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How to Write Good Poetry: 7 Tips for Aspiring Poets

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Did you know writing poetry can improve your overall writing skills? Even if you don’t consider yourself a poet, writing poetry challenges your diction; ability to be concise, use of imagery, rhythm and storytelling skills.

If the idea of writing poetry seems a little intimidating, you’re not alone. Poetry has exploded in the last few years, especially since Instagram poets started to win over new poetry fans by filling timelines with relatable pieces of verse. In the ever-evolving world of poetry, it can be challenging to figure out where to start. Don’t worry, little infinite has you covered with something for everyone.

We believe that everyone can express themselves through poetry. All you have to do is take the first step. Here, we’ve outlined our top seven steps to writing good (or better) poetry.

1. Read Poetry

This step tends to be underestimated but it’s foundational. How can you know what to write if you don’t read what is out there first?

Reading poetry, especially by poets that resonate with you, shows you how to use meter, imagery, and tone to connect with your readers. Revisit old favorites like Pierre Alex Jeanty and Nikita Gill, and try out debut poetry by up-and-coming authors.

It's important to diversify what types of poetry you read and the poets you consume it from. See how other poets structure their poems and books. Explore and sample genres out of your comfort zone.

Pro tip: try writing down what speaks to you and why, then see if there are any patterns in your preferences.

2. Read about Writing Poetry

You are already doing your research, and we’re impressed! Now, meet little infinite’s must-do step: utilize the resources that industry insiders have shared. Most popularly, in the form of books.

Do you know what figurative language is? Do you know what a simile is? These books will help refresh your knowledge.

Reading about how to write poetry can be just as inspiring as reading poetry itself. Luckily, there are various resources out there to help you nail the basics. Indulge in few of little infinite’s favorite informational reads, 5 Books that Will Help you Hone your Poetry Writing. 

book covers

3. Use Poetry Journals and Prompts

There are few better ways to break through writer’s block than indulging in unique poetry prompts. If you’re craving to create beyond poetry, opt for a guided writing journal. By the way, these types of journals vary widely. Some journals schedule you to write daily, some provide to-do calendars, while others are there for when you need them. Either way, writing prompts are a reliable way to get you thinking outside the box.

We love a good poetry prompt! You never know what angle each prompt will take.

Here are a few helpful (and free!) guided poetry writing resources:

 
 
 
 
 
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Get your free 365 Poetry Prompt Journal today!💥 Perfect for #NaPoWriMo, full of creative and trendy prompts for EVERY DAY of the year. ➡️ Link in bio! Don't forget to use our Poetry Prompt hashtag: #poetryeverydamnday to enter to be featured on @littleinfinitepoetry's Instagram. 💓 We will be choosing three poems to feature per week this month. 📝⁠ .⁠ ⁠ .⁠ ⁠ .⁠ ⁠ #poetryeverydamnday #littleinfinite #littleinfinitepoetry #poetryforlife #poets #writersofinstagram #nationalpoetrymonth #poetryprompts #freepoetryprompts #journalprompts #writerscommunity #poetryfoundation #poem #poetryislife #poetrycommunity #poetrylover #poetsofinstagram #poetry #poetryofinstagram #spokenword #poems #poetrybooks #modernpoetry #instamood#bookstagram #poetryinmotion #poetrygram #lovepoem

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Full of unique and fun prompts, these are sure to get your creative ideas flowing. 

4. Just Write

Write some really bad poems. Write some really embarrassing poems. Write micro-poems. Just write. Remember that notebook you said would never see the light of day again? Well, it is time to start another one.

You've got to write a whole bunch of really, really—like, really—bad poems. Writing a bunch of bad poems is the best way to get to the good stuff, especially when exploring your poetic potential.

Sometimes getting to the good stuff won't take long, other times it could take hours. There might even be days where you don't write anything you love at the moment. We’re here to confirm the rumors are true: it’s just part of the writing process. The fun part is, you’ll end up crafting poems that even surprise yourself!

Join IngramSpark's 30-Day Writing Challenge

5. Experiment with Writing

This should probably be considered Step 4.5. A huge part of experimenting with different types of poetry means you just have to try it. Experiment with things like spoken word poetry, structure, and length. Try a haiku or a free verse poem. Fill up that notebook of poetry! Experimenting with poetry will help pave the path to a more concise personal writing style.

6. Find Your Writing Style

You have learned the basics of poetry. You’ve written some poems you’re obsessed with and some, well, you plan on re-visiting. You experimented with different forms and styles. Now, you can start to define your own poetic style.

Right now, micropoetry is trending. This style is known to be short, simple, and to the point. Are you having a hard time being blunt and to the point? Try using figurative language, metaphor, and imagery in your verse. Do your poems not fit in one style? Welcome to the club. Good news, there aren’t strict rules in poetry! Use it as a way to express yourself creatively and make it your own.

Pro tip: try out our Self-Discovery Workbook for free! Packed with guided journals, prompts, affirmations, and more.

 
 
 
 
 
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What would happen if you discovered your deeper self? 🦋 Get @littleinfinitepoetry's free Self-Discovery Guide today via the link in our bio! 🙌 Full of guided journals, poetry prompts, and our favorite resources for self-discovery! ⬇️ 🔮 What is your favorite tool in the guide?!⁠ .⁠ ⁠ .⁠ ⁠ .⁠ ⁠ #littleinfinite #littleinfinitepoetry #poetryforlife #poets #writersofinstagram #selfdiscovery #selflovequotes #writerscommunity #poetryfoundation #poem #poetryislife #poetrycommunity #poetrylover #poetsofinstagram #poetry #poetryofinstagram #spokenword #selfdiscoveryquotes #poems #igwriters #poetrybooks #bookworm #modernpoetry #writer #instapoet #bookstagram #poetryinmotion #poetrygram #lovepoem

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7. Learn to Edit

Time to put on your editor’s blazer, this is where things come together. Whether you are editing one poem or a collection of 35 poems, editing is a magically crucial step.

Think of editing as polishing your poetry so it can shine brighter. The key to editing is time. How much time? It could be an hour or a day, this is personal to each occasion. Take a step away from your work, think on it, and re-visit with fresh eyes. When in doubt, phone a friend.

When you re-visit your work, consider questions like:

  1. Could your diction be more concise to convey the message the way you intend?
  2. Is the order of your poems (or lines) best organized to tell the story you want to tell?
  3. Should this line end here?
Whatever you do, don’t try to fit a poem into a style that doesn’t work. Let the poems speak for themselves. And please don’t skimp on effort when it comes to grammar. Remember, you can do this!

Want to learn more about poetry? 

Sign up for little infinite poetry’s VIP weekly newsletter, here. Each week you’ll get the latest in poetry, writing trends, book recommendations, free guides, and more straight to your inbox. When you're ready to share your poetry with the world, learn how IngramSpark's free guide: How to Self-Publish a Book.

 

Read the Complete Guide: How to Self-Publish a Book

little infinite

little infinite is your go-to poetry lifestyle site that celebrates the intersection between classic prose and modern explorations of life through verse. Keeping you up-to-date with the evolving world of poetry and your favorite creators. little infinite's commitment to their readers is that their contributions to the community will be informed, well-crafted, and aesthetically-minded. To learn more about little infinite and what they offer, visit www.littleinfinite.com, or join them on social with a community of 45,000+ and growing!

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