Poetry is a lot about word play. That’s why what I discussed in my earlier post: Notes on writing process 1 is so important. If you let yourself get even that sliver of an idea out of you, wherever you put your words, you are likely beginning to get […]
Poetry is a lot about word play. That’s why what I discussed in my earlier post: Notes on writing process 1 is so important. If you let yourself get even that sliver of an idea out of you, wherever you put your words, you are likely beginning to get deeper into a poetic concept, feeling, or idea you are ready to really work with.
However you work, whether it’s hand-writing, typing on a computer &/or working on a phone, part of the writing process is to really feel intuitive & playful with your chosen writing medium: they all have their benefits. They are all tools & practices which contribute to the way we can play with words.
For example, I use the wp block editor on my phone to structure rhythm & rhyme in especially my shorter rhyming poetry, as well as to give myself space to get concepts & words down concisely, then re-order them for flow.
I definitely play differently with words when I write in a notebook, & even still differently when I work in a sketchbook. On paper, I generally incorporate drawings & I can keep my edits in very visual playful ways, where I can revisit my writing process. It’s pretty to look at cursive as well.
I am very inspired by the shapes of words & letters as well as the linguistic elements of writing. Working between pen & paper, print & different forms of technology is a gift we have in this era. It gives us such broad opportunity to understand how our art works in different formats; & how our writerly process can build using innovative methods & alternating tools analogue & digital facets & tools.
Whatever methods you are using, it’s important to really play around with what the medium has to offer as well as how you interact with it.
Of course your individual style & writing needs will be informed by tools, & also very much independent of them.
We often judge ourselves when we are being creative, & that’s going to happen. Of course, do please try & be gentle with you…easier said than done, I know. I encourage you, rather than judging yourself or trying to be less judgemental, to try observation of your writing methods & patterns. It’s so much more important.
An observation I’ve made on my own writing is that, almost unequivocally; when I’m playing with words & connecting them to a poetic observation or experience, I try to work with a dichotomy of combining every day writing & speech with unexpected usages which sometimes surprise even me. I try to reach as far away from the every day to get to these juxtapositions.
This is a structuring principal I use for my free verse & prose poetry, which I consider to be my main. I like to break dichotomies. It’s a method I have found very enjoyable & I feel it brings out my voice.
There are a plethora of other word play techniques which offer different & interesting momentum for poetic stories. Combining them is also infinitely fascinating.
In addition to play & observation of patterns, poetry is about observing poetic relationships in art & life; including, but not limited to, other forms which use words such as music or movies. This isn’t just about inspiration, it’s about relational elements in story-telling. This is where we get into discussions of meaning, wordplay & poetics. That’s a whole other post, dear blogosphere. Thanks for being here for this one. 💜
Note: I have been focusing on poetry writing because poetic writing methods are indispensable skills for literally all forms of writing & creative work. It’s fun too, & can help to bring interst & joy into all that you do. 💜
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.