My Guest Posts

November 4, 2011: My post on Sue Santore’s Blog about Poetry

“The Soul of a Poem”

Today’s special guest is B.S. Meyers.

Benjamin Meyers, known by many as B.S. Meyers, began writing when he was fourteen years old. Today is his seventeenth birthday and in the past three years he has written thousands of words and worked on multiple writing projects. After a difficult decision to shelve a novel he felt wasn’t working, Ben is confidently working on a new project. He maintains a blog about writing called “The Universe Inside My Head“ and regularly connects with other writers on Twitter.

The Soul of A Poem
There are many different formats for poems, from Haikus to Limericks to free-verse. Some have rhyming patterns, some use repetition, others use imagery. But what is the single aspect that every poem ever written shares? I believe it is soul.

When someone writes a poem they usually write about a certain theme (love, death, war, etc.) and they use different literary techniques (alliteration, repetition, imagery, etc.), but what you may not realize when you write a poem is that you’re putting your soul on paper. The word choice, themes, symbols, moods and tones of poems are reflections of the author.

Maybe you write about love because you’ve just met the most amazing person in the world. The mood and tone will be happy and emotional and the word choice will create those feelings. Maybe you write about loss because you just broke up with the love of your life. The mood and tone will be dark and melancholy. In both cases imagery is used to turn emotions into words that, when read, are projected into the reader’s mind, making them feel your happiness or your pain. I believe every poem is a small piece of a person’s soul.

One person could use a garden to symbolize their life, another could use a car crash. Each symbol is unique to the author. We have all lived different lives, had experiences unique to us and felt emotions that we believed were unique to us. We’ve all loved and lost and we’ve all experienced what it is to be human. Every aspect of a poem is a window into the author’s mind and a picture of humanity. Our thoughts, the events in our lives, our emotions, our motives, our goals, our dreams… every one of those things can be found in a poem and every one of those things is part of what makes us human.

So the next time you read a poem don’t think about it two-dimensionally: The poem is about loss and it’s using a cold winter day as a symbol. Think of it three-dimensionally: The poem is about the loss of someone the author loved and the cold winter day is a symbol of how the author felt.

Here’s one of my poems. Why don’t you start thinking in three dimensions?

“Nature’s Lament”

With the water's edge, mother nature is receding.
The world, once covered in life, struck by man.
Spiraling in to darkness, the trees are bleeding,
and mourning their brothers, who couldn't have ran.

Trees fall in the forest, leaving no sound,
with no one to hear them, almost like they're dreaming.
Their roots whither and the fires burn all around.
They have no voices, but they will continue screaming!

And at the end of all the world's time,
the eldest tree will stand tall and gaze upon
the barren land, leaves falling, blending with nature's rhyme.
The eldest tree will plant a seed, and the world will go on.
(c) 2011 by B.S. Meyers

July 14, 2011: My post at the Wizard Writer’s Hideout on Perfectionism

“Ben­jamin Scott Mey­ers is a tal­ented young man, and his tal­ent could make many writ­ers envi­ous: not only he’s got a full-​blown blog run­ning, but he’s also been writ­ing his first novel, The Great­est Story Never Told. You can read the pre-​review about his work right here.

Nev­er­the­less, Ben­jamin has also suf­fered of Per­fec­tion­ism, and here he tells us how it affected his life. I’m very happy to share his story with our readers.

With­out fur­ther ado, here’s what Ben­jamin have to say to us, and show that even big writ­ers have trou­ble with writer’s block and per­fec­tion issues.”


When I began writ­ing, it was more of a hobby than any­thing. I looked up to famous writ­ers, such as J.K. Rowl­ing and Dou­glas Adams, and I wanted to emu­late them. I wanted my books to be per­fect. I tried to cre­ate mas­sive and elab­o­rate plot lines that only the greats could cre­ate. I tried to develop char­ac­ters like Harry Pot­ter and Zaphod Bee­ble­brox, char­ac­ters that were dis­tinct and perfect.

The end result: I wrote myself into a hole. Dou­glas Adams wrote him­self into a hole once. He wrote Arthur Dent and Ford Pre­fect into the vac­uum of space with 30 sec­onds of oxy­gen in their lungs. He spent months try­ing to get out of that hole. He was finally able to come up with some­thing so impos­si­bly improb­a­ble that it saved The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and a 5 book tril­ogy was born.

I finally got metaphor­i­cal slap in the face. I had to come to the real­iza­tion that I am not J.K. Rowl­ing! I spent a month stuck in the same spot in my sec­ond novel with no idea where to go. I had to admit that I’m not J.K. Rowl­ing, I’m not Dou­glas Adams and I never will be. There is still a bit of per­fec­tion­ism that dri­ves me though. What I got out of the whole expe­ri­ence besides that I needed to stop try­ing to emu­late my writ­ing heroes, is that I may never be them, but I can write just as well, my own way, and change lives. If I work hard enough, one day I will write the next Harry Pot­ter or the next Hitchhiker’s. One day I will be the new J.K. Rowling.

I real­ized that I can never be my writ­ing heroes, but I can be a new writ­ing hero. Never try to emu­late your favorite writer’s writ­ing, try to emu­late their effect, their out­come on the world.

Now I don’t try to be J.K. Rowl­ing or Dou­glas Adams. Now I AM B.S. Mey­ers. I am myself and my writ­ing is so much bet­ter because of it. Now I’m try­ing to emu­late the pic­ture of myself that I see in my head.

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