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How my breakup in 2023 revived the writer in me

My Vocal aspirations for 2024

By Natasha CollazoPublished 4 months ago Updated 3 months ago 8 min read
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How my breakup in 2023 revived the writer in me
Photo by British Library on Unsplash

Man, what a year. The breakup was hard, but my accomplishments outweigh the misfortune of 2023. I am awestruck of what’s to come in 2024 because of the resurrection of passions that came alive in 2023.

On February 14, 2023 it became official. He asked me to be his girlfriend and told me that he loved me the same day. Sounds like the average fairytale doesn’t it? At least that’s where my mind ventured when it was happening.

This wasn’t a summer fling either. This had been a very discrete but wholesome and platonic friendship that divulged out of a horrendous series of sickness that I encountered in 2022.

Year 2022 was the worst year to date. I almost didn’t make it out but with this friend by my side, he played an active part in nourishing me back to health in the strict friend zone, but with committed persistence, we entered the new year together kissing as the ball dropped at midnight, January 1, 2023.

So, on Valentine’s Day we became a couple, and we decided to display it publicly for the world to see, and then very shortly after, on March 14th to be exact, it ended. I think that set the record for the quickest decline in a relationship to date.

Of course, (yet again), I had to endure the embarrassment of facing 290 comments congratulating us on our official Facebook post to him promptly switching back his status to single a month later. Now you understand why I loathe Valentine’s Day. …Okay, I don’t loathe it, I dread it. Loathe would be a bit ‘amateur’ of a word as I shouldn’t loathe a love holiday at my age, but I will admit I am projecting all of this from a decade of singleness and I am a prophetic bad omen for Valentine’s Day.

Here we are! One year later entering this Vocal challenge (and emotional challenge) for what I aspire my writing goals to look like this year.

Today is January 6, 2024. It rained, then the sun pushed its way out through the clouds and our neighborhood peacocks are in mating season (even they know Valentine’s Day is upon us).

After going for a walk, I meditated on what I was going to write for this challenge and I kept returning to the fact that I wouldn’t even be entering this challenge had I still been in that relationship. Not that people in relationships don’t write, but for me personally, I was too busy spending time with my partner and planning the next fun outing, because when I’m in a relationship I’m not necessarily embracing the ‘solace’ as I’ve been single for a lengthy amount of time before this one, and rather, I was embracing the relationship and every inch of it.

Being in a relationship and being single are two totally different worlds. I mentioned before that I have been writing on Vocal for three years, but only in my single or spare time throughout those years. I would journal, but I wouldn’t post on the platform much.

After the tragic year I faced in 2022, I saw what could become of 2023 had I allowed myself to continue to spiral from the break-up. So I ventured on to Vocal instead, and rummaged through the challenges and stories. I would browse for a few months before picking up the pen again and then only recently decided to write about a dream I had of my ex-boyfriend, well, specifically the residual emotion of abandonment that still has its way with me, haunting my subconscious. From an exhilarating high, as if I had the winning lottery ticket, to my walls collapsing in such a short amount of time, initiated by somebody who tells you they love you, not even a month before they leave you.

When you are so devoted to someone, in an unwavering connection for quite some time, and then it ends so matter-of-factly, it leaves you a bit dumbfounded, mortified and soon enough traumatized with trust issues.

So, I got dressed in my wardrobe of vulnerability that morning and wrote ‘Goodbye kiss’ which then became my very first Top Story!

I didn’t even really know what a Top Story was at this time, but I know I received it by writing the raw. Exposing the authentic defenseless version of me for all to see. It was the kind of ‘risky’ that brings out a fear of judgment, but that story began to flood with comments of encouragement and how people could relate to this feeling that I felt I so fervently needed to write down. Goodbye kiss was also the first writing on Vocal that I had written outside of a challenge. It was just a simple journal entry of release. Just like Goodbye kiss, this entry is not so much about my partner, as it is about how the decisions of others ( right or wrong) affect my life, and my craft.

Soon after, I continued to write and write and write, because encouragement is contagious and I new I had a lot left in me. I soon received two more Top Story awards for a villanelle challenge that I entered and for a Christmas horror prompt I had also entered.

I have written poetry before, but I have never considered myself a poet. I’ve also never written a villanelle before in my entire life yet alone receive Top Story for the first one I’d ever written.

Because of my trauma, I decided to write, and because I decided to write, I formed friendships and whole-heartedly felt like an active patron of the Vocal community that I had not taken advantage of my three years in being a member. I really started to plunge in and plug into the community and explore different genres of writing outside of my comfort zone, all because of this ‘sanctuary of writers’ that I have been able to unearth different notions of me.

For example, in writing my first horror piece, I realized that my dark and morbid unrefined creativity was welcomed around here. And for the first time, my writing started to feel validated.

Birthed out of this development of writing, mothering and perfecting my work, I recently performed two of my poetry Vocal entries at the Dali museum live on stage, here in St. Petersburg, Florida.

I have Vocal to thank for that accomplishment. I probably would never have such fortitude to read my poetry on stage in front of over 100 people if I didn’t feel the encouragement and critique from my ‘new-ish’ writing family.



Performing “A still soft voice” at The Dalí Museum St.Pete (crappy photo cred by my friend KB)

With that being said, I’ve watched myself evolve as a person in not only my self-esteem and self-worth, but in the discovery of many unfamiliar talents submerged from deep below.

My 2024 goal is to continue to write like I have been doing the last few months, reading and learning from others. One of the biggest perks to being a Vocal member is it’s education. So much growth comes from just reading other sensational creators. I was utterly moved by Hannah Moore’s influence in her recent interview that just received a well deserved Top Story. When I read stuff like that, I am immediately driven to reach a higher level in my own work. I even think I commented that “I aspire to be a writer like that” in her comment thread shortly before finding this Vocal challenge about aspirations, ha-ha, I guess I aspire to be Hannah Moore!

Really, my main goal is quality over quantity. I don’t necessarily want to write more but to write in a more tasteful fashion, even in my horror pieces. My new friend and Vocal icon Dharsheena Raja Segarren is good at mastering this craft of making morbid sound elegant. So, I have a lot to look forward to and live up to in the upcoming year because of you all.

In closing, I have listed a few main goals that I truly hope and aspire to accomplish by the end of this year:

  • To continue to write when I’m overwhelmed with emotion from the past, or when presented with current roadblocks, writing it out with no thought in return of receiving any type of award.
  • To take the time to feed my writing, educating myself through others, learning new words and meanings, and attempt to use them routinely.
  • Another goal would be to tip-toe into different categories of topics, that I’ve not been so good at in the past, for example, fantasy. I love fantasy. I love reading fantasy, but I cannot write fantasy for the life of me. So, I will be looking out for a fantasy challenge this year to grow in this specific area because without these challenges, I really wouldn’t have experimented otherwise.
  • Lastly, to give back and encourage others as words are fuel. If I read something that pulls on my inner heart strings, you will be sure to know it in your comments. This also coincides with taking advantage of the tipping tool. Someone tipped me recently, and so I decided to tip someone else. I think the pay-it-forward method here is another influential form of motivation we have at our disposal, if you have the means of course.

If 2024 grants me the opportunity of finding love again, I will make it a goal to keep writing and make time for my passions.

Outside of this, there are other New Year’s resolutions of mine, such as eating healthy, exercising more, painting, budgeting, and boost the sales in my Etsy shop, (you know, all the things), but if I fail to do any or even all of the above, I know the one thing I will do is write the stress out about it.





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About the Creator

Natasha Collazo

Werewolf Writer

I get inspired at the mid of night

Stock market by day, howler by night.

✍🏽

Inquiries: [email protected]

Instagram: @sunnycollazo

Do all things in love

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Comments (6)

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  • Hannah Moore3 months ago

    You read your poetry on stage! That's bloody amazing, well done! And thank you. It's a rare and incredibly valuable gift to hear there is something in you that someone else aspires to.

  • Novel Allen3 months ago

    Hey, that break-up propelled you to find your writer's voice. Sometimes people come along just to guide us somewhere. Ater the hurt and pain dulls, you see the stars even brighter. We have all been there, then the sun comes tomorrow.

  • Gosh Sunny, I'm so sorryyyyy for your breakup! 🥺 That's such a shitty thing to do to you! I'm so glad you began writing again on Vocal after that. Writing had proven to be very therapeutic for me. I hope it's the same for you too! 🥰 I'm so sorry I missed your Goodbye Kiss although it was a Top Story 🥺 I've opened it in a different tab and would read it shortly. Congratulations on that Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊 I too suffered a breakup last year. Yours was on March 14 and mine was April 17. I wrote 2 horror stories and 1 poem to help cope with the breakup. They were all based on my ex-boyfriend. And it really helped me so that's why I hope writing helped you as much it helped me if not more! Speaking of horror stories, I loveeeeeed yours so much! You truly have a knack for it and if you write more, I'll read the heck out off it, lol! And thank you so much for the shoutout! You're like sooooo sweet! 🥰🥰🥰 Keeping my fingers crossed for you to place in the fantasy challenge 🤞🤞And may all your goals and dreams come true! 🥰🥰 Also, congratulations on your poetry reading! That's like soooo awesomeeee! My stage fright and anxiety could never, lol. Here's to many more poetry performances by you! Sending you lots of love and hugs ❤️

  • Raymond G. Taylor4 months ago

    Great to see you turn it all around in 23 and some solid plans for 24 too. Keep up the good work

  • What a healthy path you have taken toward recovery & growth following such traumas. Combine that with a realistic view toward healthy goals for the coming year & what may accompany (or attempt to sabotage) them. May you be blessed to find that love which is lasting & deep, & may it provide even more fertile soil for your writing (which is already great).

  • L.C. Schäfer4 months ago

    You should link to your Goodbye Kiss to make it easier for us to click through to read it 😁

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