Poetry is hard. For many starting writers it’s just downright daunting to look at the works of writers such as T. S. Eliot, Robert Frost, and Walt Whitman: those towering giants of literature with an almost mythic tone attached to their names.

For the writers, like me, who have found their path in spoken word, the likes of Sierra DeMulder, Bao Phi and Jamaal May also cast a long shadow and it can be a terrifying prospect, to try and be like, or better than them.

But, these idols are just people. Like us, they too have people they want to be. People they look up to. Like us, they are human; they have bad writing days; weeks; even months. But being able to pull yourself out of that is the first big step towards making.

Here is a list of places to find the tools to step upon your own path to becoming a recognized name like these fine poets.

Button Poetry is one of the greatest sites for young and aspiring spoken word artists to get their fix of new and passionate voices. It’s where many artists aspire to be. A serious voice in the community, this site holds great influence on a national level. Pay attention to it and its trends you could go far.

If spoken word isn’t your thing, the web has got you covered on print as well.

The Loft Literary Center, both online and in person, is one of the greatest tools a writer in the Twin Cities could hope for.

Open Book also houses many creative avenues for writers.

Another, widely loved publication that you can use on a laptop or on the go is the Poem A Day collections.
This is a wonderful bunch of work that gets pushed out everyday, rain or shine. If you’re looking to have your work published this is a great place to land a piece of work, and you never know when it could show up to anyone holding the app … instant global recognition!

Another place to start is within yourself with a bit of music. A trick that has worked wonders for me over the years is the building of a playlist: crafting from your iPod songs that can help get your mind moving in a creative space.

Craft a list of 25 songs or as close as you can get to an hour and a half.
Set aside time in the day and allow yourself 30 minutes to just walk around your writing space enveloped in the music and energy.
Then, sit down to write for that hour.
At the end you’ll have something. It may not be your best, but I guarantee it will be a good starting point for some solid work.

With these sites to get you started on your own way, you’ll be able to get a grasp on what you want and then start working toward it.

Meet the blogger:
MCKINLEY CIEPIELINSKI is a full-time student pursuing his Creative Writing degree in poetry with sights on becoming a professor and teaching his love of poetry to a new generation. He is a jack-of-all trades and has been a poet, writer, and part-time Power Ranger.

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