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  • Writer's pictureSimon Mack

Poetry Writing: A Guide

Updated: Feb 16

Poetry writing should be enjoyable, healing and free of the constraints of the rules made by all others. In this guide by writer Simon Mack the internationally published poet takes you on a journey through the process of writing poetry that captures the imagination.

Being creative in any form requires freedom of the imagination. I guess we all have commitments, requirement to eat, sleep, wash & 'pay them', and this perpetual requirement to meet the expectations of the day to day is a toxin that has left me unable to peer through the fog of day to day far too often.

Finding scope in your life to adjust your mind away from the routine is in my opinion vital for creation. Adjusting your angle might be a frightening thought, however the norm will produce.....more norm!

Give yourself a jolt and climb from the driver's seat of life to hide in the bushes at the side of the highway for a while and watch the traffic fly by.

To me the ability to alter perspective is pivotal when embarking on creation. The adoption of poetry as a means of expression can take multiple forms, and be it a written artwork, a means to vent or a commentary on a situation or emotion, to be empowered to deliver your truth to the page jumping from the fast moving carriage of your life is key.

Mental state is a huge piece of my creative jigsaw.

Alluding to the amendment of scenario above could seem like I am advocating a seismic alteration to life is required to write good poetry, but this is a misunderstanding.

The shifts I refer to are of the mental state. I have learnt over time to move my mind, alter my state, amend my perspective, and place the fog of blah blah blah into a box and tape if over for enough time to inhabit a mental realm of creative freedom.

That place where I can create for me is true solace, and within this realm freedom of expression comes and the words flow.

Personally I never toxin my mind with others work. I am not a believer that there is a system to writing poetry, and in addition would fear by reading others prose I run a risk of intoxicating my own creation with styles, systems and notions that belong to others.

Find your style and don't be afraid to change it if it feels right. I have flirted with rhyming texts, random rants and structured pieces, and all have felt valid in delivering my intended message in equal portion.

'Intended message' is also a key phrase in my guide.

What is your intended message?

What are you goals for writing poetry?

What lead you to the notion to create in the written form?


In my opinion it doesn't matter.

If your motive for writing poetry is to be well known, famous or rich then I would give up now because this type of creation does not belong to a mechanical process pathway to stardom.

To write poetry well it needs to come from an emotion, a motive, an experience, a pain, an anguish or anything that evokes feeling.

Be it an observance or more personal motive expression flows from the initial motive and into words honest of that essence.

Who cares if anyone likes it, thinks it's 'good' or one days pays to read it?

What goes into words is your creation, or your own validity, for your healing, self understanding and of your desires, hopes & whims.

If you write from your inspiration point and let creation flow the result will be in my experience both a mentally nourishing and pleasing outcome.

When writing poetry I take great pleasure in the selection of my words.

For me words are like oils and a brush to a painter. Lord knows I can't paint, even attempts at basic drawing leave a memoir to a primary school art session, so my creative desires and urges flow out with words.

If you want to write poetry then it is my opinion that you need to love words. Vocabulary and the ability to manipulate it to deliver your intended message is an integral piece to creating in the written form.

Love words, learn words, and expand you understanding of words in order for the message you desire... no matter how beautiful or dank... to flow from you and arrive at the desired destination.

I've loved words for as long as I can recall. Words, their meaning and use I take great pleasure in and I would encourage anyone who want to take the maximum enjoyment from writing poetry to explore words and then enjoy playing around with them to create art in the written form.... poetry!

Wordy. Yes wordy. This is a trap that I've fallen into and for me it's a mistake.

'Flowering up' or embellishing your written creation with words that are not commonly understood or used can seem like a good idea, but for me it's absolutely not.

If you are writing for yourself only then as long as you are content then it's fine, but if your intention is to deliver a feeling or message to others then keep your poetry in vocabulary that others will not need a dictionary to interpret!

I enjoy treading the tightrope between scribing a comprehendible message whilst flirting with more creative, edgy words. I find real pleasure in that, and am delighted when others read my works and end up at a final destination that is not my intention.

The avenues of words are numerous, and the truth in them belongs to the reader. But if you make the maze to the message a complex path then your reader will wave the white flag of surrender.

Thank you for reading my guide to writing poetry.

I hope you found a basis here to begin to take pleasure in creating with words.

If there's anything else to say its nothing more than have fun, heal, enjoy, explore & don't be pushed of course by anyone or anything from your intended creative goal.

I find solace in poetry as a means both to scratch a creative urge & to purge my mind of creative spark. I find the genesis or creative spark to write a piece can come at any moment and from almost any scenario, but when it comes for me it's time to write, and even if you don't complete the work there and then (or maybe choose to go back over it at another time) getting that inspiration into words at or close to the moment is a vital to bottle the essence.

Simon's guide synopsis:

  • Find free mental space to create away from the daily drudge

  • Angles angles angles! Change your perspective to find creative sparks

  • Don't be swayed, influenced or restrained by the works of others, or genre norms

  • Enjoy & explore words to liberate your message onto the page

  • Words are your oils and brushes, see words as the tools to your art

  • Avoid becoming to 'wordy' and losing or confusing your reader

  • When the creative inspiration comes grasp it and write

Take care and good luck

Simon Mack

A guide to writing poetry | By writer Simon Mack

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