....from 'Poetry Splash!' e-zine Issue 013
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By: Arvind Passey.

Empowerment is not simply a management tool that improves sales results.
It is a mantra that gives meaning to life, fills it with creative
fulfilment, results in poetic output that motivates, and can even improve
a poet's sales results! :-)
The six habits that have the potential to lead you to better poetry are:

1. Create your own goals.

Why set limits to goal-setting? Why tell yourself: 'I can write only this
much & no more!' One doesn't really have to ask or wait for a teacher to
appear to discuss goal-setting. Look around, look within, search your
memory banks...and you have your territory ready for poetic goals. We are
talking of only numbers here...other features will be discussed in the
sections that follow.

If an incident provides inspiration for a poem, set a goal for two. Maybe,
in two diverse poetical forms! "Stretch" yourself, and you will find your
poetic dreams coming true.

The opposite will probably result in no poetry...

2. Coach yourself continuously.

There are poems by the masters and there are books discussing poetry. You
can and should read them...but what is more productive is putting yourself
into the objective third-party role of a coach.

Read what you have written and point out all the good things you managed
to do...an apt expression, a precise word, an appropriate metaphor, a line
that comes from nowhere to put life in a stanza...it happens all the time,
though not all at once. Pat yourself on the back and try to consciously
follow a few success routes...though not to reach the same destination.
Your aim should be to discover new routes, new gems of creativity in every

You can even ask yourself: If I had to write this poem once again, what
would I do differently? Such phrasing forces you to take an objective,
non-defensive approach to analysing your own creative impulses. By then
you will know instinctively what the subject really needed...and you will
be in a position to give it just that!

Thats what success is all about.

If you know something went wrong but can't identify what needs to be done,
reach out for the masters...or share your poem with a few friends -- they
will know why they did not like what they were asked to read.
You do not always have to have all the answers with you all the time...but
you surely must know how to use your resourses well.
That is what a coach aims for...always.

3. Recharge yourself with motivation.

* Between poems, between stanzas, give yourself regular pep talks. It
isn't just sales-people who need it (and do it too), even poets need to
keep pushing themselves from one slog to another.
The process of creativity is a series of 'moments of anguish', and pep
talk helps. Tell yourself how well you think you can handle the sort of
poem that you are attempting.
* Success isn't something that happens only to others...it comes when you
set your expectations high, though attainable level, and recognize that
successful masterpieces are created in small steps.
* Reward yourself! Celebrate each little poem that you pen. If you manage
to write something in a percieved to be difficult form, or have composed
lines that seem to twinkle and sing and dance...go ahead and do something
nice to yourself.

4. Be a trainer.

There is a difference between coaching and training yourself. You must do
Sign up for workshops and courses, attend talks and seminars, listen to
audio-tapes and lectures, read poetry and 'on the art of poetry'...all
this forms a part of your training schedule.
Don't leave these decisions to your parents and teachers (if you are in
school or college), or to time and destiny (if you are a struggling

5. Lead yourself.

Get the creative juices flowing by focusing on a poetic thread or element
that seeks to connect to your intuition. Be proactive and ask yourself the
'what if' questions:
* What if I had to write this poem NOW? How would I do it?
* What if I had to write a poem in this particular form?
* What if I had to send this poem TODAY to be published in the 'poetry
Splash!' e-zine?

Get the point?

6. Be frugal with resources.

If you even try to force in all that you know into one poem, you may well
end up with an effort that resembles like a small living room pretending
to look like a museum! Allocating resources is not just a matter for
management pundits to dwell upon...it is within a poet's courtyard too. As
in the corporate world, it is pay back that is a prime concern while
allocating resources, so it should be with a poet. You have to make sure
that every word, each nuance has a productive existence. Be harsh with
resources and you will end up producing a work that will survive a
reader's onslought.


Empower yourself and become a good poet. All it needs is discipline and
commitment to excellence!