Writing poetry isn’t always easy. Even when you managed to pen down your thoughts, there is no guarantee, the poem is a success. We compiled a list of essential tips for writing poetry.
1. It’s your work, not someone else’s work
The first tip is about the uniqueness of your work. It’s so easy to turn to others and copy their work. Even with alterations, it is still not yours. Remember, that altering the work of others doesn’t make it your work. Make sure, that the subject you want to write about isn’t something that is forced or you can just do. The subject has to come to you. In a way that is unique enough for you.
The subject you want to write about, it’s important for you. Important to share through poetry. This makes it yours and so should the words you use.
2. Write when you are up to it
Writing about intense emotions is difficult. When you just broke up with someone, because the other cheated on you there could be anger, even rage. Yes, you can use your pen to channel your thoughts. There is nothing wrong with this. But, will this lead to a successful poem? What if this anger creates a poem, you later regret. Make sure, that you are in a zone, a creative flow to write. Not because it has to be done, poetry is never a must. Write when you are up to it.
3. The deepest feelings or the smallest of things
The good thing about poetry is, that it can be about anything. Sure, people write poetry based on their deepest feelings. It doesn’t always have to be about these feelings. Those small things in life, that you enjoy. They matter too, and can be the basis of poetry too. You don’t have to always write about the deepest feelings. Remember that the great poets in history did write some beautiful poetry about the things we take for granted; sunlight, a walk in the park or nature, a smile of a loved one.
4. Don’t fear the writers-block
Every writer or poet has experienced a moment, when they were unable to write. When you are not able to write, there might be a good reason. This doesn’t mean you experience this thing called writers-block. Don’t fear this inability to write. If you can’t find the words or you are not happy (or satisfied) with the outcome, don’t force yourself. Poetry is never something to be forced. It is something, that comes naturally.
It’s a controversial subject when it comes to poetry. Many poets claim, that they will never write notes for their poems. There is nothing wrong with taking notes. You can’t always find the time to write a poem when the creativity is at its peak. This peak may well come at a time,when you are doing something else. If you don’t want to forget about the raw version of your poem or the basis of your poem, notes are a good thing to consider. Buy a small notebook, to write down your thoughts or use the voice recorder of your smartphone for these notes.
6. Your work, but is it readable for others?
You may find your work to be perfectly readable. Can others relate to the words you wrote? The good thing about poetry: there are many poetry readers, there is a good chance that your work will be readable for others. But, there is only one way to really find out: let someone else read your poem and ask if they want to explain to you, what this poem is about. If you can’t find anyone to do this or you fear the reaction of those who are close to you, you can always send in your poem to us. Not for publication, but for proofreading. We can tell you what we think of this poem. Remember, there is a chance you will receive reactions you did not hope for.
7. Read the poem – loud!
You might not have thought things over, when you started writing, but is the poem something that can be read out loud? If the poem can be read out loud, the meter is good. If the poem doesn’t include meter, like many poems people nowadays write, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you wrote a bad poem. If the words don’t really come to live when reading the poem, you should consider rewriting your poem.
8. Finishing your poem
When you write the last word of the poem, you should not consider your poem to be finished. There is always the possibility that the poem needs some adjustment. Put the poem aside and do something else. After a while – an hour, a day or even a week – read the poem again and ask someone to also read the poem. Then ask yourself the question: is the poem really finished?
Because many of you publish your poems on social media, there is a slight chance you will not do this and publish straight away. Remember that likes on social media aren’t the right measurement to find out if the poem is good or not.
9. Social media and likes
These days, everybody wants to be a winner. At The Ministry of Poetic Affairs we have one golden rule. No matter what the amount of followers of our social media channels is, the most important thing is that we reach people. Even if a poem is liked by only one person, we consider this mission a success. For sure, we are approaching the 5,000 followers on Instagram and are proud of this, but there is more than the followers and likes. Especially when it comes to poetry.
10. Listen to others
Not only when it comes to criticism about your poems, it’s important to listen to others. No, others can give you general tips on writing poetry. They can also share their experiences with you. Or are you better than others and you don’t need these tips? You will probably have to say “No” and there is nothing wrong with that!
11. Submit your work!
There are many social media accounts or websites, that offer the chance for you to get promoted. Not many of these social media accounts or websites go as far as we do. The Ministry of Poetic Affairs does more than just reposting work of others. We provide backgrounds of those who write. This makes us different, and we believe this benefits the poets more than just reposting. Sure, there are many social media accounts that repost and have more followers. We are the organization that not only use social media accounts; we have a website too, and the articles of those who write poetry can be found using search engines. This ensures you of more readers. More people are able to see what you have written.
So, submit your work to us!
Do you have any tips, when it comes to writing poetry for us? Share them in the comment section of this article!