What’s in your backpack?

“I use poetry to help me work through what I don’t understand, but I show up to each new poem with a backpack full of everywhere else that I’ve been,” – Sarah Kay

After watching the video, I can’t help but wonder, how I have transformed creatively over the years? What steps did I take, and what steps was I too afraid to take, in that process? And better yet, what steps do I still need to take?

I can’t help but to agree with Kay, when she says that it is sometimes the scariest steps that are the most important, especially in a creative journey. Freshman year of college, I found myself in a creative writing workshop that I did not know would be full of all upperclassmen, mostly seniors. The tiny class did not have more than 10 students, and we all had to share our work every week. I was terrified to say the least.

After the first class, I was prepared to drop out, too afraid of what these older students would think of my work. Luckily, I stuck it out, and week to week I became stronger and more confident in my ability to share with my classmates. They didn’t just look at me as some little freshman, but respected and commented on my work, and I will never forget that feeling. I keep that experience in my own backpack, and think of it each time I start a creative project.

What is in your backpack?


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