Genuineness and originality is a must for every piece of creative writing, but maybe even more so for poetry. It’s not an easy task to spill your soul on a page like that. So while you’ll have to figure the actually-writing-something part on your own, we hope these tips can help to get the ball rolling.
1. Practice makes perfect.
Yes, a cliche, but it’s a cliche for a reason. You may think the best way to express your creativity is only when the inspiration strikes, but that is a mistake. Just like with exercising, consistency is the key. You wouldn’t expect to lift up a 55-pound bar on your first try, so you shouldn’t expect to write a masterpiece in one sitting either. Practice your craft – every day, little by little. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to be bad – making mistakes is the only way to grow and improve.
2. Don’t write in a vacuum
There’s no doubt that art is subjective. However, if you’re planning on getting your work out there, it won’t hurt getting feedback from someone besides your mom. So go ahead and join a writing workshop, attend poetry readings, submit your poems to magazines and blogs. Be prepared for some harsh words, but don’t get discouraged. Getting critiques is a part of the process.
3. Learn from the best.
If you’re passionate about becoming a poet, chances are you’re already a fan of the genre and maybe even have some favorites. What we’re suggesting here, is to look at those you admire and their writing from a more analytical point of view: what exactly do you like about their work? Is it their style? Is it the topics they explore? Or maybe their metaphors hit you just right? Figure out what is it that pulls you into the poetry and if it’s something that you’d like to implement into your works as well. But please limit your admiration to research only, which brings us to…
4. Better safe than sorry.
They say “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” but there is a very thin line between inspiration and straight up stealing. Even if you think you’re sure in your work’s originality, it never hurts to double check and use a plagiarism prevention tool. Our unconscious is a curious thing and some mistakes are bound to slip from our attention. Think of this software as your safety net.
5. Don’t forget to tell your story
Remember that while perfecting your writing and polishing your technique is incredibly important, the most essential part of poetry is its’ message. Art is meant to inspire, to touch, to resonate with people, and as long as you’re doing it from the heart and sharing your authentic experience, you will find your voice and you will find your audience.