Hey, um, I know you’re very busy, but you’re the only person I follow that I’ve seen post poetry, and I just wrote my first complete poem, and I don’t know what to do with it, how to edit it or anything to polish it up? Like … all my other attempts at poetry stuttered out before the complete emotion got captured, and I’ve got no idea what to do now, if you have time to help? (or if you think you’ll have time in the future, I have an abundance of patience) thank you, for your time.

Hey lionheadbookends! Luckily you caught me in the limited window of free time, so I’m able to answer your ask now though I’m not entirely sure how much help I’ll be:

I’m honored that you thought of me in relation to poetry, but I’ll be honest… I don’t really know much about it at all. Usually the poetry I post up here is kind of stream of consciousness burbling up from my mind when no narrative can convey what I want it to, and except for here on tumblr (and, technically, the cross-posting onto ao3) I don’t really publish my work anywhere. I mean, I guess technically I don’t publish my work at all since even my few “real world writing” is in play format and so not published per se so much as performed a bit and then not at all.

I guess mostly it depends on what you want the poetry to be. Generally my poetry is me expressing (usually negative) emotions or concepts to declutter my brain so when I post it onto tumblr it’s almost like me throwing letters in bottles out into the ocean. It’s nice if someone reads them and enjoys them, but ultimately the act of writing it was all I wanted–everything else is inconsequential to my goal.

So what would you like your poetry to be? Is it something you want to use to convey a specific message to people (or particular person)? Is it something you want to use as a foundation for future works?

If it’s the last, I think even those other attempts at poetry that “stuttered out before [completion]” could be helpful as a way to build upon and improve your writing. This is mostly anecdotal advice, and somewhat cliché at that, but writing is very much something you have to practice to improve upon, like exercising a muscle, and as seen with me in the past few months, if you don’t use it, it does become more difficult.

… as I said before, I don’t think this is of much help, but I’m glad to hear you’ve written a poem that you’re satisfied with! I think that–your personal satisfaction with what you’ve written–is what is most important, especially with poetry which is so emotionally charged and intimate.

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