Gabrielle is a history and law student who enjoys sharing creative writing tips gained through experience.
You want to inspire people through your work. You put a lot of effort into it—your heart and soul—did tons of research, edited and re-edited your poem/novel/blog, and yet...you feel like something is still missing.
Let's get it straight: inspiration is not something you should wait for, in hopes that the muse will have mercy and will come down and help your poor soul. Instead, self-motivation, trust in your abilities, and a strong sense of purpose are the factors that will help you succeed. The science behind inspiration is not so complicated. Make inspiration work for you, not vice versa.
1. Finding the Perfect Hook
It's hard to write, and it's even harder to find inspiration for it. It's difficult to craft insightful writing that sends out a deep message to the world.
So, if you want someone to be inspired by your work, let's follow a simple rule:
Awake in them a fire that will burn long after they've read your piece.
Imagine yourself feeling over the moon, ready to change the world, find the cure to cancer, and solve world hunger, all in the while holding a copy of your favourite poem at your chest! A beautiful feeling, isn't it?
The poem made you have strong feelings for something, it gave you an infinite number of ideas regarding a certain topic it covers.It has appealed to your emotions, your human in flesh and bones existence.
Readers are searching for something they can connect with, and through expressing your personal emotions lays the path to a successful, inspirational poem.
Hook examples from famous poems:
1. Nomenclatures of Invisibility by Mahtem Shiferraw:
My ancestors are made with water-
Blue on the sides and green down the spine;
2. Nothing gold can stay by Robert Frost:
So Eden sank to grief,
3. Dust by Dorianne Laux:
God comes to your window,
all bright light and black wings,
and you're just too tired to open it.
2. Have a ''No rules'' rule
Give yourself the freedom to just create. Explore your craft. Play around with meaning and form. Don’t hold yourself back thinking something like: ,,This is not good enough.'' Or ,,this will never see the light of the day''. In any case don't worry about the final product, my fellow poet.
Some of best works come when you feel unconstrained and completely free in the process of creation.
Find out what poetry means for you, and then magic will happen.
3. Know your goal
The verb ,,to inspire'' means to make someone feel that they WANT to do something and that they CAN do it no matter what.
Even this thought alone might be your goal.
You need to know what you want to accomplish before you begin any kind of project. Writing a poem is no exception. Ask yourself questions that will help you get the bigger picture of your soon-to-be masterpiece.
- Do I understand the feeling which my poem tries to express?
- Is my poem speak to one human heart?
- Does it connects people to something that matters?
- Is my poem one that will make me so mad I would to fix the world?
- What will make me happy about this poem? (The perfect answer for me is the process of making it.)
4. Metaphors are our bread and butter
The beautiful thing about figurative language is that it offers space for ,,something more to be said''. Consider these:
- every reader will interpret the poem in their own way, which means you will have made a special connection with each one of them;
- original metaphors grab the reader's attention and make them truly interested in your piece of writing as it requires creativity and deep analysis for it to be solved
- give a deeper understanding of what you are describing;
- a creative way to say something ordinary, plus a way to leave your ,,signature''/ show personal, unique style;
- explain complex concepts in simple terms: the world is but a stage (W. Shakespeare); dying is a wild night and a new road (E.Dickinson); a good conscience is a continual Christmas (B. Franklin)
5. Key element in an inspiring poem: Be yourself
It sounds obvious, doesn’t it? Then why so many struggle with it?
All we can do is express ourselves in our own way, and let those who resonate with us gravitate towards us.
One must be able to receive any kind of feedback, especially artists.You need courage to face the fear of rejection, resistance, or criticism.
Your work will be filled with personality once you let go of all the fears and hesitations. This will be the start of a truly motivating style of writing we all aim to achieve.
What do you represent? What do you stand for? What are your values/beliefs?
Bonus tip! Zoom in on an aspect
I remember when I did my research for novel writing, Richard Price's advice left me speechless due to it's simplicity yet raw strength .
Don't write about the horrors of the war, write about a kid's burnt sock on the road.
I thought why not apply this to poetry too? This tip sticked with me since then and believe me it has made amazing changes! Not only did it gave me a clearer view on how to approach the subject, but also made my writing more powerful in terms of persuasion. Try it yourself and you will be surprised!
Let the words flow. Do not be afraid and put everything that comes to your mind on the paper. Eventually, it will make sense and you will see a shining pearl rising from all the scribbled words.
And the most important:
Do not wait for inspiration to fall upon you. You will miss so much opportunities if you will keep waiting waiting for that special moment. Let your intelligence go wild and have fun! To motivate you to go and bring your unique works to life, here is one of my favourite inspiring quotes:
Feel free to comment your own tips for writing great poetry! Let's inspire each other.