Life as a Poet Knows It
Life as a Poet Knows It

What Are the Benefits of Writing Motivational Poetry?

by Leigh Fisher about a year ago in how to

"Poetry puts starch in your backbone so you can stand, so you can compose your life." ― Maya Angelou

What Are the Benefits of Writing Motivational Poetry?
All Illustrations Courtesy of okalinichenko
"Poetry puts starch in your backbone so you can stand, so you can compose your life." ― Maya Angelou

Writing about dark emotions and even darker social commentaries can feel cathartic at times, but what does wallowing in those unpleasant feelings really help you on a personal level?

Poetry is emotional in nature. What you write regularly will have an impact on your nature.

Subsequently, writing a great deal of motivational poetry can make you more motivated.

Whether you believe in the therapy technique of cognitive restructuring or the law of attraction, ultimately, they're both chasing at similar concepts; positive affirmations and positive thinking.

When looking at cognitive restructuring with Psychology Today, Dr. Alice Boyes writes how cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is helpful for depression, anxiety, stress, and a wide array of other psychological disorders. Changing your thought patterns can have a dramatic impact on your health and mood.

With cognitive restructuring, the whole goal is to change your inner voice, change your self-talk. Take out the negativity and make it more uplifting. If you regularly engage in imbuing your writing with positivity, that can improve your general outlook on life.

Even if you're not working through any particular health issue, we could all use a little more positivity or motivation.

I'm not going to delve into mental health, this is just to show how for a writer, immersing yourself in a motivational and inspiration poetry community can be seriously beneficial if you internalize those messages.

Science makes a good case for positive thinking, but so does the spirituality community. The law of attraction, conversely, is more about saying positive affirmations, journaling positive notions, and making statements that start with, "I am," stated in the present tense. For example, "I am motivated. I am content. I am here."

You've got to find the ones that work for you. Because there are a lot of affirmations that just come off as sounding like flat words that you don't really care about or won't really make a difference to you. But if you think about what your greatest frustrations are and then try to change your thinking patterns about those things, it can help a lot.

Back on poetry - I didn't put much weight in the law of attraction until I realized how similar it was to a very proven and well-researched form of psychological therapy.

Illustration Courtesy of okalinichenkoRegardless, as I started to think about motivational messages more for my poetry, those ideas started to stick in my mind more. It got easier.

Let's get into the key benefits of writing motivational poetry.

You're lifting others up.

If you improve the days of 100 people, even if it's just a little pinprick of light in their busy lives, that's lovely.

It has meaning.

If one of those one hundred people take the time to comment, and tell you so, then it's even more of a plus and a positive.

Doing something good for others makes you feel good in the end as well.

It'll help your work reach a wider audience.

If you are trying to appeal to both hardcore poets and casual readers, writing uplifting poetry will give you a wider appeal to your average reader. A fellow poet will appreciate a clever analysis of a dark emotion, especially if you wrote it in iambic pentameter, but there are a lot of people out there scrolling their social media feeds looking for something to make them laugh, smile, or feel empowered.

Of course, don't drop your favorite genres of poetry. Write everything your pen desires. Publish everything you want to. But try your hand at motivational poetry, and try to believe in the optimistic or encouraging words that you're writing.

You're making your own inner voice more positive.

It really is hard to write sincerely motivational poetry if your mind is polluted with negativity.

I didn't think this would happen. I started trying to write motivational poetry, but my early efforts were very lackluster and halfhearted. I wanted to start doing it, but it was during a time in my life when I was in a big state of upheaval, and going through a lot of stress. I didn't feel the words I was writing.

But I kept pushing. It's been about eight months since I started trying to take my poetry, and not just make it depressing expressions of emotion or dark social commentaries.

It took a while, but by forcing myself to think more positively, to put sincerity into my motivational poetry, I started to enjoy putting a more positive, empowering spin on things.

I've reached the point where I think of negativity and pessimism as two different things –because I am, unfortunately, a pessimist. However, while I remain skeptical of a lot of things, I'm trying not to let that skepticism and pessimism bleed into an overall negative veil over all my thoughts.

You're fostering more positivity on platforms saturated in negativity.

When I was a fledgling poet, and couldn't explain iambic pentameter to save my life, I was all about writing about raw emotion. I honestly didn't write about much else. And we all had those embarrassing preteen and teenage years that were amply full of dark, tumultuous emotions to feed that fire.

I definitely improved as I got older, and started to explore different topics and techniques, but I was writing a lot of social commentaries. When I approached any topic, I'd too often have a darker side to address somewhere in the piece. I was reading a lot of motivational poetry, but wasn't too sure about writing it myself.

It's wasn't until I started doing it that I started to realize its merit, and the benefits of it. I'm still early in this journey of using poetry as a vessel to promote positivity. I'm still trying to find unique ways to capture words and feelings with happy, mindful sentiments instead of critical, darkly introspective ones.

It's going to help you in the end as well.

Whether you want to call it positive thinking, the law of attraction, or the basic steps toward cognitive reconditioning, all three of these things have something in common; you're forcing yourself to create and repeat positive statements, often about yourself or the world around you.

Going back to science, The American Journal of Psychotherapy recently published a piece by Drs. Josh Rush and Aaron T. Beck that went in-depth into how cognitive therapy helps people with depression change their thought patterns, cognitions, beliefs, and errors in logic when it comes to self-deprecating thoughts.

I'm not saying poetry is the answer to fixing mental health issues, or that it's going to solve all the problems in your life–but it might help you feel a little better on an average day. I'm highlighting that there's some serious science behind how thinking more positively can make you a happier person. If you're a writer, trying to write more motivational pieces can ultimately bring that benefit to you.

Personally, I'm eager to keep that motivation vibe going in my poetry for at least 20 out of the 30 pieces I write for National Poetry Writing Month.

This is the greatest benefit of writing motivational poetry. You're putting more positivity out into the world, and in your personal life.

I'm going to end with one more quote from the masterful Maya Angelou.

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." ― Maya Angelou
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Leigh Fisher
Leigh Fisher
Read next: Poem: New Life
Leigh Fisher

I'm from Neptune. No, not the farthest planet from the sun, but from Neptune, New Jersey. I'm a writer, poet, blogger, and an Oxford comma enthusiast.I go by @SleeplessAuthor on Twitter and @SleeplessAuthoress on Instagram.

See all posts by Leigh Fisher