Practice Makes Progress

Here’s my first ever published poem, “Islands,” which appeared in Salt Lake Community College’s Folio in 2015:

And here’s one of my latest published poems, “Conviction,” which appeared in Indolent Books Online in February, 2020:

That’s what five years of practice looks like!

Poetry is one of the most subjective things out there, so I totally understand if you’re not a fan of “Conviction.” Maybe you prefer “Islands,” and that’s perfectly fine.

Ever hear the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure?” I think it’s a fantastic way to describe people’s diverse opinions regarding poetry.

For me, these poems represent progress. When I first started writing poetry, I centered every line, (an English professor’s worst nightmare) capitalized every line, (again, an English professor’s nightmare) and rhymed constantly. (Ugh, makes me cringe.)

Some poets love doing one, or even all three of those things. Just because I don’t like that style for myself, doesn’t mean you can’t. First and foremost, writing should make you happy. What’s the point of writing if it doesn’t bring you joy?

Progress looks different to every writer. Maybe your goal is to become an expert on rhyming. Maybe your goal is write the best novel ever. Whatever your goal is, don’t let other people’s opinions get in the way.

That’s not to say that you should completely disregard opinions. Feedback can be an awesome tool in helping you become a better writer, the key is learning how to decipher between constructive feedback and plain old complaints. We’ll cover that topic in a future post.

What does progress look like in your writing? Leave a reply in the comments! Thanks for reading!

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