to shake it and still is. Even though I know the past is the past and it cannot be changed it’s hard to not bring it up and dwell on it when there’s the slightest bump in the road.
I recently came across a way of thinking when it came to time that is also an old adage: ‘take one day at a time.’ It’s so simple but it can be hard to apply at times and guide your mind away from worries about the future and concerns that don’t even exist. I tried applying this to my writing and thought about focusing on book at a time, a paragraph at a time or even a sentence if need be and living in the flow of now.
This reminded me of a philosophy that’s referenced a lot in Sikhi, which talks about breath. That our life is just this one breath, and nothing exists but that. I found it quite empowering as it allowed me to let go of all the times I had failed or let myself down, and especially those times that I felt I wasted, which hindered my current actions.
I’ve always believed that there’s a lesson in everything. In this case I realised how short time is and how each day needs to be a building block towards what you want to achieve. That to achieve something great happens by thinking small (something I heard Dr Wayne Dyer once say) and putting the majority of your focus on the present. Dr Wayne Dyer also gave an example of this and talked about tennis players and how they put very little of their focus on winning a Grandslam but instead take one point at a time. That is what he meant by thinking small and I will certainly take on this approach for my writing.