One of my readers wrote me an e-mail asking for advices on writing poetry. I immediately felt intimidated by his question, then a bit proud. Someone asking me for writing tips? That’s a new challenge, and a big one
I spent some time before answering his e-mail, and then today I got an overwhelming thank you mail, so it seems I wrote something that helped his work…
I am much more comfortable in giving advises towards other parts of the process, like choosing a publisher house, release days and parties , working towards the press, interviewing … yes pretty much what I’ve been working on since my book came out in the end of October, last year.
By writing my advices down, I realized that the work of being my books first spoke-person have been time consuming. Even though I say and think that I’m in the middle of my writing process, my focus has changed since my accepting letter came from my Publisher House in June.
So when I wrote down my tips, I actually just wrote down my own “what to do –list” or at least what should be my list, as a writer.
Here I go:
- Say what you want to say. Let your readers decide what your poem means.
- Develop your voice. Get comfortable with how you write.
- Untitled poems are like unnamed children.
- The bigger your theme, the more important the details are. A poem with Love, Destiny, Hate or other huge themes in the title already has two strikes against it.
- Feel free to write a bad poem.
- Don’t explain everything.
- There are many excuses not to write. Try using writing as an excuse not to do other things.
- The more you write, the more you develop. Write poetry often.
- Don’t be afraid to write from a different point of view. Write a poem that says exactly the opposite of what you believe. If you can, do it without irony.
- When you write a good poem, one you really like, immediately write another. Maybe that one poem was your peak for the night, but maybe you’re on a roll. There’s only one way to find out.
- Write in different places. Keep a notebook. Write in a park or on a street-corner or in an alley. You don’t have to write about the place, but it will influence you whether you do or not.
- AND FINALLY: Listen to criticism and try to learn from it, but don’t live or die by it.