by Leila-Indira Mohabeer-Ortiz
Happy National Poetry Month! April is a month of joy, with the weather getting warmer and the sun shining brighter, the springtime brings forward a multitude of opportunities to get those creative juices flowing. If you find yourself with a creative itch to scratch, but you’re not quite sure how to get those words onto the page, take a look at these 6 tips for how to spark your creative joy this National Poetry Month.
- Take a gander around your neighbourhood, disconnected.
Observe your surroundings critically. Search for what you might not have noticed before. By observing your familiar spaces through a more critical lens, you might find something new that inspires you. What’s more poetic than seeing a bird take flight, its wings catching the sunlight as it soars?
- Listen to some music.
New or old, music is proven to increase creativity and focus. Revisit songs from your youth and open yourself up to childlike wonderment. Or discover some new music and see what emotion it evokes in you.
- Carry around a notebook.
You never know when inspiration will strike. It’s important to write down ideas when you have them, maybe you saw something interesting on your way to work, maybe you had a conversation with a stranger or a friend that resonated with you. Whatever it may be, if inspiration strikes, don’t miss out! Write it down to expand upon later. If you prefer writing with technology, start a note on your phone or send a text to yourself.
- Revisit old work.
How have you grown since you originally wrote it? What would you change? What do you like about it? Sometimes taking a look at how you’ve progressed is the best way to exercise your creative mind.
- Think about what you love.
How do these things make you feel? Whether it’s a book, your pet, a funky shirt, or some food, everyone has something that sparks joy. Figure out what makes you smile and take inspiration from that to write.
Write with a “stream of consciousness” method. Set a timer and write down whatever comes to your head until the time is up. You can revisit it afterwards to clean it up, grab sections and expand on them, or just leave it as it is! You could be pleasantly surprised at what you write when you don’t think too hard about it. Trust your instincts!
If you’re still looking for more inspiration, see if there are any exciting events and resources available through your local library, writers’ organizations, festivals, or city councils. For example, the City of St. John’s is collaborating with WritersNL to bring poetry to their city council meetings this month! Or, while you take a walk around your neighbourhood, be on the look out for a Little Free Library! And of course, make sure to check our Poetry Pause gallery for more inspiration, where you’ll find poems about springtime joy like “haiku” by kjmunro!