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April 28, 2011

It’s not me, it’s you

A few months ago I came across a website of Caribbean prose and poetry. The work was intriguing, the imagery was colourful, deep and full of innuendo; one could read between the lines between the lines. It struck a chord with me because it was the kind of writing that I had read in my high school Caribbean literature classes; this was the type of writing that had been held up to me as good writing. I wanted to belong, and so I laboured, forced some words on to the page, submitted them and held my breath.

Well, let’s just say that my name is not among the list of authors in their latest publication. It was a difficult and important lesson for me. After going through all the emotional phases associated with rejection, I realised that my exclusion was not a reflection of my talents as a writer. I am generally a light-hearted person, quick to see the humour in every situation. I am not saying that I can only write one thing, but I am best at writing quick moving prose with witty dialogue. I cannot write what I am not, and when I try, I will be called out as an imposter. My challenge now is to recognise that I can make an important contribution writing what I enjoy!

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