A Heron flies up
from the callows, leads river and rowersinto the day, lean in, catch, pull back, release.
- Immerse yourself in poetry. Read poetry every day. Read widely to find the poetry you love and that will inspire your own work.
- Make space for writing in your life. Let it be important.
- Join a workshop group or set one up.
- Go to poetry courses, e.g. in The Irish Writers’ Centre or at literary festivals like Listowel Writers’ Week, West Cork Literary Festival, Cork Spring Poetry Festival. I learned so much on the courses I attended and I got encouragement to keep writing. The poet facilitators introduced me to a wide range of poetry and helped me develop my own work. I also met many of my poetry friends on these courses.
- Take every opportunity that comes your way to read your work in public because that will help your confidence. Or set up opportunities by taking it in turns with a group of friends to host an evening of readings, singing, music.
- Join or set up a poetry book club.
- Go to poetry readings.
- Get six poems as ready as you can get them and send them out to a magazine or journal. Then get another six ready and keep going. Expect rejection and celebrate the occasional acceptance. When they are returned see if you can make them stronger and if not try sending them out again. Different editors have different taste.
- Last but not least – keep writing and keep redrafting until you have it as close as possible to a good poem.
“Cut and cut again whatever you write – while you leave by your art no trace of your cutting – and the final utterance will remain packed by what you have to say.”
“Practice, practice, practice, must be the practice of the artist.”