Monday, November 11, 2019

Ryan Drewes' Wandering for Words: Volume 1

Dear Readers:

Who out there needs an inspirational quick read filled with poetry? I don't know about you, but I love reading poetry that touches my heart and soul. As a child, I always wrote poetry in a variety of forms and in the seventh grade, I won a national poetry contest with a poem I wrote about part two of Jack and the Beanstalk. I have no idea where that poem is as I have searched and searched for it. Poetry is a written art form and when I find great poetry, I feel compelled to introduce you to it. I hope you enjoy learning about this poet, Ryan Drewes and his poetry book "Wandering for Words: Volume 1."



Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

Hi everyone, my name is Ryan. I was born and raised in New Jersey, and currently, still, reside here (although I'm making my way out west soon.) I grew up in the catholic school system, and although I was provided with a decent education, my time spent there was rather uneventful. In 2012, I had what some would call a spiritual awakening down in the Caribbean island of St. John. Needless to say, the past seven years have been quite the ride. I got bit by the travel bug, took up photography as a hobby, and the ending of a ten-year relationship led me down the path of self-expression and healing. It's been a slow and grinding process full of heartbreak, loneliness, tears, joy, and laughter; however, I wouldn't give any of it back. The reason I'm writing any of this today is because of my past! I'm very grateful to have experienced every single part of it.

What inspired you to author this book?

I always could express myself through words rather than voice; however, it took a breakup in the winter of 2016 to really push me beyond any limits I had faced before. Rather than ignore my feelings this time around, I chose a different path. Latching on to other people's words and thoughts as a source for inspiration, I would slowly begin the self-healing process.

I turned to journaling as a way out of my head and into the present. Staring at these words would clarify the things I had ruminated continuously about. I then decided to join a small intimate writing workshop where the walls finally began to break down. My heart started to bleed out years of hurt and pain onto anything and everything that would soak it all in. Eventually, I began combining my words with the photos I had been taking, and the path I had been aimlessly wandering down for years was finally starting to make some sense. Not only were others healing me, but I was healing myself.

I had a lot of people telling me I should write a book and share my work, so in the winter of 2018, I sat down and began putting this piece together.

Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?

I get much of my inspiration from traveling, so this specific photo was taken during a road trip. It was located on a train trestle out in Northeastern Pennsylvania. My friend and I had been walking across it, taking pictures, and he said something to the extent of this would make for a great photo. So I decided to use it for my cover. I think it sums up a lot of who I am.

Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?

There have been so many people who have influenced me over the past several years, but if I had to choose just one, I think I'd lean towards my therapist. I was against therapy for so long, thinking that I had my shit all figured out. Well, I was wrong! I had already been amid self-evaluation before I started with her, but the door swung utterly open after.

As for an influential writer, Victoria Erickson, perusing through Instagram one day, her words had found me. I wound up taking one of her online workshops, and it was there that I was finally allowed a safe place to share my thoughts and words.

What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?

I think one of the major struggles I had with writing this book was my willingness to be so open. I had been closed off for so long from my emotions, that I think the pendulum had swung in the other direction. I received some pushback early on. Comments such as, "keep it in your journal" or "don't you think you're sharing too much?" Both very valid points, but I was trying to express myself in the way I hadn't before. This book, in fact, doesn't have a lot of my deeper personal stuff in it; however, it will still make you feel.

Tell your readers about your book.

My book was written from my heart and soul. Each piece represents a certain emotion felt at the time. It's a collection of my thoughts, photos, and poetry on life. Some of the pieces are sure to inspire you, one of them will probably make you cry, but all of them were created to make you believe.

Who is your target audience, and why?

I believe my target audience is anyone who has experienced heartbreak, anyone who feels lost in life, anyone who feels like they are disconnected from others. On some of my darkest days, it was other people's words that helped guide me towards brighter lights. I can only hope in time that some of my own words will be able to do the same.

What do you consider your greatest success in life?

To date, my greatest success in life is looking back and seeing how much I've evolved over the past several years. I've gone from living this binge drinking, closed off, workaholic life, to a much more free-spirited, holistic lifestyle. I'm becoming consciously aware of my habits and patterns, and try to work on them daily. Life is in constant motion, so I'm left to wonder spiritually, how come we aren't as well?

What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

I don't like to think of myself as any different than any other writer out there. Collectively as a whole, we are all connected as one. Words have a way of connecting us -- each letter representing a heartbeat that can be felt worldwide.