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Vocal 2024 – I’m Still Here For More!

Hanging On, and Hanging In There!

By Gigi GibsonPublished 5 months ago Updated 5 months ago 4 min read
Top Story - January 2024
In my happy place... my garden

Ah… such a trigger this challenge! I hate to admit it, but, I was ready to give up on Vocal this year. I had already determined it in my heart of hearts. Imagine… a senior citizen having low self-esteem! You’d think that in my almost 67-year lifespan, I’d learned a thing or two, but, no…I was ready to quit.

What caused it? I hear you whisper. The answer is simple: money. I wanted the carrot that Vocal dangled in front of me… THE BIG CARROT! The prize money of the largest Vocal challenge ever at that time. $20,000.00. Did I win it? No. But I wanted it so badly.

What made me change my mind about quitting Vocal? I’ll share that with you at the end of my interview.

Vocal: How has the past year on Vocal shaped your goals for this year?

Gigi: My past year of writing on Vocal was focused on winning challenges. Today’s challenge helped me to reflect on what is important to me: I need to set my writing goals, not on winning challenges, or getting a reward for my work, but, rather, for self-fulfillment, and for reaching the hearts of my readers.

Vocal: What genres or writing forms do you wish to explore?

Gigi: I’m going to go back to my roots. When I was a young girl, I used to write poetry. I left my passion to write short stories and dabbled with the idea of writing my mom’s biography. But, poetry is in my soul. My brain easily thinks in poetic waves.

Vocal: What skills do you want to hone?

Gigi: I’d like to work more on structured poetry. I’ve written some sonnets, sestinas, and trinels to name a few, but there are hundreds of other forms to explore. I’m ready to dive in!

Vocal: How often will you write?

Gigi: I’m not going to set myself up for let-down or failure, so I’m not going to say every day. I will say between 3-5 days out of the week as my starting point. I plan to do it often enough that it becomes a habit for me so that I actually want to write more often.

Vocal: How often will you read other creators' work?

Gigi: I cannot tell a lie… I tend to read someone’s work every time I’m on Vocal. Often I will leave a heart or a comment if I enjoy the piece. If it’s not in my preferred spectrum of reading material, I leave that article for someone else to comment on.

Vocal: Who will you collaborate/connect with on Vocal?

Gigi: I have a few connections already. One that I’ll mention is Jess Sambuco. She won the Little Black Book challenge.

After her win, I checked out a Vocal page on Instagram where some Vocal writers were bashing her, to the point of using terrible language. I couldn’t understand that and stepped up to defend her win. She reached out and befriended me, and we began following each other’s writing accounts on Instagram. She recently posted that she just finished writing her first book. What a thrill! Congrats Jess!

So, to answer your question… those are the kinds of writers that I plan on connecting with on Vocal. The kind who are kind!

Vocal: How will you support other creators?

Gigi: I have already sent out a few tips… $$... to some writers on Vocal. If I find their work is exceptional and moves me emotionally, I’ll be up for doing that again. I also enjoy sending out compliments when due. Sometimes I've included links to other creator’s stories and would do so again.

Vocal: How will Vocal challenges help shape your creative journey?

Gigi: Ahh… now there’s the rub! I will still enter some of Vocal’s challenges. I just won’t get my hopes up and then feel crushed when I don’t get acknowledgment. I have come to realize that the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson is true: “The reward of a thing well done is having done it.”

Vocal: Is there a specific piece you want to finish or work on?

Gigi: Yes! I’ve always wanted to make a book of Ekphrastic poetry. I will include photos that friends have taken and some pictures of artwork that I’ve made as inspiration for my poems. I plan on making that book and getting it published this year. Yes, fellow creators… you’ve heard about it here first!

Vocal: What do you want your impact to be on Vocal?

Gigi: I don’t expect to have a huge impact on Vocal. I’m not one of those popular influencers on social media. If I can touch the hearts of a few readers and find my tribe who enjoy reading my work, I’d be happy!

To sum up… What made me change my mind about quitting Vocal?

I changed my focus. It’s not the dollars that matter. It’s the feeling that I get inside when I write something well and put it out there.

So… for good or for bad… I’m here for another year Vocal! Let’s make 2024 ROAR!!


About the Creator

Gigi Gibson

Gigi Gibson is a writer and poet. She loves little rescue dogs, interior decorating, and chocolate. “To evoke an emotional response in my readers… that would be the most satisfying thing that I could accomplish with my writing.”

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (19)

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  • ema3 months ago

    This is so inspiring for me, really good your interview with yourself!

  • John Cox3 months ago

    The Vic drug of choice for me is connection with other writers.

  • Hi we are featuring your excellent Top Story in our Community Adventure Thread in The Vocal Social Society on Facebook and would love for you to join us there

  • Andrew Zuk4 months ago

    Fantastic writing! ❤👍

  • Raymond G. Taylor5 months ago

    Fascinating read and well structured self interview. Really hit the brief square on. Well done.

  • Phil Flannery5 months ago

    I think you hit the nail on the head Gigi, we have to write for ourselves first. If we write simply to win a competition then we lose the reason why we started. Great story and good luck in the challenge.

  • Stephanie Hoogstad5 months ago

    I know how you feel. It can get a bit discouraging to come on here with the aim of making some money from the reads or the challenges and then to walk away with either nothing or a paltry sum. That’s one of the reasons why I made my Vocal aspiration for this year to make writing fun again, not about the money (although, like you said, money and winning challenges would be nice). Great job on the article, and congrats on the Top Story!

  • Cheryl E Preston5 months ago

    I love writing poetry. Keep up the good work you are inspiring.

  • "You want more structured poetry, you get more structured poetry:" – John Vocal

  • Hannah Moore5 months ago

    Ah, those carrots, they taunt us.

  • Marilyn Glover5 months ago

    This is fantastic! Yes, do return to your poetry roots. I have done the same very recently and must tell you that the particular piece of missing oomph has returned. Congratulations on a well deserved top story! 👏 🎉 💙 😃

  • Marysol Ramos5 months ago

    Such a well-deserved Top Story. Wish I could sit with you at a coffee shop or something and have a conversation about writing with you! Great work!

  • Lamar Wiggins5 months ago

    I love your passion and positive outlook. I never heard that Emerson quote before, but it gave me pause. Thank you for sharing and congrats on your Top Story!

  • Test5 months ago

    Superlative job! Maintain the fantastic effort—congrats!

  • Suze Kay5 months ago

    I love your positive attitude here, Gigi! So much of what you've written is relatable. Can't wait to see what this year brings you.

  • It sounds like a lot of us. I am glad you have refocused and decided to stay. I am excited to see what you create this year. So happy to be following you

  • L.C. Schäfer5 months ago

    Good luck in your goals for 2024! You can embed links so that they are clickable 😁

  • Shirley Belk5 months ago

    So glad you have decided to stay! And today, I learned of "Ekphrastic poetry." Keep kindness alive...always :) Look forward to this year with you!

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