• Kayla-Jane Barrie

On Finding Your Persona As A Writer


I'm not a published poet.


I have no English degree.


I have more rejection letters than approvals to have my work published.


But, I am confident enough to call myself a poet, today.





My writing career started out as an aspiring environmental journalist. I graduated college, and then got trapped in the grasp of what it was to be a successful member of society. I experienced love, loss; above all, being dishonest with what I wanted with my life.


I've been using my spare time to read and study poetry. How to be a better poet, where it originated, the therapeutic benefits of writing, how writers and poets stay true to their craft. This whirlwind of knowledge has helped me shape Word Alchemy into what it is today.


I just finished Billy Collins Teaches Reading and Writing Poetry by MasterClass. I enjoyed his easy-to-follow, yet inspiring lessons on poetry. One of the key moments that made me stop, and create stillness in my learning, was the section on Finding Your Personna.


"The persona is a voice that is yours, you own that. No one else could write that, except for you. That voice is yours, and yours alone."


This key ignited my fuel for why I want to help others with sharing their story.


Poetry, writing, art; these concepts of creation are intimidating. I have felt unworthy, underqualified, fear about how sharing my work with the world, and even practicing it.


I believe society has subconsciously has invaded us to believe we are only as worthy as the work we contribute, and the degrees that define our level of knowledge. When I was entering high school, I was told I "did not have the marks to enter academic English". I knew I wanted to be a writer, but apparently, I wasn't smart enough in school to prove it. So I went into high school, passed (mediocrely, without effort). But those days did open me up to a bigger chapter in life - I got accepted into college for journalism.


These were key years of my life I found out I wanted to use my words to heal myself and the environment. I wrote, I wrote, and I wrote. My heart poured through ink through various notebooks, through the keys of my grey-metallic MacBook. These moments, I knew myself. I saw a glimmer of my purpose on this planet. I also passed with honours.


Then I became sidetracked. I wasn't prepared mentally for the roadblocks of failure, denial, and competition the world of writing would greet me with. But I needed a job, I needed to be a member of society, I wanted to be social. I achieved these things. Still, something was missing. I needed nature to be with me. So I started volunteering to plant trees with local conservation groups and managing newsletters and blogs.


Volunteering doesn't build a bank account but damn, it helps build a soul.


My career since then has evolved, as have I. I can't hold a cloud over my head for the years I stopped creative writing and barely filled pages of my journal and when I did, it only told stories of despair.


Every failure, success, connection, loss, has built me up to be who I am in this present moment.


I don't need a piece of paper to highlight my status. My work may not speak to publications, but it speaks to me, and the community I choose to share it with. I no longer fear sharing my voice. Right now, I believe my purpose for breathing on earth, is to write. To share my story, so others can share theirs. To educate others on the therapeutic benefits of writing on their mind and soul. To create a safe space for us to share and grow alongside mother nature.


Perhaps as we heal ourselves, we can take steps in our lives to help heal nature. Collectively, consciously.


One day, I would love a degree. But I know, the healing I see in my life and others are more invigorating than any textured paper from a system that once almost failed me.


I want you to know, it's not too late to follow your dreams. To make that website. To share that poem. To join a community of like-minded supportive people. You are so worthy. Do not let others tell you that you are missing something to be successful. It's all truly inside you, shining, ready to held and shared with the universe.


Remember: "The persona is a voice that is yours, you own that. No one else could write that, except for you. That voice is yours, and yours alone."