Monday, May 21, 2012

Tips For Writing Poetry Part 2

Here is part 2 of "Tips For Writing Poetry".

Feast and Famine

When writing poetry, don't be surprised to find that you have times of "feast" and of "famine".   

During feast, you will find that writing poems comes as natural to you as breathing in oxygen!  The ideas just keeps on coming!  Take advantage of this time!!!  Write down anything and everything that comes to you at first.  Don't over think it!  After you write it down, you will have time to go over it again and really think long and hard about if what you are writing down makes sense, says what you want it to say, flows together smoothly, has rhythm and rhyme, etc....

During famine, or as I call "writer's block", you will not be able to write anything down to save your lfe!  It doesn't matter how hard you try, nothing comes to mind!  Don't feel bad nor stress over this when it happens!  This is completely normal. There have been times in my life where I have gone months without writing a single word and then all of a sudden the ideas start coming again!  One thing to keep in mind is that you CANNOT force a poem to come out of you, if it isn't ready to come out.   Remember, whenever God wants you to write a poem, He will give you all the words and ideas that you need. 

Causes/Cures For Famine 

So if you are not coming up with anything, it could mean that God wants you to go do something else---like read a book, listen to music, visit a family member, take a walk, etc.... Just go do something that you enjoy doing.  Sometimes if you go and relax a little, you will find that the ideas will start coming again!  Usually an idea will come when you least expect it to.

 Or it could also mean that you haven't been plugging into God lately.  Recently, I was having some writer's block and after a few days, God caused me to realize that I had not been spending with Him in His word lately.  So that Sunday afternoon,  I took the time to listen to a great worship song by Margaret Becker called "Say The Name" (the song I described in an earlier blog).  And that evening, while at work, God inspired me again to write more poetry. 

One thing you can do when you start experiencing famine is you an perform a "brainstorming session".  Get a few sheets of paper and start writing down different topics you can write poems about.  You can even brainstorm different titles that you can make great poems out of.  I have often come up with a title first and then I would write the poem.

Keep in mind, it isn't uncommon that a poem takes days or longer to write. You may write down four lines one day, two the next, or you may go back to it after months away from it, and complete the poem then.  In my journal, I have had several poems that I partially started then after months sometimes a year, go back to it and finish it!  So don't sweat it if you only write part of it at first.  The rest will come at God's perfect timing.

Part 3 is coming next....


  1. I just got back from work and came home to some more wonderful posts by you! Not a surprise at all ;) I like how you compare writer's block and creative juices to famine and feast! It shows your creative side even when you aren't trying to be! The brainstorming tip is a great one too. I usually write the poem/song first and then try to come up with a title but I find that to be one of the most difficult parts! I will certainly take your advice about not worrying about not finishing the poem right away. There have been times when I would write the first stanza with no sweat, and completely blank when it comes to the second one!


  2. I must always experience a famine! haha. I always have ideas, but I can never put them into words that go together or flow. But I'll use your brainstorming tip. Have you ever written with other people? I always wonder how that would work out. My daughters are always writing together and I asked them how they are able to do that without clashing! But I guess it's also fun too, to see what others come up with and maybe get ideas.