The AVBOB Poetry Competition | 6 Tips to Help You Improve Your Poetry Writing

6 Tips to Help You Improve Your Poetry Writing

Poetry writing goes back as far as there are examples of documented literature in human history. For centuries, it has been an art form, a way to express emotions, and a medium through which reality is temporarily suspended – or put in the spotlight. If you feel the urge to create poetry, but you are not sure how to get started, use these tips to get you started:

1. Read a Lot of Poems

Whether it is for poetry or any other type of writing, reading a lot will help you improve your skills. Make sure that you read the masters: William Shakespeare, Sylvia Plath, Maya Angelou, Ingrid Jonker, and Elisabeth Eybers. There is a fiery passion for words and how to use them that will rub off on you.

2. Find the Courage to Look Deep Inside Yourself

Again, this advice is not necessarily unique to poetry writing, yet still every bit as valid. When you write, write about what you know. It will be more natural, more nuanced, more confident in what it is trying to say. Use your own feelings and emotions. Things that you have experienced. Bring those feelings to life. If it matters to you, the chances are greater that what you write will matter to the reader.

3. Understand What You Can Learn from Writing Poetry

It’s not just what you can bring to the page; it is also about what poetry writing can give back to you. The more you write poems, the stronger your ability to capture imagery will become. You will see this skill translate to other mediums as well.

4. Understand Your Goal

Even if your goal changes during the process – which is certainly not uncommon – have some idea where you are headed with the poetry you are writing. What do you want your poem to achieve? Is it addressing a social injustice? Relaying a personal experience? Capturing a moment in time that deserves to be preserved? Knowing this will help you stay focused, making every word work harder towards your goal.

5. Write as Often as You Possibly Can

Something to remember about poetry writing is that not every attempt is meant to be a masterpiece. Explore, experiment, and try things in a different way. The more you write, the more skilled you will get. Rhymes, rhythms, and imagery will start coming more easily and naturally to you. But, most importantly, have fun with it.

6. Enter Poetry Writing Competitions

Entering competitions will give you a deadline to work towards to help you focus on a specific project and craft it into completion. What’s more, many of these competitions often feature a theme or topic about which to write. Use this as inspiration to create something beautiful when you are not sure what to write about. And, don’t be afraid to interpret the theme in your own, unique way.

Find out more about our poetry writing competition. Have a look at previous entries and be inspired to share your own unique voice with an active community of passionate writers.