Starting Creative Writing 5 of 6


Poetry and language skills.

If you want to write creatively don’t underestimate the importance of writing poetry. Whether you are good at it or not there are benefits to be had from experimenting with this language skill regularly. People who write a poem every week, but are not recognised poets, do so because they know the advantage it gives them with all aspects of their writing.

This is why.

A poem should not waste words. It should not tell the reader everything, but leave them space to think. It is a medium to communicate a lot with a few words.

A poem is a place a writer can play with language skills and experiment with the use of words and punctuation.

Google ‘what is a poem’ and ‘how to write a poem’. There is no point in going over what is readily available online.

Find a small group to work on your words and improve your language skills with. When people critisise poetry or your writing it can feel like a personal insult – it isn’t, it is holding your hand on the stepping stones across a river of learning about how to write well.


Writing a novel is an enormous challenge. Don’t believe the sites that tell you ‘you can be a writer’ without experience and years of hard work. You can write whatever you like and everybody should, but to be a writer is a profession that comes with a huge learning curve.

Writing can be enjoyed at many levels and as your written language skills get better you find it is a process that gives you self confidence.

Try reading ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King. One reference book on grammar and writing isn’t enough, read lots, ‘Eats, Shoots and Leaves’ by Lynne Truss, is useful to keep on a shelf and refer to. Make grammar books your bedtime reading unless you’re a genius.

Read poetry, set a goal of at least one poem a week. Take a line or a word out of the poem and write your own.

Writing and not getting paid isn’t a waste of time. It helps life along like reading does. The more you do it the better you become.

Poetic skills that spill over into language skills;

Metaphors and similes

Assonance and alliteration

Use of unusual words

No wasted words

No unnecessary repetition only if it adds something

Show don’t tell

Get rid of those ‘ly’ words (carefully, happily, really etc, etc).

Write for a reader not always yourself

Write and rewrite, however many times it takes to get your words to the best they can be.

Don’t be in a hurry to finish a poem – it might take months or years to find just the right word or rhythm.

Ask google ‘what is a poem’ and read from some of the sites. Poetry forms and ideas can be found on this BBC website

Look up any poem you like on Poem Hunter.

You can add a poem in the comments if you like. All poems will be read before publication and no copyright exists. Write for the fun of it.


From the author of Marriage, a Journey and a Dog. Women’s fiction – romantic Comedy.

The Trinket Wife is coming out in June. Women’s fiction – romantic comedy.