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Interview with Poet Jason Yearick -Installment 14

Today we meet up with poet Jason Yearick. He touches on so many diverse topics in his poetry, you must visit his website because I’m sure there will be something there each person can enjoy! Jason puts so much thought into every poem he creates, there are new layers you’ll notice after each read. Let’s get started!

 

You have some really creative and cool use of paper real estate in poems such as Matthew 14:30 and GSP poems, what extra elements do you think word placement adds to a poem?

It depends on the intention of the word placement. As with punctuation within a piece, word usage through placement, fonts, colors, letter grouping, etc. has to be something more than, “I think putting this word over here would look cool.” At least, that’s my approach. Otherwise, if one’s randomly placing words over the real estate of the paper then word placement probably isn’t adding anything beneficial to a piece.

I’m glad that you chose Matthew 14:30 and GPS since the two pieces have different intentions for their word placement and the elements that are added to each piece are different.

I used to perform spoken word poetry in Southern California and Matthew 14:30 is a piece that attempts to capture the performance of the piece if it were performed. Specifically, the spacing of letters and non-linear directions indicate the movement of the speaker and, hopefully, contribute to the visual aspect of the piece when read. Another critical aspect of the piece is that there probably aren’t very many people who are familiar with this Bible verse, so the word placement, character placement, and directional placement all contribute to not having to have read the verse but allow the reader to grasp what is taking place within this verse.

GPS is a more overt attempt to reveal some of the multi-layer meanings that I put into my poetry while accentuating contrasting ideas within the internal struggle of, “Who am I? What’s my purpose in life?” GPS was formatted to be read as one more than one piece and word placement was critical in achieving this goal. In GPS, the left-most justified words reflect this internal dialogue of the speaker questioning their life purpose. The further left the words are placed, the more grounded the thoughts are in the speaker’s mind. Those further to the right reflect stray thoughts during this questioning. Reading from top to bottom reveals, hopefully, these different thought patterns that can take place within the human mind concurrently with each thought pattern reflecting the weight of those thoughts.

 

What do you hope readers take away from reading your poetry?

That’s a tough question. When someone reads a piece of mine I want them to want to go back and read it again. I don’t want my poetry to be popcorn poetry that someone reads once and say’s, “That’s nice” and then never thinks about it again. I write across so many topics that my hope is that readers understand what I’m trying to communicate in my pieces. That’s where multi-layered themes can shine. Different people can walk away with different meanings from the same piece. This is why I love it when someone leaves a comment. Likes and follows are great and most appreciated. However, a comment can help me to become a better poet.

 

Why has it been important to you to write about your Faith?

The most important relationship to me in my life is my relationship with God. All of the work that I’ve done, everything that I am, comes from the Lord. My identity is rooted in my faith, so it’s important that I’m going to write about it. Most importantly though is that I let others know of what God has done in me and through me. I have been healed of so much in my life from heartache to an “incurable” physical illness. God has done so much for me that I want other people to know that He can do the same for them.

God has gotten a bad rap. I think a lot of people if they think about God, think about the people who profess to follow Him and what they’ve done, not done, said or not said. God is love and it’s important to me to let people know that there’s someone who knows all about them and loves them.

 

You have many subcategories in your Angst of Loving category, which is your favorite to write about and why?

Each subcategory is an element of love that I broke down into different aspects. Loss is the most beneficial and hopeful category for me. It’s not my favorite to write about but it probably contains the most healing. Loss is where I can find humility in relationships past and discover that it’s better to have lost then to have held onto something because it feels “good.” Loss allows for negative emotions to be healed and to help prevent me from making the same mistakes twice. Whether it be letting someone go or going myself. There’s a lot to be said for loss.

Learning Curve of Going Self Hosted

I instantly thought I got way in over my head just from the hosting site. I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing nor how to fill out information they wanted from me. Luckily SiteGround transferred my content over from my previous website which only took a couple of hours. But once i got to the wordpressorg dashboard I was more in my comfort zone.

Things still looked kinda different and I’m still getting used to figuring out my Plug ins. I probably wouldn’t have known to add in any without the help of fellow bloggers writing posts about helpful tools. Other helpful tips I wouldn’t have known otherwise were claiming your website on Google and Pinterest and migrating your followers from dotcom to your new site.

One thing I definitely miss is the calendar display while scheduling future posts. I installed a calendar plug in to help keep me organized but I have to go to a different page to see it and that leaves me guessing and making mistakes while picking dates.

Along with the calendar I also miss how easy it was to link your older posts in dotcom. In org I have to open another tab for my site and search for every post I want to link back to.

There’s also been some confusion since I use JetPack to keep track of my Stats. When asking for more detailed Stats I get redirected to my WordPress.com dashboard. If I use the WordPress app will I be following and commenting as my dotcom site or my new site?

It’s also a bit disheartening to see your stats start from scratch. You worked so hard to build it up the first time and now you have to go through the process all over again. It will hopefully help that your regular followers have been migrated over and continue their support.

Figuring out how plug ins work has also been a challenge. I installed some that were highly recommended and don’t really feel like I use them or I guess just don’t know how. Similarly, I don’t fully understand how to properly set up monetization just as Google Adsense.

It’s a learning process for sure and you have to be willing to dedicate a lot of extra time in the beginning in order to get yourself up and running efficiently.

 

Going Self Hosted

Hosting Site: Expense: $95.15 (included Domain name, privacy, and web security purchases)

I switched to self -hosting So obviously I have to make a post about how to do it! I’ve been on WordPress’ free plan for about a year and a half learning the ins and outs of the blog world. To be honest, I never really had a plan for blogging long term and thought I’d run out of ideas and materials just a few months in. I think it was good to do the free plan on WP so I could learn about blogging without the pressures of trying to make money to make up the loss of spending money on a hosting site. I could discover my place in the blogging community and my process for writing in a very laid back way.

I researched on blogs, talked to other bloggers in the community, and did comparisons on different hosting sites. I heard mixed reviews for BlueHost and great reviews for SiteGround so that’s where I’m ending up. You might decide on a different site based off of your research, not everyone’s experience will be your experience.

Domain Name/URL:

The process was simple since I just stuck with my original WP url name (a common suggestion so that readers don’t get confused with a new name and you lose your following) which happened to still be available. At this point I want to be blogging for the next few year so I picked the plan that made financial sense to me for that purpose and can revalue when the 3 years is up. SiteGround also transferred my content over from my previous site. I was also happy with their support team since I accidentally purchased a second transferred in addition to the free one but was thankfully refunded.

Themes: $41

I thought I would be able to just choose a theme from wordpress that I wouldn’t have to invest money in yet. Unfortunately, the options were slim and not what I was looking for. Just in case, I had done research for WP themes and decided to check out the site pipdig that was recommended. Upon further research, I went for a more budget friendly option and choose a theme from ThemeForest .

Plugins:

From there I installed and activated plugins such as JetPack, Yoast SEO, Velvet Blue Update URLs, and Google Analytics. I’m still figuring out if I need Google Analytics since JetPack seems to also offer blog stats. I put a few posts on the schedule and tried out Yoast SEO – I kinda hate the hassle it requires so I’m curious to see if it really does help my posts get noticed. Velvet Blue Update URLs is amazing if you’re switching from WordPresscom to org because it will change all your links so your audience from dotcom should hopefully get redirected to your new org site. This was an alternative from a paid expense wordpress offers its users.

HTML add ins:

I was a little stressed when I realized I had to do some coding of my own so first thing you need to know is: Theme>Editor>Header. That’s where most of your coding will go such as claiming your site on google webmaster and pinterest and applying for google adsense and similar.

Migrate Followers:

I was super happy to learn there was a way for me to transfer my dotcom followers over to my new site. A little bummed to find out stats can’t be transferred over as well but I’m hoping my new marketing strategy will quickly build that back up.

Explore Your Site:

Some of it will definitely be trial and error and just getting comfortable with the new dashboard. Research and read articles from other bloggers when you get a little lost.