I get asked all the time what I wish I knew when I first started writing and sharing my poetry online so I put together a list. It’s been 10 years since I shared my first poem online and I never expected my community to grow into what it has. Here are 9 things I wish I knew back then. I hope it helps any of you writers, artists and creators to start or keep doing your thing. If you are a poet, share some of your work in the comments, I'd love to read it. xo Atticus
- Writing or making art for yourself is an important practice. It allows you to explore your own thoughts and feelings without the pressure of creating for a specific audience.
- Allow writing or your art to be whatever you need in the moment. Reflect on your life, ponder different scenarios and dive into your imagination, or clear your head of your worries. Whatever works...the important thing is to just create.
- It's important to treat yourself with kindness. Writing or creating art can be a difficult process, and if you are not gentle with yourself, the work can become an even more daunting task.
- Remember that there is no single definition of success when it comes to writing or creating art. Everyone has their own individual goals, and these may not align with what others are seeking. You should never measure your worth against another person’s accomplishments—your success will come from developing your own style and finding ways for it to resonate with an audience.
- The importance of learning and reading should never be underestimated when it comes to writing or creating art – both are incredibly important to staying inspired.
- Learning to feel all emotions that life brings cannot be overstated when it comes to becoming a better writer and artist. Using sorrow, joy, anger, fear, and love to inspire your work can only be done authentically if you can experience them.
- Having a community of friends and supporters is essential. My friends have been my biggest cheerleaders, providing support and motivation when I need it most.
- Allow yourself room for imperfection and understand that there will be moments of frustration, let these keep your journey in perspective.
- People out there want to see what you create. They want to read what you write. Don't be afraid to get negative feedback along the way, you are not here to please everyone.