How to Become a Poet

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Poetry is a popular form of writing that uses language for its visual qualities to create meaning and imagery. Poets are experienced writers that specialize in composing a many different types of poems for a variety of reasons.


Hey, I'm Joshua T. Osborne

In 2015, I said goodbye to 16-hour days and hauling boxes up and down stairs for a living (I was a mover). I became a full-time entrepreneur, and I made my money by helping business owners make money.

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What does a poet do?

Poets write many different types of poetry. They write poems based on specific events and poems that can take on many different forms and meanings. They use inspiration from their own thoughts, thoughts of others, and past events. They often write poetry independently or in conjunction with other arts. All poets typically have a common goal to create emotional and sensual responses and suggest alternative meanings. They use a variety of poetry devices such as alliteration, assonance, rhythm, and onomatopoeia to achieve their effects. They also use symbolism, irony, ambiguity, metaphors and other stylist elements. Some poets focus on a specific genre and others write a variety of types. Many poets often borrow styles, forms, and techniques from difference cultures and languages.

What kind of training does a poet need?

Poets typically need at least a high school diploma and extensive experience reading and writing poetry. Many employers require a college degree and some seek poets with broad liberal arts backgrounds. Many poets have a degree in English or creative writing. Some poets have knowledge of a second language. Poets typically take courses on many types of poetry such as ABC, ballad, blank verse, couplet, epic, free verse, haiku, iambic pentameter, lyric, narrative, ode, rhyme, sonnet, and verse. To gain experience many poets begin writing simple forms and then move on to more advanced forms. Poetry often goes through styles and poets must stay abreast on the current poetry styles. Many poets attend workshops, seminars, and conferences throughout their career.

What are the prospects for a career as a poet?

Employment of all writers and editors is projected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 10% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The increased demand for poetry for web-based publications will drive job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be good with keen competition. Poets with extensive experience and those with specialties will have the best job opportunities. Some job openings will also arise from the need to replace poets who retire, transfer, or leave the labor force for other reasons.

How much do poets make?

As of October 2009, the average annual salary for poets is $56,000; average annual poet salaries vary greatly on location, employer, industry, and experience (2).

A career as a poet is an excellent choice for people who have a strong passion for poetry and desire to create their own meaningful work. Poets must be artistic, imaginative, and creative, and have excellent writing skills. They must be able to express their ideas clearly and be able to adapt to different poetry styles. Patience, self-motivation, perseverance, curiosity, and a broad range of knowledge are also essential.

Joshua T Osborne

Founder/CEO – Mr. & Mrs. Leads

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