Updated: Apr 14, 2020
Hi y’all, it’s Aña Anne, back on the blog! It’s wonderful to be here again, especially because I’m going to be doing something new this time around! Today I’ll be talking to you guys a little about my specialty: Writing poetry, songs, and raps that slap.
Read on if you want to hone the angsty poet inside of you, or if you’re just curious!
What is poetry and lyric writing?
Now, this may seem like a stupid question, but its answer often misunderstood. Figuring out what this craft means to you is the first step in writing such emotional pieces like poems and songs. No matter how good you think you are at it, and no matter what you’re writing about, poetry is from the heart. It’s an art form in which we spill our guts, tell secrets we’ve never told anyone, and get out all our bottled up feelings. The first thing you need to know about creating poems or songs: It can’t be bad, it’s art, it’s your bleeding heart put on paper. No one can take that away.
It does not need to rhyme!
It doesn’t need to be elegant and perfect!
It doesn’t need to have a strict format!
If you write from the heart, you’re a poet.
How do I get started?
My advice: Just write down whatever comes to mind. A very short story? Transfer it to a compact paragraph. A bad feeling you need to get out? Put it into words, write until that feeling is a memory! An observation you make about the world? Explain it, how you feel about it, how it looks from an outside perspective. Remember, there are no strict rules to writing poetry. You can pretty much slap a few words together and it’s valid. What makes a poem good is the emotion that it brings out.
Same thing for lyric writing, go with the flow, put down whatever you feel or think. Singing helps too! When I’m out of ideas, sometimes I like to sing until a mess of words come out, and then I shape a song from that! And general themes are always good to have when writing songs. If you randomly think, “I want to write a song about feminism”, go from there! Research significant events if need be, think about what that subject means to you personally. Song writing takes a bit more editing and effort, but it’s always worth it.
What should I write about?
Well, what is something you care about? A family member? Activism? Love? Your dog? Anything that you feel strongly about can be the central subject of your piece! Even if you think it is “stupid” or “trivial”, it matters! I have to stress this again: No rules, baby!
Oh God, how do I format?
First off, not to worry, I think we’ve all had this question. Second off, it’s kind of hard to answer. For poetry, this isn’t much of a problem, though usually the format mirrors the tone or subject of the piece. For example, a while back I wrote a poem about my struggles with Bipolar Disorder, and to express the ups and downs of mood swings, I purposely made the poem look like this:
Rise rise rise so sky high
I feel so free free
Like I could fly
Crash so hard
To the ground below
Who knows how far I will go
Now, you don’t have to do it this way specifically, but some people do. Formatting really depends on the poem and what you want to do with it. It doesn’t have to be anything in particular.
Songs are much different, but not hard to understand! Keep in mind, not all songs have to look the same; some can be small and simple, like George Harrison’s Something, while others can be long and stretched out, like American Pie by Don McLean. The basics of writing lyrics are as follows: Introduction (intro), verse, pre-chorus, chorus (or refrain), verse, pre-chorus, chorus, bridge ("middle eight"), verse, chorus and outro. Do with this what you will!
How do I make a poem or song flow?
For me, I always like to make my poems and songs rhyme in some way, it irks me if I don’t. But that isn’t a requirement! Making a piece flow is all about the beats, and if included, the rhyme scheme. Make lines similar in length, align words that sound alike (but don’t necessarily have to rhyme), or start every line with the same word! There are a lot of ways to make a piece flow, all that matters is how it sounds when read aloud!
How should I set up my rhyme scheme?
It depends! What flows the best? What fits the tone? I usually write in ABCB rhyme scheme, meaning the second and fourth lines rhyme. But not everyone does that either, many people like ABAB (where the first line rhymes with the third, and the second rhymes with the fourth). This question is usually a matter of preference. If you like it and think it sounds good, go wild with any means of rhyming!
How do I get good at writing lyrics or poems?
Practice, practice, practice! Read other people’s works, listen to music more often, try to get inspired! But most of all: Write!
How do I get inspired?
Poetry and songwriting are very personal mediums, and like I said, come from the heart. Be with the people you love, focus on the feeling you get when you’re with them. Go on walks and explore nature! Take risks, do things you’ve never done before! Those nights that feel magical, when you’re content and complete and you can’t stop smiling? Capture that. That is what poetry is about.
How do I write a good rap?
Well, rhyming is always key, as well as putting a strong feeling to words. A dull subject does not a good rap make. My advice: make your message powerful, and make the rhymes as similar as possible.
How do I share my work?
What I did was share on social media, such as Instagram, Wattpad, and Tapas! You can also use Snapchat and such, but I assume that wouldn’t have as much reach. Try exploring the writing community on Instagram and Facebook if you haven’t, and make your own account!
Share on writing sites, like Wattpad and Tapas. Show off to your friends and family! (Hot tip, check out indie publishing companies, they are always looking for fresh talent! Ambient Heights Publishing and Train River Publishing are brilliant, and both on Instagram!)
Alright, that was my two cents, I hope that helped you all in your poetic endeavors! My links will be below, and thanks again to Lev for having me on the blog!
Ana's Social Media Links