Hello, I believe the first series of this article tasted like finely brewed wine. Here’s the continuation.
But before we dive into the main course, I have a few questions for you.
- Were you able to write, at least, a poem over the weekend?
- If yes, what challenges did you encounter?
- What inspired your poem?
- Do you think you did your best?
- Mind sharing the poem with me?
- If yes, send me a message via Facebook messenger, let’s discuss.
Alright, on to the next series.
Revise, Revise, Revise!
Whatever you create, right off the first go, is usually not a masterpiece.
Some people say that the rawness of a first draft is indicative of its true power. Well, true. But a poem is made of a few parts, one being heart and one being craft, I think.
That’s not true. There are many wonderful poets from all walks of life, and spending money on a degree doesn’t make you any more of a poet. It may present opportunities with international awards, but you can also find that in local community writing groups, by taking a class online, or by going to local literary readings.
I would say Facebook poets made me the writer I am today. It doesn’t come easily, though; like friendship, it’s something you work at.
Try to get published, or Don’t!
Make 100% sure you read the magazine’s “submissions” page and follow each rule correctly. Editors are not into submissions that don’t follow the rules! Don’t let that scare you, though. They are just rules for regulation purposes. Alright?
Create a space online for your poetry. Poetry is part business.
Need inspiration? Here’s my author website. Dive in and swim in my pool of words.
Eventually and very importantly, you may want to brand your social media to your poetry — you can share it, or simply list that you’re poet. Share other poems, tweet to other poets, and generally take part in the conversation.
Remember that poetry is not a competition or a race.
Don’t worry about what other people think or do or win.
Don’t rush your work; the best work comes naturally and is let into the world when it’s ready.
Treat yourself and your work kindly.
Always listen, always play, always touch, always question, always watch. Nothing is off-limits. Everything is yours.
Lastly, and most importantly, avoid cliché.
Stray from the obvious.
Stray from language you’ve heard before.
Resist the urge to recycle words, phrases and cliches.
Push yourself to use language in new ways, to express yourself with words that don’t come bundled together in a neat little package.
You have millions of words (and millions more if you are bi or multilingual). Also, you have an added advantage if you can go bi-lingual with your poetry. Try a fusion of your mother tongue and English, Igbo and English, Italian and English, Arabic and English, Sanskirt and English. Just be creative.