In middle school my love for reading quickly turned into a love for writing. I was emotionally twisted and found a loyal friend in my notebook. I began writing pages and pages of poetry. I even entered my poems in local contests and actually won. I believed that I had found what it was I was meant to do in life.
My writing style was heavily ornate and utterly dark. Poetry and teen angst make for morbid imagery. Add a fascination with vampires and preoccupation with death and you get some beautifully tragic verses. In many ways writing saved me by allowing me to purge myself of that darkness, but a high school English teacher almost muzzled my inner voice.
We had an assignment to write a poem using iambic pentameter. I loved these kinds of assignments because I felt like I could really embrace my artistic ability in school work. I turned in my poem and was confident that she would be impressed with my talent. Instead she negatively criticized my poem over two lines she said were incorrect because I used a mixed metaphor.
I was appalled. How could something I wrote be incorrect? Wasn’t there such a thing as poetic/artistic license?
My response to this? I wrote another poem…completely filled with nothing but mixed metaphors. From that point – like my attitude with many things – I raged against being restricted. That’s really what it’s all about. Poetic license is the literary way to say bite me, I don’t need your rules.
You’ll see this attitude come out in a lot of my writing.