An Amateurs Guide to Writing Poetry

The other day I found myself thinking about a conversation I had a while ago, between myself and some of my Uni classmates. They had been lamenting over how hard their poetry class was and how difficult it was to write poetry. I (mistakenly) chimed in that poetry writing was easy, my classmate then said that might be true of bad poetry, but good poetry was hard. I quickly agreed with her. Now I take that back. Poetry is easy to write (even the good stuff). The hard part is tuning your mind to the right attitude to be in for writing it.

Now I don’t claim to be an expert, actually as the title of this piece states I am an amateur, but these are my tips and tricks to writing. (They might even work for fiction.)

Trick 1: Throw the idea that poetry is stupid or pretentious out the window, if you start thinking like that then all your work will be a mockery of itself.

Trick 2: Write a poem only for yourself. All poetry is about self-first, then the world. You have to forget the idea that anyone else is going to see the piece and write for your eyes only.

Trick 3: Don’t listen to the little voice in your head that tells you that your work is worthless or that no one will like it. That voice itself is worthless and confidence comes across in writing it is what makes people like the piece.

Trick 4: Toss away everything that your high school teachers every taught you about poetry. That stuff is for understanding someone else work; you don’t need it for doing your own work.

Trick 5: Never push a poem to rhyme or follow a rhythmic pattern. That will come in its own time and you will end up with a natural flow as you get more comfortable.

Trick 6: This is my final tip. Don’t over think the words. Whatever pops into your head at the time just write down, because above all else a poem is a reflection of you and is yours to do with what you will.

Note: So I did send this piece into Frankie which is a Australian indie magazine, but I submitted it two months ago and haven’t had any word from them so, I’m going to post it on my blog. I figure that this is okay mostly because my blog isn’t all that popular yet.

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