Creative, Opinion

Opinion: Should Writers be Worried About Instagram Poets?

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As an aspiring writer, I always worry that I’m not good enough, or that I’m not doing enough; and when you’re scrolling through Instagram, looking at other people’s work, it’s difficult not to compare. 

Instagram is now one of the many places where we can read poetry. Most of them are poetry appreciation accounts, in which users post their favourite poets or poems. Others are actual poets trying to get their work noticed.

And who can blame them? Every creative person that I know, whether writer, artist or singer (including myself), has this little voice inside of them that screams ‘Look at me! Like me! Like what I create!’ and that’s okay. have platforms like Instagram created entirely for that purpose. We all want to be known for something, and we all feel like we need to leave our mark on the world.

However, the main worry for some writers is that Instagram poets and poetry are taking away from ‘classic’ poetry forms and ‘traditional’ poets. Some believe that the rise of Instagram poets and poetry will diminish what it means to be a ‘poet’.

But the great thing about anything creative is that there are no limitations.

Personally, I feel that if writers are worried about Instagram poets, it’s because they’re either not satisfied with their own work, or they’re too afraid to put their work out there. And we can all fall into that feeling of despair as you look at other people’s poems and see how many followers they have and think you’ll never be able to achieve that.

However, you can look at it another way. Instagram is one of the many places that you can get inspiration from, and if someone posts a poem you don’t like, or you’re secretly thinking I could write a better one than that, then here’s an idea: write one better. We need other people to challenge us so we can strive to be greater, and it’s what we need to keep growing.

As cliché as it sounds, every journey begins with a single step, so do it! Make a poetry Instagram! Even if it’s private, to begin with. Even if it’s public and you only have one like from one random account with no profile picture and one meme post; feel proud that you took that one step further to getting your creative work out there.

Here are some of my personal favourites from Instagram:

@quarterlifepoetry features poetry written by Samantha Jayne, which are all about living life as a 20-something woman. The account includes poems about creepy office colleagues, weight worries and living with your family. Very limerick in style.

@M.Mustum is an account made by someone who is a published writer and poet. Regularly posts free-form poems from their books. Mostly about love, loss, and relationships.

@poetryonlife is an account which posts poems by various poets and people, but all about life and its many wonders.

And if you don’t want to commit to a single account, just follow the hashtags on Instagram like #poetsandwriters, #poetrycommunity and #poetry_addicts.

These can just get you started following poetry, and who knows? Maybe you’ll find the inspiration you’ve been looking for to write your next big thing. 

About the author / 

Isabelle Singleton

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