Just write. Write the way you want to write. Don’t try to be fancy. Don’t try to be poetic. Just write.
Let everything inside flow out of you. Allow yourself to be bad. Really really bad. Really really awful. Let your writing suck so hard that you use the phrase “suck so hard”.
Look around. Notice the clovers next to you. Think, “That’s pretty. Maybe I should write a flowery poem about the beauty of nature". Write in a fancy schmancy way that others will think sounds flawless. Use big words like “altruistic” and “ephemeral”. Look back at your work and cringe.
Ew! ARGH! What? Why would you write that? You had real, honest emotion about that clover patch and you even had a bit of an epiphany about the beauty and importance of all life. And then you wrote that trash. That wasn’t how you felt. That poem is not what you set out to write. That was not inspired.
Write first. Think after. Just write. It may seem pointless but one day you will have a process and flow and it will be amazing. Truly inspired.
So be terrible. Be honest. The flowers, today, did not flutter in the wind. Rather, the breeze shook them. Maybe tears did not painfully sting as they streamed down your face. Maybe they tickled, yet comforted you with their salty, gentle nature. Maybe as you cried you marveled at how something so remarkable, tears, could come from you, as if your body was trying to say, “Look at this person! This person is not OK! Help this person. Be a friend to this person”.
Perhaps the hummingbird did not inspire you this time. Perhaps you became frightened; you thought that a gigantic bee was above you. Idiot. Perhaps when you discovered it was a hummingbird you were too relieved to marvel at its speedy grace and vivid colors. Maybe nothing was beautiful at all.
Maybe, maybe, maybe, perhaps perhaps perhaps.
Maybe if you wrote the way you felt, you wouldn’t say “this one’s bad, that one’s bad” when your friends read the poems you posted on Teen Ink. Maybe you would feel a connection to each piece, not like they’re some alien substance you artificially manufactured and programmed to exit your body via pen and paper.
Or maybe you would actually be able to explain why a poem truly is “bad” by referring to who you were when you wrote that not-so-great poem.
Worried that your writing sounds like rambling? Accept it! YOU ARE RAMBLING BECAUSE THAT IS THE WAY YOU FEEL.
THIS IS HOW I FEEL.
(At this point, I got distracted by some ants and stopped writing.)