Interview, Founder of The Round Table Challenge, Wade Staark

Wade, @unkownthepoet 
Are you a sesquipedalian? Or are you one who utilises words in such a careful fashion?  Either way your awareness can be enhanced by following The Round Table Challenge that is currently occurring on Instagram today and everyday for the next year – I might add.   Are you not sure, as to what the Round Table Challenge is?  Well, that is all part and parcel of what I plan on sharing with all of you today throughout my interview with founder, Unknown The Poet aka Wade Staark.  In a world where we are so desensitised from using the appropriate word at the right
time, it is essential that we as a race constantly grow our vocabulary.  Poor word usage is something that genuinely frustrates me – I try very hard to use the proper word at the right time and if I am not sure what the word means look it up.  Kids, nowadays have no idea how lucky they are – when I was younger, if you wanted to know the definition of a word you would look it up in a 3000-page book called a dictionary.  Presently, we have accessible devices where we can easily look up a word in seconds.  No more paper cuts and yet – poor words are still being misused.  Not sure what your remedy is?  Follow The Round TableChallenge on Instagram and participate. I have to admit, I’ve not been participating as much as I would like but constantly read the word of the day and must acknowledge my appreciation for words.

RMMW: Do you remember your first writing memory?

Kati, @pi.and.anne
WS: My first writing memory dates back to 6th grade when i wrote my first book about a rabbit detective.  It was completely written and illustrated by me for a class project.  The teacher that I had at the time was very big on reading, and was always finding ways to keep it interesting for us kids.  I remember that book vividly.  I think i still have it somewhere.  I must look for it.
RMMW: As a Poet what do you feel are some of the biggest challenges facing writers today, in our do it yourself world?

WS: As a “Poet”, I still can’t get used to calling myself that, I feel the biggest challenges will always be ourselves and the negativity of others.  We are so hard on ourselves, especially for those of us that are just starting out.  I’ve been writing on IG since 2015 and I still am not easy on myself.  I post and then I start to doubt myself.  “Was that a good piece?”  “Am i really happy with it?”  “Do people even actually read my shit?” “Are people just being nice to me?” “Oh well what’s done is done.”  These questions go through my head all the time, which causes my emotions to go through a ringer.  It doesn’t help that there are people out there that are so set on demolishing other’s crafts with negativity and unhelpful opinions.  So yeah that doesn’t help with all the self conscious uncertainties.  It’s all a challenge, but if you find a way to cope and go around it, one finds internal success.  I hope I answered that correctly.  LOL.
RMMW: What is your perspective, on the what seems to be an Amazon meat market for books?

WS: I wish I read more, but in all honesty, my reading is mostly comic books and song lyrics.  But if I did have any opinion at all, it would be, that it’s quite admirable that so many people are set out on a journey to showcase their craft.  Writing a book is no easy feat, so if anyone has taken the time to put their heart and time into a collection of pages, my hat to them.  Do what you do.
RMMW: Do you have any artist rituals before starting a new piece?

WS: I take a deep breath and start typing.  If the moment allows, I like to play some music and crack open a beer.  I’ll write what I feel, then start to review and make my edits.  Sometimes I’ll completely trash a piece and it never sees the light of day.  Well it’s not trashed it gets put in a folder titled “NEVER RELEASE THESE WADE!”

Valisa, @osmanthus_n_lavendar
RMMW: Do you ever get creatively blocked? If yes, how do you find your way out of it?

WS: Oh my gosh yes.  I think all writers do in one way, shape or form.  Just last year I had a bad case of writer’s block.  How did I find my way out of it?  I took a long, needed break.  I stopped writing completely.  I even stopped thinking about it.  Sometimes I feel we need to take a break from writing.  We need some space, just like in a relationship.  Just don’t go seeing other people…LOL.

RMMW: What is the origin story and purpose of the Round Table Challenge? 

WS: The whole story behind this concept actually started as a poetry collaboration with my dear friend Kati (@pi.and.anne) of the IG community.  She started asking me a bunch of questions about what I thought about poetry and about the mission of being a poet.  That turned into us talking about Kings, Queens, Knights, The Round Table and of course poetry as the Holy Grail.  We said that our mission as writers is to protect the dignity of poetry.  The collab was becoming a Song, like a war marching song, Kati (@pi.and.anne) had written most of it, but I got really busy with life ya know, it then came to me one day, We should bring this idea to life.  A few months later, The Round Table Challenge was born.  We do not want to prompt people to write, we just want to provide words that could help spark a creative idea, even a piece of writing.  If it sparks something we ask people to post their piece in the comments.  This is a safe space and we do not judge people here.  Everyone seems comfortable to be sharing their works so far.  Write when you want to, our words will always be there.
RMMW: What is the process one must undergo to join the Round Table Challenge team?

WS: When we started to bring the idea to life, I already had 2 people in mind.  Queen Valisa (@osmanthus_n_lavendar) and King Ryan (@vayouking).  I have the utmost respect for the way those 2 beings use words and for their writing.  I was excited when we brought the idea to the table and they agreed to be a part of it.  At the moment there really is no process to join the team because we want to keep the team small.  We all work together to provide the words and to keep everything up to date.  If all goes well maybe we will open it up to new members, and most likely it will be a unanimous vote to get the right people in.
Ryan, @vayouking 
RMMW: In a world where illiteracy at times can be high how do you feel The Round Table 
Challenge can hone fresh writing skills?

WS: A new word a day can spark many things.  Especially if it’s a word you have never heard or ever thought about using.  We believe that when we post these words and people see how others are using it in the comments, they will be motivated to write something as well.  Maybe they’ll post it or maybe they won’t, the whole point is just to be inspired and think outside the box that we, at times as artist, put ourselves into.  It’s a way to challenge oneself.
RMMW: As a poet myself, the use of words is very important and to utilise them in a proper fashion – how does it make you feel when you read a writer has used a word incorrectly?  Personally, it drives me bonkers!!!!

WS: Then I think I would drive you bonkers…LOL.  I never claimed to be the type of writer to use big words, It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s simply the inner struggle of, if I don’t know what it means or how to pronounce it, then why would I use it.  I feel that there are many tools and resources available to people to help them use certain words correctly.  I think some people do it on purpose in certain pieces and I think that some do it because they were maybe a little too lazy to do some research on the word and how to utilize it.  In the end it all comes down to how you want to be viewed as a writer.
RMMW: Do you have plans at the end of the year to publish your favourite submitted pieces as an anthology?

WS: In all honesty we haven’t really thought that far ahead.  We do have a few plans for some exciting things in the upcoming months (still top secret Round Table stuff), but for now we do share all submitted pieces in our story highlights on IG.  An anthology would be interesting though.  I’ll bring it to the table and see what my fellow Queens and Kings think.
RMMW: How do you select each daily word utilized?

WS: We have a list that we add to whenever we have a chance.  Every morning I message the Round Table and ask for their recommendations from the list.  Depending on the day or the mood, we select a word that we feel will fit the best. That’s pretty much it…LOL.  It is a nice list though and is filling up fast.
RMMW: If you had a super power what would it be?

WS: If I had one super power, I would absolutely love to be able to fly at will.  Imagine that.  Just taking off like Iron Man and flying to any part of the world at any time.  Damn I would really love that shit.

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