Out of the Mouths of Babes: Green and Gifted

Photo by Oziel Gómez

As I have mentioned several times in this blog and numerous additional times throughout my Writing wRants podcast, we all must journey through writing stages:

Stages of great inspiration and stages of crushing writer’s block.

Stages of great writing and stages of writing so terrible that quitting is heavily considered.

Today’s article is dedicated to the fresh, but exponentially growing writing journey of Shamela Yousuff.

After seeing her work in The Word Count’s poetry contest, I invited Shamela to participate in a virtual writer-interview.

Because I am incurably curious, I started the interview by asking Shamela about the inciting incident of our conversation.

 I used to write quite a number of poems and stories during my school days but then I never felt my works were worth enough to receive appreciation.

To be honest, I never thought of exhibiting my talents especially in terms of writing. My family and one of my very close friends gave me all the encouragement I needed to start something on my own, no matter how hard it seemed.

Since then, I decided to make use of every opportunity I received in order to improve my skills, but of course the opportunities or the platforms were not available. So, I started to participate in every contest possible (even if the host was conducting out of mere boredom).

I was really excited to see the number of participants at The Word Count’s poetry contest and felt that even I should give it a try.

And here we are.

Everything ended just too good!

We transitioned to discuss the star of the show, the poem that won week four of the contest, “Peace?.”

I wanted to explore the nuances of the work’s development. Did Shamela write her poem to satisfy the contest or was “Peace?” an old gem?

I had already written a good number of poems and was really confused about which one to choose for the contest.

Finally, I submitted ‘Peace?’ and I am really happy for choosing the right one.

Peace? by Shamela Yousuff

Deep inside the ocean

Beneath the rocks

There lies a beautiful soul

Not knowing whether

This world is right or wrong

Whether this world does

Justice to all or

Favors only a few,

Whether peace exists

In this earth or

Is it just a word

Found only in books

After confiding in me that “Peace?” was the first poem that she ever wrote, Shamela went on to tell me about her writing journey.

I took writing seriously just five months ago.

Being stuck at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is hard not to feel bored. Everyone else was making use of their skills and talents and I didn’t know what to do… So, I decided to find my hidden talents (if I had any) and brush them up a bit.

I created an account on Instagram and started posting quotes. Slowly, I proceeded to make poems too. 

Shamela added that she had started writing stories in high school. She described the overwhelming stress of writers’ block, which caused her to take a break from writing prose and try poetry.

I was blown away by how short Shamela’s experience with poetry was.

I immediately wanted to know more about “Peace?” and (more importantly) discover some of her writing secrets.

‘Peace?’ is a poem involving different emotions from the beginning until the end.

Starting with the beauty of nature (the ocean imagery), reaching the living soul beneath, indirectly mentioning the politics that people are suffering and doubting whether peace has become nonexistent.

 Generally, when I go to write a poem, I spend time alone.

That’s the moment I fall into my thoughts and tend to create a poem on the spot.

At times, just by looking at my surroundings, I can put my thoughts into beautiful words.

Next, I asked Shamela the big question:

Who is your favorite author?

Almost every book I read left a good impression on me and I find it hard to choose the best book and who is the best author or which author inspired me the most.

I have always been a fan of J.K Rowling since I was a child. Harry Potter was the first novel I read before entering into the world of long stories and thick books. J.K Rowling’s imagination of story inspired me the most. I still can’t believe how someone can be so imaginative with their thoughts.

… But, I have a lot of favorite authors whose works are just tremendous. To mention another author whose writing I admire is Jeffrey Archery, author of Kane and Abel. Next author on my list, Suzanne Collins with the great book, The Hunger Games.

Shamela is now spending her time reinvigorating her interest in prose, and is writing an anthology.

If you are as interested in following Shamela’s writing career as I am, you can find her on Instagram!

Photo by Karolina Grabowska 

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