I think the most important thing to do with poetry is to write what comes to you intuitively & just get it down. Let yourself really go with it if you can. Keep notes, prompts, titles which come to mind, or have them in the background of your write in some way &/or go with what moves you in the moment.
Sometimes I draw before I write. I use text in my drawings. Sometimes those words become a part of my overall poetics.
A lot of times you will have something specific to say, however many great works of poetry are borne out of clear spontaneity, & good editing (not my forté haha).
Which brings me to my next point, that a lot of the great work of making poetry is in the editing. I’ll have to make posts about editing in particular as this goes along. For now I’ll say try not to think about the edits too much until it’s time.
You need to give yourself permission to write stuff you aren’t taken with too.
Like, I wrote a lot in the summer & then could barely journal or draw for 3 months. Still, in that time, I tried to write some poetry & honestly it was the worst; after a summer of not perfect writing, but stuff I was really pleased with consistently.
& here’s the thing, if you’ve read this far, thank you, & here is the thing: I wrote poetry I literally laughed at & for the first time in my life, I let myself fail at probably one of my like 2 skills I’m kinda proud about. Because I knew I didn’t have more than that, but I still sat down to remind myself I’m a writer when I knew I couldn’t.
Dear blogosphere, I must have written that night for no more than 5 minutes, & there I was congratulating myself for something which otherwise would have embarrassed me intensely, without even having to be criticized by a single soul.
I gave myself permission to fail because I know what it means to be consistent.
& mind you it was in the middle of those months. By that point, I was out of practice & dealing with life things. But I wrote for 5 minutes.
I have chosen writing as my main art form because you can do it anywhere at any time even in your head writing is happening before it entirely becomes something. & poetry feels good. It is a wonderful tool for processing emotions & ideas.
So you can always have faith in yourself as a creative writer, even when you feel like you’re not writing or writing how you aspire to. That’s the permission to know you are always creating even when you can’t reach a pen.
When I say write from your gut, let yourself fail. Yet when you’ve found that spark again, remember that permission. Because that’s permission to reach inside yourself whether you know what’s coming out or not, to connect with something or someone around you, generating ideas from culture & personal meaning.
Find that originality in your core self as you are. Take ideas & enjoy them as they sing.
© Niliema Karkhanis