|Writing is a practice. Practice writing what comes naturally from your mind and through your fingertips, either at a keyboard, typewriter or in a notebook.
Find an old spiral notebook and keep it next to your bed to write in every morning or every night, or keep a journal on your computer or at a typewriter. Make it comfortable. (Sometimes new or "fancy" notebooks intimidate writers into thinking everything they write must be award-winning or "perfect." )
Don't worry about whether or not your writing is "perfect" or "good." Just practice writing.
Don't sit down to write with an idea in mind about what you're going to write, or the form it will take. Just let your mind wander if that's what it needs to do.
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|My poetry eats it's way through my sock drawer
everyday after school
written in blue
on the bottom of my shoe
|Writing is not a solitary adventure. A great way to develop your writing is to read the poetry of others and allow them to read yours. Giving and receiving feedback is an invaluable writing tool. Find a person or group of people with whom you can share your poetry. Be honest in your evaluation and allow them to be honest with you. I also recommend reading books about writing. A fabulously inspiring book is Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg.|
|If your school, university or city doesn't have a poetry club or forum, perhaps you can start one. These organizations offer a great place to get feedback. There are also several online groups and resources available. Be sure to get permission to use these websites if you are under 18.|
he slid out of the skin, leaving it
like a dried lima bean hull,
white and papery on the road.
his body inched along
rippling its new red colors
bits of brown
seemed strewn along each arm and thigh.
it was a strange transformation
which had been coming.
the moon had warned him flipping like a fish in the sky,
a bowl of sweet cream left overnight emptied itself into the snake
living under the hearth.
when the time had come the old skin had shucked off
crackling. no pain
no pulling. he slid his wet body into the sun,
he was dry now
the ocean rushed through his head; he heard the crabs moving sideways on the bottom
and the fish
with their fins.
|Your final exercise, then, is to read poems to discover the style that most draws you AND to accept feedback from others about your poems AND to give honest feedback to others AND to make writing a practice. There will be no grades awarded for this. You're doing this for yourself.|
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