Coffee & Contemplation: 5 Things Writing Poetry Has Done for Me

I have written poetry for close to 18 years. That’s a long time to do anything. In that time, I’ve written about 500 poems. That’s a lot of poetry. Someone once said, “An artist has to draw 10,000 bad pictures before they start drawing good one.” This is true in writing as well. I wouldn’t call myself a master, but after years of study and practice, I know a thing or two. I want to share my knowledge with other writers and aspiring writers. I’ll start simple with what writing poetry has done for me.

1. Poetry Helped Me Heal

I didn’t express emotions as a child or young adult. This was a survival technique I developed. I didn’t talk about or deal with my emotions. I started writing poetry in high school. The more I wrote, the easier it was for me to express my emotions. After several years, I could talk about how I was feeling. If I’m struggling with something, or upset, I’ll write to help collect my thoughts and clear my mind. Poetry was my gateway to overcoming my childhood trauma. I’m still healing.

2. Poetry Is My Hobby

I only get bored when I’m not writing or working on a project. It’s my favorite thing to do and it keeps me busy. I enjoy learning about new types or poetry, or new ways to present poetry to potential audiences. There are a lot of cool things happening from the Poetry Society of New York. I also plan to share my hobby with others to help them strengthen their own writing.

3. Poetry Improved My Writing

I write fiction and nonfiction as well as poetry. My writing in these areas has improved because I started with poetry. Writing poems with certain restrictions (rhyme schemes, meter, etc…) required me to find different ways to say similar things. This increased my vocabulary and even how I speak. It makes writing metaphors and similes easier as well.

4. Poetry Helped Me Appreciate Different Perspectives

One thing I like to explore with poetry is point of view. I play around sometimes with who is speaking in a poem. I once wrote a poem from the perspective of a building looking down on humans. I find myself having less trouble looking at things from somewhere other than my own eyes. I try to argue less and learn more about someone else’s viewpoint. Seeing things from the eyes of others makes me a better human being. I can cultivate that through writing poetry.

5. Poetry Strengthened My Creative Expression

After almost two decades, I am a strong writer. I stopped writing poetry for a while believing that chapter in my life was over. Through inspiration from a close friend, I started writing poetry again and that’s when I found my voice. That’s when I decided writing was my life purpose and I needed to find more ways to write. I also have branched out to photography, another type of storytelling. I don’t think I can live without creating something every day.

Many of the people I’ve met either like poetry or they don’t. There is no in-between. Poetry is not for everyone. If you’re reading this, I’ll bet that you enjoy writing and reading poetry. Don’t expect overnight success. Most poets don’t reach fame in their lifetime. And many more never earn a living with their poetry. I write poetry for myself. And I enjoy sharing it with others. I hope this inspires someone to write more poetry. I imagine a kid trying to learn how to see the world as I had. Good luck in your writing endeavors.