Month: November, 2011
When I see my peers pursuing their passion, it continues to fuel me on my creative journey. We often hear about the success stories, but don’t fully understand the twist and turns along the way. I met Theodore R. Goyins, III on the campus of Florida A&M University in the Fall of 2001. Even back then he had a way with words. Theodore was outgoing, charismatic with a magnetic personality. You could tell people genuinely enjoyed being in his company.
I became familiar with Theodore’s writings on his blog, Thoughts of TRG 3. I always found the free verse poems to be personal, introspective and inspirational. “Thoughts of TRG 3” was the start of a journey -the spark of a passion. I took a moment to sit down with Theodore to gain insight into his first collection of poems, Expressions of a Man, and understand his path to publication. I always knew Theodore was destined for greatness; I’m just glad I could be apart. Book artwork styled and creative directed by yours truly, lensed by, Elton Anderson.
Inspiration lies below. Don’t be afraid to read, comment and share.
Could you give us any insights into the story behind Expression of a Man?
Expressions of a Man was a cathartic piece of art for me. From childhood to present day I have dealt with health and life challenges that have had me close to death. I desperately needed to find an outlet to let out my inner struggles and emotions. Writing became my release. Over the years I would write my thoughts down, both positive and negative. It was bottled emotions that caused my ailments to grow exponentially. I would never tell friends or anyone about my writing because I considered it emasculating. After getting over my fears of letting out the inner most parts of me, I decided to share it with others. Expressions of a Man is a collection of one man’s challenges and the rewards that came along with overcoming the same.
What do you hope readers will take away from reading your collection of poetry?
I pray that readers see themselves in these writings. So much that when they read they will start to allow expression to come naturally. This anthology is both for men and women. For men it shows that expressing yourself is not only isolated to one gender and that it will truly help them in every aspect of their life, if they found a way to express what they truly feel. As it relates to women, I am aware that many women have buried the heartbreaking memories and emotions of abuse. This book will help women start the healing process allowing themselves to overcome those terrible memories and express their pain. I pray that women read this book and become even more clear to how men may express themselves as well. Also so that they understand that a man’s way of expression may be different but the emotions behind it may be the same. Women are powerful and they can create a comfortable environment for men to express themselves openly. This anthology seeks to help expression come naturally for both men and women.
Writing such a personal book can be emotionally taxing, what were some of the biggest challenges and rewards?
There were definitely a couple of challenges but with those challenges came great reward. Once I got past the thoughts of sharing vulnerable parts of me and whether or not people would like my writings, I was ecstatic about sharing my thoughts with the world. The greatest reward is knowing that this book may possibly save a life. That is the main motivation behind this book, to save lives.
A lot of writers – at various career points – struggle with rejection, unsupportive friends or family members, mixed reviews, and their own insecurities. Has your journey been devoid of these experiences?
My family and friends have definitely been a great support for me. Even when I thought it was a far fetched idea for me to write a book, they were the ones that pushed me to complete it. I am blessed to have such a loving family and strong support system. I have been honored to have positive reviews on my book so far. My journey has definitely not been devoid of insecurity. As artist we are confident in what we do but realize that there is the fact that not everyone will take to your art as you do. The fact that one person out of millions may not appreciate your art can make for an insecure artist. We want everyone to love our work but I know that is not realistic. I do know that one person will be saved or motivated by my art and that is gratifying.
Could you tell us a bit about your path to publication?
I started out with just a blog and posted writings there for quite some time. In the beginning I did this to get through some hard times. After many people started to enjoy my writings and convinced me to compile my writings in a book that is when Expressions of a Man was birthed. I knew I wanted to self publish my first piece. I have great plans and ideas for my writing. I wanted readers to just enjoy my work and become known in the literary world. I look forward to doing more books and other forms of writing.
What about the writing life first called to you? Were you quick to answer or did time pass by?
Time definitely passed, actually years. I thought it wasn’t a manly thing to do, to write. Write, not a macho former football player. I wasn’t supposed to be a writer; I was supposed to be something totally different. But this is my calling. Looking in the face of death will really push you to find your purpose. I truly believe I have found mine.
Can we expect a follow up to Expression of a Man?
Definitely! My second book will be coming out soon. I just want readers to really absorb this book Expressions of a Man. Look for a play before the next book. God willing!
What would you like to say to people who are reading this interview and wondering if they can keep creating, if they are good enough, if their voices and visions matter enough to share?
When you find your passion, that is when life begins. Never stop creating, never stop believing! Your art is needed in this world and there is someone out there in this vast world that is depressed and is stuck in darkness. You and your art may be the light that saves their life. That is the purpose of your art.
Ultimately, what will be your legacy?
I am aware that my art will be more appreciated when I am no longer on this Earth and I am fine with that. I want to leave a legacy of determination and commitment. When I am no longer here I want the world to know that there was once a man who had challenges and obstacles just like them but life continued. I want my kids to remember Daddy as one who stood for integrity. My legacy lies in all 194 pages of Expressions of a Man because my life in fact lies on every page and finding this passion is where my life began.
Follow Theodore on Twitter – @TRG_3. He will also be having a book signing on November 12, 2011 at HueMan Bookstoore (2319 Frederick Douglass Blvd. (Between 124th and 125th Streets). New York, NY 10027) from 4pm to 6pm.