Sometimes at the Endpaper Blog we get the unique opportunity to offer a platform to creative journallers from around the world. Today, we are excited to welcome professional poet and writer Jon Woods to the Endpaper Blog, as he shares his hard-earned advice for aspiring poets.
7 Things a Poet Wishes They Knew Before Starting a Career in Poetry
By Jon Woods
Being a poet can be both incredibly rewarding yet very difficult! Each poem produced is a personal outpouring of creativity, molded into fragments from our imagination. To ensure aspiring poets are not caught by surprise, here are seven important lessons I wish I knew before I started my career in poetry. From trying to find an agent to putting time aside for new material, I hope this gives you the boost you need to follow your dreams.
- Read! Keep up to date with literary journals and who edits what. Familiarize yourself with techniques used in the best poems ever written and try out styles from famous poets to see if they take to your own. Keep an eye on the type of poetry literary journals are publishing, as it could be useful to your own work. Read as much poetry as possible, new and old, engaging with poets across the board. You never know what you may find, and who will inspire your own journey.
- Always have a notepad on your person. Large or small, it is fundamental that you always have tools nearby to write down those fleeting bursts of creative energy. Even next to your bed, you never know when moments of inspiration will come.
- Network, network, network. You never know who you will meet, or who knows who. It may be a chance encounter at a poetry event or someone you have admired for years. You want your name to start to become known in the circles you want to be part of, so don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to the people you need to know.
- Social media can be really useful in building your brand. Adding illustrations or photographs which illustrate your work can add a third dimension to your work, and make you more recognizable. Follow publishers and agents who you admire, and send a message asking them to have a look through your page. There is no harm in reaching out!
- Keep yourself curious! This can be the best way to overcome creative blocks. Not every day is to be spent at your desk writing and working. Take yourself for a daytrip with friends to a nearby wood, or have a culture trip round a museum or local historical landmark. Keep yourself engaged with your surroundings, and see what is going on in the local community. Often there can be arts fairs you can get involved with, which can also be a way of meeting new and likeminded people!
- Greetings cards are a great way to monetize poetry. Make your own online and include some short excerpts of your own poetry within each, with your social media handles included on the bag. Spread the word of your own voice while making some money to support your blossoming career!
- Keep in touch with fellow poets! Art communities can be super supportive, so keep in touch with the poets you meet along the way and offer helping hands to each other, if and when needed. You never know what could be around the corner! It never hurts to be kind!
A career in poetry isn’t easy, but with these easy steps there is plenty to build on. Have faith in your work, and people will be sure to pick up your talent!
About the Author
Jon Woods is a professional poet and writer with a passion for words, and believes in their inherent power in expressing meaningful thoughts. When he is not writing, Jon likes to spend most of his spare time reading or exploring the great outdoors with his dog, Sal.