Jiselle’s Evergreen: Where to draw inspiration

Inspiration for writing poetry derives from what you find yourself thinking and writing about most. Most writers and poets tend to write about things with similar themes, whether they write about people, events or things. There are many young poets today that usually write about specific subjects. For example, poetry couple Lang Leav and Michael Faudet are both published successful poets whose inspiration is drawn from different things. Michael Faudet writes about sex, a lot. If you are a follower of his work, like I am, then you will notice he usually tells his readers up front that his poetry is about sex. Lang Leav writes a lot about relationships; past, present and future. She writes about the destruction of relationships and the creation of relationships.

Why is what I write about important when discussing inspiration?

I’ll tell you. As a writer it is important to know what you write about because that will be what inspires you. For Michael Faudet the beauty and the honesty of sex is what inspires him to write what he writes.  What words inspire you, what topics inspire you, what social constructs would you like to give your voice to? Always assume that whatever you write is being seen by other people. With that in mind, think about what message you want to have your name tied to. When someone thinks of your writing what do you want them to remember?

Will I know right away?

You may not know what you want inspires you right away but if you continue writing about everything that’s important to you, you will eventually find the one thing you enjoy writing about most. Over the seven years that I have been writing I have found that what inspires me changes over time. Always write what is relevant to you. I’ve found that I am able to revisit the feelings that I once felt just by  looking back at some of the things I’ve written.

Should it relate to my life or what has happened to me?

We will talk about this more in the future, but I completely support writing about your own life and drawing from personal experience. Writing about personal experience contributes a genuine sense of importance and emotion. Readers will relate to your openness and ability to be vulnerable through your writing. I do, however, warn against using names of people in your poetry.  (Let’s just say been there done that and I wouldn’t want that for anyone else.)

Can my inspiration be controversial?

What inspires you can be  a controversial subject especially if it is relevant to the time period you are writing in. Don’t write anything that you wouldn’t want your grandmother to read. Keep in mind that these poems will show your stance on that topic and the importance of your feelings about that topic. Poetry with controversial subjects are about sending a message. The way you write about it will show how important it is to you as long as you are prepared to hear the opinion of anyone who disagrees with you.

Inspirational themes to start with:

Relationships
Love
Past
Future
Politics
Sadness
Death
Places
People
Family
Personal Struggles

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