How I Write Poetry
 
The first time I wrote a poem, I was on the bus home from school in middle school. Well, technically, I wrote poems in class when we were learning about them, but I don't remember writing them. Writing that poem on the bus was the first poem I remember writing, and it was the first one that mattered.

I remember leaning against the side of the bus, it was raining a bit, and I was tuning out my classmates. I pulled out a pen and the small notebook I used for writing down my homework assignments, and I wrote a poem. I still have it too, it's folded up and inside a shoe box in a drawer in my room at my mom's house.

This is how I wrote poems for a while, I would just sit down and stare at the page or out the window until a word or a line or a thought came to me and then I would just keep writing until something that resembled a poem ended up on the page. But then school happened, and impressions happened, and expectations happened, and pressure happened, and I stopped writing poetry.

Well, I stopped sitting down to write poetry. Sometimes an idea would come and I would find a notebook and write it down, but I was told that wasn't enough. So I would save it somewhere until I could edit it, then I would cut it apart and and extra bits and give it meter and make it rhyme where it was supposed to, and then it wasn't my poem anymore. I still have them too, they're saved on my laptop. I didn't keep their notebook pages, but I should have because then I might be able to put them back the way they were.

Now I'm not forcing my poems into anything in particular. I'm letting them come out as they want. Sure, I still edit them, but just enough to make them better. Just a bit of weeding. And I'm writing like I used to.

Most of the time I sit in my living room. I have my laptop on with Spotify playing my writing playlist quietly in the background. I open the curtains so as much natural light as possible can get in. I make a cup of tea and I stare at the page until something comes to me.

I follow a lot of tumblr pages that post quotes from books and authors and other inspirational people. When I'm stuck I'll scan though them for a while until I come across something, usually something I disagree with, and I'll use that as a kickstart to a new poem.

Most of my poems are pretty short, I don't like spending a long time to say something. Even this blog post is becoming a bit longer than I expected. Whenever I sit down to write now I end up with a bunch of new poems. Not all of them are great. Sometimes I reread them the next day or a week later and think, "I can do better." And so I do.

I just make another cup of tea and keep staring at the page and keep doing better.