My #poetsofinstagram Toolkit

So another FAQs (frequently asked questions) I always receive is: How do you make your poem images on Instagram?

By that, they mean this.

Today I will share the tools I use to make a simple image for my poem. Read till the end of this post for some bonus tips related to #poetsofinstagram.

If you’re not into poetry, you can also benefit from what I share to make quote images, posters for your business or just to label your personal pictures beautifully from your phone.

Let’s get started.

Apps

I use Phonto – It is available for Android and iPhone, no discrimination. It’s very simple and user-friendly.

Background

I always use a white plain background. But you can upload any images that you like. If you don’t really have beautiful picture of your own, you can browse through Free Stock Photo sites for amazing free photos. My favourite would be Unsplash.

If you don’t find anything that you like over there, there’s 20 other free stock photo sites here.

Another good idea for background is to use vintage paper image, this can easily be searched and downloaded from Google. Here’s an example from my poet friend’s Instagram account:-

by @lyanne.poetry

Font

Many people get frustrated with the choices of font on Phonto. But do you know that you can actually download ANNNYYY font that you like and install it on the apps. Just go to dafont.com and look for free fonts and you will be spoilt by the choices.

The one that I always use is,

Kingsthing Typewriter 2 – a (clearly) typewriter font.

Sometimes, I also use Libre Baskerville for ‘book pages’ feel.

I stick to a simple style (no heading, bold, italic, or shadow and just use default spacing) – to be specific, my favourable font size is 22 and I always align my text to the center.

There are many other tools and ways to showcase your poetry on Instagram but these are the things I basically use to make mine. Easy, right?

Bonus tips

1. The online world is very noisy. This is a very cliche advice, but the most important thing before you put yourself out there is to be yourself, always write your own voice.

2. Use hashtags so that it’s easy for readers to find your poems. Do you know that you can use up to 30 hashtags per post? Here are some famous hashtags suggestion for #poetry

#poem #love #poet #writer #poetsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #writing #art #words #poems #quotes #poetrycommunity #wordporn #quote #poetsofig #life #music #writersofig #spilledink #poetryisnotdead #spokenword #prose #instapoet #inspiration #artist #writerscommunity #instagood #creativewriting #poets #writers

3. You can also tag accounts that feature poets and artists to be found. There’s a very long list of Feature Directory written by Her Heart Poetry for your reference.

That’s all from me today. Talk to you later!

Oh, if you haven’t followed my Instagram account yet, please do so. At my current pace, I’ll try to write one poem per week and I’m looking forward for your feedback on them. Bye bye, thanks for reading.

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How I Write My Poems

A girlfriend (with her cute little kids) staying over at my place last week asked me about my poems. She’s amazed on how I choose certain words over certain words in my poems and she’s curious about my whole process of writing it. Is it really like jotting down prophecy or random inspiration? She said that every line sounds like different stories but as a whole, go well with each other. I take that as a compliment though I sometimes cringed re-reading most of my pieces – too many grammatical errors and awkward combination of words.

So, I told her about my workflow trying to convince her it actually can be done by anyone. Oh yes, there’s a workflow.

If there’s even prophecy in writing poems, it’s only one thing. The feelings. I think feelings are the core to a poem. At least for me. Other elements are mostly composable and there’s always a way to work around it.

#1 The trigger – feelings!

My steps are; first, I’ll write down that feeling. It’s like describing a situation. Sometimes a story, but a short one.

This is the skeleton. The details, the sequence or arrangement doesn’t matter at this point, I just need to get the setting and the feel; how I want the readers to be impacted after reading the poem.

#2 The words. All the words

Then I’ll write as many words and phrases as possible to describe the feeling in both languages English and Malay. I’ll also think about the possible metaphors or similes that I can use. This is the step where ‘brainstorming’ happen. The paper will look like a mind map with clouds of words everywhere rather than lines after lines of sentences

#3 The puzzle

I don’t know how everyone else is doing this but my composing step starts when I put the story and all the words altogether like playing a puzzle. This is the most fun part of the process, it’s like fashion designing and mix-matching the words to get the best outfits, in this case, the poem.

Resources

My English is not so perfect so I used Grammarly to check my grammar (there’s a premium version of Grammarly and I just use the free one) I go to Rhymer.com to find words that rhyme, I think Rhymer.com is the top secret here. I discover many new words from there and my vocabulary improves each time I completed a poem.

Apart from that, I also rely on Thesaurus a lot and simply, the Google. You have no idea how extensive the research just to compose a single line. I believe it’s the same thing when someone is writing a book. Not just doing research, but a writer will also try different jobs and stay at different places just to experience different characters for their books!

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