Need help submitting your writing to literary journals or book publishers/literary agents? Click here! →
Accomplished poets know the value—and necessity—of occasionally shaking things up in order to improve their poetry. If you’re ready for some innovative inspiration for your poems, check out this list from Writer’s Relief. These fifteen easy-to-try ideas will help you get motivated and breathe new life into your poetry!
CHALLENGE TIP: Use a different one of these ideas each day for a powerful dose of poetry inspiration!
15 Ideas That Will Motivate You To Write New Poems—And Help You Become A Better Poet
Read a poem a day. Grab a poetry book from your shelf and read the first poem you open to every morning. Or buy a poetry anthology from your favorite bookstore and commit to reading one poem every single day.
Read outside your comfort zone. You alone know the kinds of poetry toward which you tend to gravitate. But every so often, reading something different to expand your horizons will show you exciting new techniques and ideas that could be useful to your daily poetry practice.
Poetry is plucking at the heartstrings, and making music with them.―Dennis Gabor
Write in a different poetry genre or style. Piggyback on your adventurous reading habits by trying your hand at new poetry genres and styles. You might wind up throwing out everything you write, but we guarantee you’ll learn a lot from the process. Here is a list of poetry styles to try.
Try writing prompts. You’re sure to find poetic inspiration right here: 125 Of The Best Poetry Writing Prompts For Poets | Writer’s Relief.
Create new poetry-writing habits. Poets are poets twenty-four hours a day—not merely when they are sitting down to write. Here’s how to make poetry a lifestyle choice.
Keep a journal. Keeping a record of your thoughts and experiences can help unclog the flow of ideas and release your creativity.
Memorize poems. Committing a poem to memory is not only a great practice for boosting brainpower, it also can deepen your understanding of poetry craft.
If you can’t be a poet, be the poem.—David Carradine
Carry poems in your pocket. Don’t have a lot of spare time for studying poetry? Purchase a pocket-sized book of poems and take it with you for on-the-go reading whenever you have a moment. Or, bookmark your favorite poetry website on your cell phone.
Attend poetry events. Poetry is thriving, and chances are there are at least one or two local poetry events in your area. To find a poetry event near you, try an Internet search, talk to local booksellers, pop in at local colleges, and check in with librarians.
Attend non-poetry arts events. Poetic inspiration is often found in other disciplines. Go to the ballet. Spend a quiet afternoon alone at a museum. Take in an avant-garde drama. All can be fuel to ignite your poetry.
Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.―Leonard Cohen
Connect with a poetry critique group. Participating in a writing group with critique partners whom you trust can be a priceless experience. Not only could your craft improve through critique, but you’ll be reinvigorated by being around others who are also passionate about poetry. Find a list of writers organizations here.
Take a noncredit poetry class. If getting an MFA in poetry writing is on your bucket list, then go for it! But you don’t need to enroll in a full-fledged college program in order to take poetry classes with other adults. Check your local community colleges for continuing education programs. Or search online to find a webinar (Web seminar) that might be right for you. Read more: How To Become A Better Poet without Emptying Your Wallet For An MFA | Writer’s Relief.
Get outside. En plein air writing can be an especially inspiring way of getting in the mood to write poetry.
The world is full of poetry. The air is living with its spirit; and the waves dance to the music of its melodies, and sparkle in its brightness.—James Gates Percival
Listen to music. Don’t simply play classical music in the background; actively listen to what you hear. Pay attention to how you respond to the music—emotionally or otherwise. Does it spark a poetic impulse in you?
Move your body. Much has been written about the body-brain connection for writers. When you’re taking care of your body, you’re taking care of your brain. Shake up your physical routine and you might see a new burst of energy in your poetry writing.
And One Bonus Tip For When You’re Really Feeling Uninspired To Write Poems
Go back to the basics.
Do you remember what made you love poetry in the first place? Think back and revisit the original inspiration for your poetry writing. If it was a certain book of poetry or a specific author who kick-started your love of poems, it may be time to reread with fresh eyes.
Life can get complicated, and returning to the place where your interest in writing poetry started might be all it takes to reinvigorate feelings of poetic inspiration.
That childhood passion and involvement and being really submerged in something, that’s the kind of state I’m looking for all the time—and preserving that sense of magical possibility and wonder that children have. I think, for artists, if you can stay connected to that, then you are in a good place.—Max Richter
Question: What do you do when you need a little bit of extra poetic inspiration?