using poetry to conquer fear

I use poetry to process life

Through this poetry-writing series, I’ve shared many ways that I use writing poetry to process life. I’ve also talked about how much courage it takes to write honest poetry — and especially to share it once you’ve written it.

This process isn’t exactly pleasant all of the time. But it’s worth it. I hope that you’ve been finding that out for yourself through participating in the exercises I’ve shared.

facing fears — rational or otherwise

It’s hard to face feelings of weakness and grief. It’s even harder to face fear. Even fears that I know are irrational are hard to face at a gut-wrenching level.

Through poetry, I can take the fear and shift it outside of myself. When I write it down, I can see it, examine it, and discover the truth about it. Often, this process shows me that the fear is not so big or scary as I once felt.

Still, even when I know that rationally I shouldn’t be afraid, the feeling stays. That’s when I get the opportunity to be courageous and face it anyway. One of the best ways I’ve found to face down my fear is by continuing to write it into poetry. The pen is mightier than the sword, after all, especially when fighting personal battles.

{today’s exercise}

What are you afraid of? Write a poem expressing the truth about your fear.

{Daniel’s process and his poem}

Today I’m mixing it up and sharing a poem written by one of the participants in this #31poems challenge. Daniel is 11 years old and likes composing poetry, but isn’t so crazy about writing it out, so he dictated this one to his mom. Props to Mom for helping him avoid barriers that might interrupt his creative process! Soon he’ll love producing poetry so much that he won’t want to wait for someone else to write it down for him, and his love of poetry will help him overcome his dislike of handwriting.


By Daniel

Phantoms, specters, and reapers
They're creepy and haunting my life
They are everywhere
In movies, books, and stories
One good thing:
They don't exist.