Being Inspired Isn’t Everything: How To Cultivate Your Craft.
There are so many things that you really have to think about when you are a writer. This does not just include “how to be inspired.” The thing that many writers will tell you is that being inspired isn’t everything. Even when it come to poetry.
Poetry is known for being raw and vulnerable; more intimate even, compared to a lot of other forms of writing such as fiction, let’s say…but this doesn’t mean that it has to be all drawn from your personal life. It doesn’t mean that if your life isn’t full of mouth watering content, that you cannot write good poetry.
I’m going to share a couple of ways you can cultivate your craft and become a better writer without focusing solely on inspiration.
1. This is one that you will see everywhere from every writer on the planet but it is truly an important one… Read! Reading is necessary, not so much for inspiration but also to teach you things! You can not only learn new ways of writing dialogue or formating poems but you can also see all the ways in which successful writers lay things out in their stories/books/poems. Also, reading the dictionary and choosing random words to build poems off of (basically like a prompt) can also help you become a better writer. Learn how to use words that you're unfamiliar with!
2. Step outside of your normal genre. I recently tried to step out of my genre and into a more scary/horror/halloween style and although, it didn’t go the way that I wanted it to… It taught me that I truly need to practice in different areas of writing and also it was fun to be challenged and inspired me to write something in my own genre! Although my pieces were rejected, I greatly appreciated the feedback I got and was happy, truly, because I knew the pieces I submitted were not my best writing due to the fact that I was so uncomfortable stepping into those writing spaces.
3. Step up and write even when you have nothing to say. I’m going to give off some tough love vibes here but, if you want to be a writer, you have to write. You cannot make excuses for why you haven’t met a deadline and expect people to want to work with you. So write. When you’re tired. When you’re mad. When you feel like there is absolutely nothing to write about. Write anyways.
4. Do research. As a writer myself, I love this. I love doing research. Research new poetry styles, forms, etc. Try them out! I research tons of things like “How does J.K. Rowling outline?” These things are important because some of the best writers in the world have cultivated particular systems to help themselves write amazing books and in turn, these systems could also potentially help you! I’m not saying you will love the way that J.K. meticulously outlines but, maybe there is another writer out there who could bestow some knowledge upon you that would rock your writer socks off.
5. Take classes. Even if you’re like me and already went to school for writing, freshening up is a great thing! There are so many places where you can sit in front of your computer, in your pjs, and learn new things from amazing teachers all over the world. Skillshare is one of those places but there are a bunch out there! If you are looking to take a basic poetry class for example, Alison Malee has one you could take here!
6. Go on a writer’s retreat! Not only is it nice to get away from the stress of everyday life but being in a community of other writer’s can truly help you get out of your own head and more into your readers head. You can also learn so many things from other writers and vise versa. I’m telling you, inspiration will come, for sure, but more importantly you will be able to practice your writing with others reading it, giving input, and being involved in your process which will immensely help you cultivate your craft. If you can't go on a retreat you could also check out something like this... You don't have to leave your home and who knows how it could affect your writing! (I'm actually doing a session Tuesday!)
7. Last but not least… Let others critique your work without getting upset!! You have to learn how to let people make comments, real comments, not just Instagram “spreading love today!” comments. You have to allow others to tear your work apart and see what they see. It is huge for your work and also for you as a writer, to be able to see those critiques and grow from them! I suggest that you find a group of other writer’s to join or create your own! Make sure there are rules if you plan to create your own, as well as, enforce those rules.
I hope these tips and tricks helped you and maybe inspired you to break out of some mindsets that hold you back from writing the content that you would really like to write! Also, if you would like to join a writing group you can check out my Patreon here! I'm working on some great things, including a writing group!