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Writing great poetry is very different from writing a great short story or novel. As a poet, you use language in a unique way. Whether you’ve been writing poetry for a while or you’re considering giving it a try for the first time, Writer’s Relief has tips and advice to help you hone your skills and become a better poet. Here are the best ideas for mastering the craft of poetry.
7 Ways To Become A Better Poet
Read other poets. Take a little time every day to read the work of poets you admire—and poets who are new to you. You’ll become familiar with styles and forms and more aware of the current trends. Check out some of the great poetry collections available from your local library. And while you’re reading Shakespeare, Dickinson, and Angelou, be sure to check out the Instapoets too!
Keep a journal. You can jot down notes throughout the day and keep your journal by your bedside to record any inspiration from dreams as soon as you awaken. When you revisit your musings, you might find ideas for your next poem. If you’re worried about what you can fill your journal with, here are some ideas.
Experiment with poetry forms. Trying new poetic forms and meters can improve your skill set and add depth to your poetry. If you normally write in spondaic meter, try iambic, or dactylic for a change. If you typically write sonnets, try your hand at free verse. And even if you never intend to write rhyming poetry, give it a shot and shake up your status quo! You may find the basis for your next poem within those rhyming verses.
Develop a writing schedule. How can you put your free-spirited muse on a schedule? By making writing a habit! Establish a writing routine and let your muse know your new office hours so she can visit more regularly. If you’re not feeling particularly inspired on a given day, try some freewriting to spark your creativity.
Try a new literary device. When used correctly, figurative language such as similes and metaphors can enrich your writing and poetry. Simile compares unlike things that have similarities and uses the words “like” and “as,” while the metaphor is a more direct comparison. Making comparisons can shine a new light on your subject. Alliteration and synecdoche are two other techniques that can enhance your poetry. Here are nine rhetorical devices you might want to try.
Explore other types of writing. Flex your writing muscles by trying another genre. Challenge yourself by writing a short story or a piece of flash fiction. You may discover the beginnings of a prose poem! Experimenting with a new genre will keep your poetry fresh and engaging.
Connect with other poets. Whether in person or online using conferencing platforms, you can join a local poetry writing group, participate in an open mic night, and attend reading events. You can also follow your favorite poets on social media. By interacting with other poets, you’ll learn how they approach writing and pick up new inspiration for your own poetry. Being a member of a poetry writing group will also nudge you to create work on a more consistent schedule.
Try a few (or all!) of these seven ways to boost your creativity—they’re sure to have a positive impact on your poetry writing skills and help you to become a better poet.
Question: Who is your favorite poet?