I Don't Consider Myself a Poet

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Wow! Busy week equals late-night post. By the way, don't forget to swing by the Writer's Digest Shop for all the great 40% off deals between now and Sunday (June 7, 2015). Click to continue.

Here's this week's Poet Inbox e-mail:

"I just wanted to personally thank you for hosting the PAD Challenge and enabling this incredible community of writers to share their creations and encouragement. I am truly floored by some of the poems I have seen, and it inspires me to no end, yours included!!

"I don't even consider myself a poet--just a fledgling writer trying to spit out her first novel (which tends to take a backseat during this challenge). But this group of people participating is just a wonderful bunch, and it is an honor to be a part of it."

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OK, first off, thank you for all the kind words about the poetry challenge. I never (ever) get tired of hearing how the challenge has helped people on their path to poeming greatness, whether in big or small ways. So again, thank you.

But what inspired this blog post is the first sentence in the second paragraph. I like keeping folks anonymous just in case they're bashful, but also because I've seen this same sentiment from other "non-poets" who happen to write poetry. Here's the thing:

If you write poetry, you're a poet!

No exceptions, asterisks, qualifiers, degrees, or et ceteras. Poets poem, and if you poemed, you're a poet. Simple as that. Period.

But I know how you feel. I used to be the same, used to say the same things. Heck, I still often apologize to non-poets for writing poetry--until I catch myself, because I should be owning that: I write poetry, hear me break lines.

I don't want to make light of this at all. That is not my intention, because this is serious. I've seriously felt this way too, and it's not right to feel that way--like you're not a poet, because...

YOU ARE A POET!

Repeat after me, "I am a poet!"

OK, again: "I am a poet!"

A little louder: "I AM A POET!"

Don't let anyone--especially people "who know what poetry IS and IS NOT"--tell you any different. OK?

Now, get back to poeming!

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which means he maintains this blog, edits a couple Market Books (Poet’s Market and Writer’s Market), writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine, leads online education, speaks around the country on publishing and poetry, and a lot of other fun writing-related stuff.

roberttwitterimage

He's poemed for more than two decades and still feels like he's only scratched the surface of learning how to be a better poet. That said, he's been a poet ever since that first poem. He is also the author of Solving the World’s Problems.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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