Q: Please introduce yourself. Tell me a little bit about your journey.
Hello. I’m L.T. Phoenix. I’m a poet/writer on various social media platforms. A friend of mine inspired me to open an Instagram account in late 2018 in order to share my poems and writings with others, and so here we are.
I’ve always written from an early age and never really stopped doing so. You can say writing has always been an outlet for me and one of the many ways I express myself. I also enjoy music, traveling, acting and modeling. I also have a degree in clinical mental health counseling and have gained incredible experience throughout the years. Overall, one day I hope to become a published author.
Q: How did you become interested in writing/poetry?
I became interested in writing poetry from a very early age. I think it began in middle school. Then in high school I kept writing as well, and I don’t think I ever stopped writing from then on! It started by collecting notebooks and really putting all emotions and observations there. I remember reading Shakespeare late in elementary [and] middle school, and moving on to reading other authors and poets in high school and really being drawn in by what they had to say. Poetry always makes me feel something, similar to music and listening to that one line in a song that leaves you with an immense feeling.
Q: What inspires your poetry?
My poetry is inspired by heartbreak, the beginning and the end of relationships [and] the various feelings one can possibly feel in and out of love. My poetry is also greatly inspired by mental health struggles and concerns. I think everyone has dealt with their own trauma and struggles, enough for it to connect with others.
Q: What is your creative process?
I have various creative habits. I used to write a lot in notebooks, notepads and now I find myself reaching for my phone a lot more and writing in the Notes section, since it’s readily available. It also helps to look back on your phone and find what you wrote, edit and upload to social media. I’ve also played around with free association and jotting down words that come to mind on a sheet of paper and later creating a poem from there.
Q: Tell me about some of your favorite poems that you have written.
Tough one! But some of my favorite ones are relating to trauma and resilience or growing from obstacles in life. I feel those can be inspirational for others.
Q: What accomplishments are you most proud of when it comes to writing?
As far as accomplishments from writing, I’m just happy I found the courage to actually open my Instagram account and start sharing what I write with others. I never really intended to do so and always felt shy about it. I’m grateful a friend of mine convinced me and that I also took a chance and it was well received. I’m also grateful and happy for my followers commenting and showing their love and support by saying they can relate to my words. This is already a great accomplishment in my eyes.
Q: Tell me about your experiences as a model.
I really got into modeling years ago, again because of a friend of mine who’s just as creative and happened to have a camera. With modeling, I felt comfortable, creative and loved the idea of playing dress up. I still enjoy modeling because it gives me a chance to express myself and show a bold side of me. Overall, I model mainly for my social media platforms, as you can see my feed includes a mix of poetry and photography and I enjoy the look of it.
Q: I also saw on your profile that you are a mental health advocate. Why do you find advocating for mental health important?
I’m surely a mental health advocate for various reasons. For one, my background is in clinical mental health counseling. I also know the importance of mental health concerns on a personal level and the importance of being able to seek help and have a support system. I feel every single person has dealt with a mental health concern, as it’s human. I also feel I’m a mental health advocate in my own poetry with the themes I write about. I find advocating for mental health is important because some cultures, families and even individuals have been taught that mental health concerns are a stigma and it is “not OK” to talk about them. I hope my poetry normalizes this.
Q: What obstacles have you faced and how did you overcome them?
I’ve faced many obstacles in my life, some which I feel are very personal to really dive deep and share. Some pertaining to mental health and overall well-being, and recently physical obstacles with my health, where I’ve had to get surgeries for more than one issue (endometriosis and back issues). I’m doing well now and am always grateful. I’ve learned that obstacles are there for a reason and they eventually teach us something.
Q: How do you balance being a poet, model and mental health advocate?
I like to think I balance things pretty well. I try to make time for writing and editing, as well as make time for family and friends. Overall, I’m a firm believer in work hard, play hard. I don’t like to neglect one thing for another, and so I try to make time.
Q: What are your future plans and goals?
Unfortunately, because of a health issue or two that I dealt with this year, I was forced to postpone certain plans and goals. Now that I’m better, I plan on making things happen when it comes to my poetry. My goal is to someday become a published author and have multiple poetry books. A lot of the creating, guidelines and editing has already been done on my end, yet I have a few more things to take care of before deciding to launch. I believe in timing and doing things when ready. Overall my goal with this is to continue inspiring others with my writing.
Q: What advice would you give other women based on your experiences?
The advice I would give, not just to other women, but to anyone would be: always believe in yourself, love who you are and keep going no matter what. Life is full of obstacles and tough moments, yet you’re tougher!
Q: What does “she can be both” mean to you?
“She can be both” means that you can surely be anything you’d like, including having multiple roles. For me it’s working in the field of mental health, while being a poet on social media, while also modeling and doing various things I enjoy. For example, you can be a scientist while also being a ballet dancer. You can live your life as creatively as you want without judgment.