Tag Archives: writing challenge

“I’m Me” Written by Crystal Cruz

Impressions.

People judge you by what they first see.

You ever find yourself sayin “bitch you don’t know me”?

Labels.

They tell you what to think and how to act

but when you categorize me you limit yourself – and that’s a fact.

I am…you can fill in the blank,

cause I don’t really care what you started to think.

We all have flaws.  They make us who we are. But I’m not running from mine anymore.

I am Puerto Rican. No, I don’t know Spanish. I bet you’ll eat my rice and beans though.

I am from New York, yes I have an attitude – and it’s “attractive” unless directed at you though.  

Mmm…

I am hip hop, and not this new school yo gotti shit, I’m talkin Bone Thugs, Nas, and Cameron shit.

To everyone from past whose words left me shook:

You ain’t shit, but I’m glad my aura made you look

cause those words became a slave to a page in my rhyme book

See if I fucks with you its cause you relate to me

and not cause you’re someone I pretend to be

Don’t hate me for my ability

to chill with a culture that technically ain’t me

I call that empathy

-and I am Damn good at it…

And another thing- don’t hate on me because of my size

you’re just as beautiful with those hips and thighs

and if I had it my way we’d switch or even compromise –

Well, at LEAST that’s what I used to say,

but now I know better than to ever wish I was different than how God made me

this body, this mind, was given to me for a purpose and I wear it Proud on the Daily

I am who I am, and I’ll be who I’ll be, so let me tell you if you cannot see…

My name is Crystal Danielle Cruz..please do not get confused

it’s spelled C.R.U.Z. , no E at the end I’m not a Chevy –

I will LAST YOU, cause I’m a ride or die chick

and if you don’t know  that then baby you didn’t make the list.

I declare to not let my happiness be measured by an opinion that’s not mine

my kindness will lift you up and tear you down at the same time

So my beauty is not to be deceived.

I don’t care what you think – it’s about what I believe

Fuck the world and the standards of society…cause my soul is best served, when I’m Just Me.

~The Vocalist

 

 

Do You Bleed Ink?

Hello and if you’re reading this then you’re either A) a follower of my blog (thank you!), B) you’re a writer interested in the “Inspirationist Experience”, or C) you clicked the wrong link. Whatever brings you here I welcome you, today is a special day.

In my previous post, I asked fellow writers to answer a very important question, “why do they write?”. I know that the answers are as diverse as the people participating in this event so I thank you for taking the time out to do some reflection before we dive into the “challenge.”

The Inspirationist

What is an inspirationist? It’s very different from inspiration, which is often multiple things. Inspiration could be the way the clouds look at dusk when laying on the wet grass, it could be the elementary school teacher  who battled testicular cancer while still enlightening the future, or it could be the Facebook video of goats screaming that a high school accomplice posted on their timeline. All these are fantastic forms of inspiration,, but how does that translate to this vague title? The inspirationist is the person who is capable of seeking, understanding, and then projecting the emotions and thoughts from a source of inspiration into a physical product; in this case words. We capture the essence of a subject and polymerize it with our own soul to generate a brand new creation, which in turn becomes a source of inspiration for another. We are both the first domino and the last in a chain reaction, our small actions tipping off something much greater than what we probably understand. Artists are not the only ones who can be inspired, the average person can experience this feeling and serve as a source of it as well; but the inspirationist is one who takes it and discovers why it was inspiring to them. I’m asking you all to participate in this project because I believe that each of you are inspirationist, or have the ability to becoming one, if you wanted. I’m not going to put that label or categorize you, but this phrase is the best way I can describe this group of deep thinking, soul searching, life discovering group of individuals. If you consider yourself to be such a thing then congrats, you are in the right place.

The Experience

This is a writing challenge. It’s meant to push you, to provide guidance, and to give you positive feedback when appropriate; but ultimately it is what you make it (cliche, I know). If you take it seriously then maybe you will be able to attain your goal that you set for yourself (if you have no idea what I’m talking about then click here). If you slack off or don’t put the effort into it, then your words will only dissipate out of your head and never land onto paper. There will be five topics to this experience, giving each of us roughly six days to tackle a subject. I will describe the topics in greater detail below. There isn’t an official deadline, but it would be nice if individuals could stick to that six day time table; you won’t be penalized by it in the slightest, but you may end up hurting yourself if you get behind (but who am I to say that?). I know that life gets busy and that things will always come up, but the truth is, if we care about something we make the time for it. Just for this month, make the time for something that you truly care about. On December first you can go back to your normal routine however I’d like for you to give this a shot and put forth an effort that rivals the way you work towards your financial goals, towards your relationship, and towards your future.

All forms of writing are accepted. I know that some of you are songwriters, many are poets, some are journalist and others have amazing blogs; so I will allow all forms to be used because words are words no matter how they are put together. I would encourage you all to try your hand at a new form of writing (at least once) and see how that works, this is a safe place for experimentation and error making. Another objective that I would like to implement is a goal/reward system. When the sixth day hits and you submit, post, or share your work, I want you to treat yourself to something. It can be as small as a candy bar, or a new car (which I’d recommend against). Learn to set goals and upon reaching them, relish in the moment, and after the moment is gone begin working towards the next. The other and most important objective is to create a community (at least for this month). I want for each of the participants to meet, interact, and share their stories with each other; this is more than just a solo event. When you watch birds migrate from north to south, we never notice the solitary flyer; it’s the arrow-shape that catches our eye, as we watch them move forward together to their goal. I’m tired of flying alone, and I hope you are too, so we can all learn to fly together. With this community I want us to practice, to some degree, accountability. On the sixth day, we will briefly discuss our topics, why we chose them and then express what we aim to seek in the upcoming week. This is more than a network; this is a body of unique cells, each with their own strengths and weaknesses (that can be improved upon).

The Topics

  1. The Self
    1. Write about the person who you catch staring at you in the mirror, who’s voice you constantly hear but never witness, who asks you questions that you can’t answer before bed. You can go deeply personal and fight your demons, or you can just write about how fat your cheeks get when you eat too much chocolate. We start with the self, because that is the most important person.
  2. The World
    1. It is the words of the writers that people will read when they want to know about this time period. Take something from this world and discuss it. It can be the election, current events, the canceling of vine or even the daily weather. This section is devoted to something that would be newsworthy.
  3. The Element
    1. Our world does not just consist of people, there are an infinite number of elements that affect our daily lives. Take one of them and describe it. Maybe you find yourself gazing at stars when the moon is absent, maybe it’s time and it’s tight grip on our lives, or maybe you enjoy chasing sunsets on your bicycle (lol me). Write about the thing that would never be able to write about you.
  4. The Other
    1. There is a me, which means there is a you. What is that you to you? Take one of these and discover them. Write about someone else. It could be your highschool ex who left you for college, a patient you once visited in the hospital, or it could be the homeless man you gave change to on the subway. Use this to share your raw feelings about another.
  5. The Unfamiliar
    1. What do you not know? What question plagues your head on the regular basis, why not tackle that here? Take this and dive into the unknown. Write about something that you have little to no knowledge about. What’s life like as a Syrian refugee, where did the legend of vampires come from or what was it like to be a chef in an Egyptian palace during the reign of Cleopatra? This is your chance to test your minds ability to compute something that it never would normally.

The Conclusion

Boy this is going to be exciting (if it all comes together).  We’re going to have a grand adventure with each other as we all embark on this writing journey. I hope your hand is currently itching to dive into this “assignments.” I am going to extend my blog, The Nuclear Cottage, to each and every one of you. A cottage is a place that travelers can come find comfort while away from their home without having to actually settle down, I want this page to be that for each of you. With your permission, I’d share your work and give you an opportunity to discuss a particular piece that you chose to broadcast. You can share all of them with me, or only one, but I hope that you share. I’d like to close this out with a quote from Ai Weiwei one of my favorite Artivists (another quirky word). He stated that “your actions create your world.” Take a second and think about this simple quote, what kind of world do you want to live in? Do you want it to be surrounded by materialistic trinkets that have no true value, or do you want it to full of thoughts that you turned into actions in the form of words. Whatever your answer to that may be, I want to at least help you create your world, which is why I am doing this. For me, I want my world to be one where my imagination and reality are one, and the word “impossible” is removed from my vocabulary. In order to create such a world, I must take the necessary actions that will inevitably create that world. In closing, let’s work together to help one another to create each other’s world, a world where words are never-ending and  dreams are eternal.

 

” The Inspirationists Experience”

“Had I been blessed with even limited access to my own mind there would be no reason to write.”  – Joan Didion

Why do we write? 

(All great things begin with an extremely vague question with an impossibly immense open ended response and I plan for this to be no different, but anyways welcome let’s get to it.) What does it mean to write anyways? What possessed the first cave dwellers to develop  inconsistent drawings into a legible form of communication. The origin of the word “write” is “writan” which is the Proto-Germanic word”to scratch or tear” (Online Etymology). If we take this concept of scratching, then what exactly are we ripping? There are some of us who use writing to peel back the layers of their conflicted souls, in hopes of seeking light or the void. Some write to steal moments of time and space in order to return to them later, and then there are others who write simply to uncover the unknown. Whatever that reason may be, the truth is that, you are a writer (despite your own self-doubt, if you have it). If you are one who picks up a pen, a notepad, a keyboard, a typewriter or even your own blood (which is kind of weird), and you scribble something down, then you have written. That is writing in the simplest state.

Back to the question, why do we write? Specifically, why do you write? If you are viewing this page that means you are a reader, but I bet that you also double as a writer. I would try not to call this a writing challenge, but that is the easiest way to identify what this will be. I am doing something different on this site for the month of November; instead of posting my works, I will open the door to allow others to share pieces of their soul on this screen. With this “challenge” (that sounds so cliche), there will be topics that participants will choose from and a variety of styles for them to try. The goal of this is simple, to improve and more importantly, to inspire the aspiring writer. Sounds great right? But I can’t just let you in for free, as much as I would like to. In order to participate you must offer payment, and you’re probably telling yourself, don’t let this be another gofundme gimmick. No, there is no money involved in this, instead your payment will be your answer to the question. What is your why? You must write out your answer to that. The response can be as long as you want, but mind you, I’m not reading dissertations.  You can write and send your answer to me (I’d totally love that), but you must write that answer for yourself. I’m going to utilize the honor system here. Then you must write down your goal for participating in this experience (a much better word than challenge). What do you aim to seek at the end of November? How do you wish to improve or try something different?

So you’re probably wondering about the title too, well that’s because you won’t be in this experience alone. I will be on the journey right next to you, (because I have no idea what I’m doing with this), but you will be joined by all the other aspiring writers who want to participate. There’s nothing like having someone to create with. Now, I’m not saying that we’re all going to be best friends after this, but I’m giving everybody the opportunity to meet a fellow writer, and also a chance to share their work with someone who understands the importance of the written product. I came up with the slightly unique, slightly lame title of the “Inspirationist” for this “community”. To inspire  means to be stimulated mentally or creatively, but it’s origin lies in the concept of “breathing life”. This is what I aim to do with this group, to surround myself with other “life breathers” (not like mouth breathers), and watch what happens when we all concentrate our efforts one one goal, and that is to inspire another.  You may be the only one who’s pen hits your page, but know that there are others out there, who are doing the exact same thing as you; they are tearing towards the truth.

 

If this still sounds like a good idea, then comment, message, or send a carrier pigeon my way. Basically just get in touch with me so we can move forward with the experience. It will begin on the first of November and I will have more details about the topics and what it will consist of then. Until then, continue to let your pen bleed.