Aaron McCollough told a Michigan Daily reporter "7 things you should know about being a poet." Deborah Ager has challenged other poets to come up with their own "7 things" lists.
and she provided a very good list of seven things. She made some very good points about not doing it for the money (now I'll wait for you to stop laughing and catch your breath), about not having to be neurotic, drunk, or a train wreck all the time, and about writing because you can't not write. See her complete list here.
Not wanting to simply repeat her excellent points, I came up with some others:
- It's good to read, and it's especially good to read poetry.
- You'll probably write some bad poems and a lot of poems that are okay, but just okay, and for every great poem that you write, you'll have written x number of those other poems. But, if you want to write that great poem, you'll have read about 5x or 10x of other people's poems.
- It's good to read a lot of different kinds of poetry, including work that doesn't sound like the way you write. Move out of your comfort zone. You can always go back.
- Don't worry about reading out loud, but get to know your poems as well as you can. You'll learn new things about them as well new ways to read them.
- Listening is good.
- Rejections are a fact of poetry.
- Enjoy writing. Enjoy reading. Enjoy it all.