Writing Your First Poem
Writing a poem typically starts with an idea, maybe a suggestion from an image or sometimes the first sentence just falls onto the page. From that initial sentence, the poem can grow into a journey or has the possibility of being a new work of art.
Finding inspiration for a poem can come from anywhere, you might be watching a movie, reading a book, conversing with old friends, driving on a long journey or listening to music. If something pops into your head, try and write it down, if you don’t have a pen to hand, go over and over the sequence of words inside your head. Thinking like this will lock it into your long-term memory. When you come to write down your poem later, you should be able to remember it.
Many poets use distinctive techniques and styles for their writing. That’s the art of poetry, and it can be whatever you want it to be. Poetry doesn’t have to be an academic master class or follow standard rules of literacy. Poetry can break all the rules, and that’s why I love writing poetry. Find what works for you and stick to your form; that’s what people will remember. Your readers will become your fans because they get your pattern of words, and this makes sense to them and you.
Editing Your Poems
Once you craft a poem from delicate words that fill the page, leave it to settle and rest for a few days. Work like this because it allows you to read the poem as a reader and not a creator. It’s easy to write a poem and quickly publish it on your blog, social media channels or any other form of digital media application. This approach lends a hand to make many mistakes – “trust me, I’ve made many and still do”.
After a few days of letting the poem breathe, reread the poem, now read the poem ‘out loud’ to yourself. These habits are the best way to edit your poem and make it sound or read perfectly. Using this simple method will allow you to obtain a style, flow and direction for your creation. You might find that when you read a poem ‘out loud’ it sounds completely different when compared to reading each verse inside your head.
You might also want to add gramma in places, use commas and full stops to help command your writing. Make fair use of your line drops; I like to use line drops instead of adding in too much grammar. I feel it adds dynamic to the flow for the reader and the person reading the poem ‘out loud’. I personally only add commas if this helps with the flow of the poem.
The line drop, when writing poetry is a potent tool; it commands the reader to slightly pause and compose themselves for the next sentence or word that awaits them. Using these techniques will give you a personal style and form.
Here is a poem called ‘War of Words’, the fact I’m using one of my poems will upset many publishing houses. Using your work can be seen as self-embellishment or vanity in the world of writing. If you publish your own words through Amazon or Google, using self-publishing methods, you might find you will be frowned upon, especially, if you try and share your words with other poetry channels. This fact! Upsets poem publishers, creative writing magazines and other blog publishers because they want to make money from you; and they want you to pay money to be recognized. If you’re asked for a sum of money to publish your poems or enter into a competition; walk away and don’t work with these people.
Publishing is changing quickly, and the need for lengthy traditional publishing is fading, especially, with writers who understand digital marketing, editing, design and online marketing distribution. If you can pull all those together, you can put a book together and publish on your own.
So, here is the poem –
Words of War
Consciousness brings inception to your existence
Delivering experiences from choices or fate from a distance
The present fails to exists
Writing words to fit the bill
Of a title, pulling minds in at will.
Design for quarrel
To accept contention of moral.
Defining oral pleasures from words of dynamic thrills
Rushing through your intellect.
The war of words battles through the ages
Slicing into pages
Making history for all races
Offering only a moment
That reminds us of contemplation.
Deciphering the whispers of fooled prodigy
As books churn into bad poetry
Handing out paperbacks for free
As Einstein’s philosophy regains methodology.
Piercing weak brains with nihility
Filled with lashing’s of doctrine
Soaked in tangerine sky’s
Making eyes cry
When they awake from the tuition of scholarship minds.
Words of war
Ingenuity coupling Genius
To all this seeing
The first thing you might notice about this poem is the lack of punctuation in the form of comas; the line break does the job of this perfectly; without disrupting the reader’s flow of the final poem.
The poem is also broke into seven sections with a maximum of 6 line breaks. Again this just helps the reader to take breaths and pause for each little journey. Each line break also starts with a capital letter, introducing a new line and forcing the reader to slightly pause, while keeping the strict form through the entire poem. I’m creating a style which developed has developed through me for the reader.
You can read many poems by different writers, and you will quickly see a style they enjoy. Many people will litter their lyrics with punctuation, while others will use nothing. Some poets won’t even use a capital letter or a full stop, which shows you the incredible power of poetry.
Poetry is about pushing your personality through the white pages; you can also add images, drawings and illustrations from the deepest parts of your mind.
After you read the poem, what did you take away from it? What did it mean to you? Did it bend your mind and makes you question reality? Let me know in the comments section; I love to get feedback and hear about what other readers, writers and poets think. You can also write your poems in the comments section.
I hope this little article gives you some extra confidence in creating and writing your poetry. If you need a platform to get you starting with poetry, I highly recommend the following websites, which are 100% free to use.
These are just a few hand-picked websites; you will find hundreds on the web. Try and find some local websites; they offer meetups and poet days. You can exchange ideas, enter competitions, attend workshops and get fellow poets to read your work. You can even attend speaking out loud sessions; this will give you a chance to read your work to a small audience and get even more feedback.
Poetry Feedback & Critisms
I recommend using these websites to get feedback from fellow writers and poets. It’s a great way to get started with writing and creating your style. Leave feedback and connect with other poets that you like. Don’t be scared to ask others for feedback on your work. I quickly learned a lot from very established writers, who helped me and gave me the confidence to trust the direction of my poems. It can be hard to accept that sometimes your work just doesn’t capture peoples imagination. If you receive plenty of comments and feedback on a particular creation, you should instantly know that many people have read your work and enjoyed it.
Writing Your First Collection
Forging your first collection of poems (anthologies) can take some time. But stick with it, aim for at least 50 – 100 poems per collection. Even if you write one poem a week, that’s 52 within a year. I always try and write at least 2; sometimes, I can write 10 in a few hours; it just depends on how I feel. Pick a subject, like love, family, animals, flowers, wisdom or anything else you can imagine. It’s ok to dip in and out of a particular subject, try and keep one as your main priority. Using this discipline will help you on your way to writing and creating a fantastic collection of poems.
If you start writing plenty of poems and end up with a collection, you might want to think about creating a book. You can publish a book on Amazon with a minimum of 100 pages. Alternatively, you can upload a PDF file with a collection of poems to the Google Playbook service. You will need some design skills to create a ‘PDF file’ that looks good and will attract readers. I would highly recommend downloading the Amazon KDP free software platform. Amazon will allow you to create your first paperback, add images and give you full control over your writing.
Once you have finished creating your book, Amazon will allow you to upload the KDP file and create a book cover for free. These services combined with your creative skills, is a perfect starting point, mostly if you have decided to ‘self publish’. I completed my first book using this service and sold plenty of books to friends and family. You can also advertise the book to attract a wider audience, you never know; you could make your first million if you create a fan base who love your work.
Finding A Publisher
You might want to bypass the whole idea of self-publishing. It’s a lot of work and can be a very high learning curve for many people. You only have to type into Google – ‘Poetry Publishers’ and a whole lot of publishing companies will appear in front of your eyes. I highly recommend reading all their terms, conditions and expectations for poets to get published – best of luck.