2016 Fundraiser: We depend on donations from our community to create a safe place for poetry online. This is the one time of year we ask, so thank you for considering a small donation to support our great work. Learn more about our story

How do I start writing poetry?

Writing a poem for the first time can seem super intimidating but it's really no big deal, trust us! If you stop putting pressure on yourself to be the best poet ever and instead focus on discovering your own writing style, you'll discover that writing poetry is fun and relaxing. Check out the work of other Power Poets here to get inspired and use this guide to get yourself started on the journey to becoming a poet.
  1. Don’t be scared of a blank page. If Shakespeare were here he'd reassure you that all of the greatest poems began as blank pages. Inspiration really is limitless. Instead of viewing a blank page as a void of emptiness you need to fill, try looking at the space as holding endless possibilities and it's up to you to pick out the ideas that mean the most to you. A good exercise to get started writing is just to sit down in front of a blank page and set a timer for 30 seconds. Write down a list of all the words that come to mind-- they can be completely random-- and at the end of 30 seconds look at your list. These are obviously thoughts and ideas that are relevant to you, so use them to try to create a poem. Just go for it!
  2. Tell those negative voices in your head to take it down a notch. The more you write, it is natural to ask yourself, “is this any good?” Though quieting the critic in your heads is close to impossible, and it is good to challenge yourself, it is important to trust yourself, your words, your mind above all else. Remember to be fearless in your writing and never let the idea of perfection keep you from writing your personal masterpiece. After all, if you don't learn to write your own life story someone else will write it for you.
  3. Use ALL of your emotions. Poems don't have to stick to just one emotion, because people don't stick to just one emotion at a time. You're human. You're complicated. Your work should reflect that. Identify what triggers the biggest emotional eruption inside of you and try to put that into words.
  4. Your poetry is by YOU, for YOU. There are no rules when it comes to poetry. It's not like schoolwork. There are no deadlines or restrictions. No one can grade you on the effectiveness of your work because your poems are written by you, for your own purposes. Write with only yourself in mind and never think of what another person's opinion of your work might be. Inspiration to write can strike whenever and wherever, so always be prepared and keep a notebook and pen on hand so you can put your ideas to paper.
  5. PowerPoetry. We've got TONS of resources like Tip Guides and Action Guides with topics to get you inspired to write about different themes and in different styles. We even have our very own Glossary of Poetic Terms where you can learn and identify literary devices. Don't be shy about sharing your poetry with us! Your fellow PowerPoets will love reading your work and you can grow together as writers. You're gonna be an amazing poet, we just know it!

As always, if you have any questions feel free to e-mail help@powerpoetry.org

Related Poems

Create a poem about this topic