Writing your poem
Theresa has some top tips for writing your poem:
1. What are you writing about? – It helps to know what you are writing about before putting poem to paper, or fingers to keypads. It is easy to get trapped in our big ideas, the campaign is focusing on our mental health Journey, decide what that means for you! You could capture a moment in your life? Or you could describe the journey as a whole? Or you could write about a part of the journey that is important e.g healing, growth? Also the poem doesn’t have to be about your own personal experience, so don’t feel any pressure! It does help to have an idea of what you want to share.
2. Create memorable imagery – The poems that will be shared as part of campaign are quite short, try using descriptions that create interesting and memorable images! Think of a different way to describe the mental health journey you are highlighting and celebrating. For example, you could describe it like a train journey, or plane journey, or you can use specific imagery that you like e.g. space, nature, video games etc.
3. Have fun writing many drafts – Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t pleased with the first poem you write, practice makes you better! Also, sometimes it takes a few drafts to get the real gems for the final poem.
4. Make use of your poetry toolbox – Are you familiar with simile, metaphor, personification, onomatopoeia? The list goes on and on. The poetry toolbox is so exciting! Maybe try writing lines using one of them you like, and if you like the line you could use it in the poem, or that line alone could be the poem!
5. A poem doesn’t always have to rhyme – Whenever I teach in schools the first thing most students ask is ‘Miss does my poem have to rhyme?’ The answer is no, but if you love rhyme then go for it!
6. Read other poems – Follow the hashtag and read other poems for inspiration! The internet provides such a wide resource, you can watch poems being performed on YouTube, or read poems online, or if you have books even better! Sometimes the best inspiration and learning comes from taking in other poems. This is a wonderful opportunity not just to write, but to get to read and hear more poems too.