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Suffering from "writer's block"? Feeling uninspired? Don't fret! Here are five simple steps to improve your poetry, summon your Muse, and help you tackle your writing with a fresh, unique perspective.

Step one: A change of scenery
If you are constantly writing in the same place, this could be detrimental to your poetry. If this place happens to be somewhere stressful-such as work or a noisy house-it will compound the problem. Finding a new writing space is important-and it doesn't have to be the same place every time. Take a journal with you when you head out for the day, and try writing in different locations. Experiment with writing outdoors, perhaps at a park or a nice natural spot. Try writing indoors in a bar or diner, or someplace you wouldn't normally go. Attempt a poem in a museum or library, or other place filled with inspirational materials. Don't be discouraged if you don't see immediate results. It takes time to find the perfect place for you.

You may find that frequently changing your writing space helps you to assume a "character" when you write your poetry. You may find your poems to be more diverse than ever, as though you were several separate people writing with their own distinct personality. It's a great way to test the limits of your creative talent!

Step two: Personalizing your writing space
Once you've found the perfect spot, it's time to "move in." Candles, incense, and inspiring music are often very conducive to writing good poetry. Find personal affects that special significance to you, or objects that inspirit you-such as artwork, jewelry, or trinkets-to sprinkle around your writing area. Having them near and gazing upon them while you write may be the perfect catalyst for your creativity.

Step three: Writing without editing
One of the hardest things for some writers to master is simply writing continuously, without stopping to edit or correct errors. Practice this. The more comfortable you become letting your hand fly across the page-without subjecting what you write to proofreading or criticism-the more free your writing style will be. After you have finished writing, you have all the time in the world to reread, edit, and rewrite. Don't interrupt the flow of your poetry to make changes.

Step four: Write frequently!
Practice does indeed make perfect. Poetry is no exception to this rule. Try to write something every day-if even a stream-of-consciousness journal. Make the time to sit down, relax, and let your thoughts flow. It needn't be perfect poetry every time, but the more you train yourself to get in touch with your creative side every day, the easier it will be for you to express yourself in your poetry.

Step five: Share, share, share some more
Take the plunge, dive in headfirst and share your poetry with others. Intimate poetry groups can be absolutely fantastic for the creative process. You can share your finished and not-so-finished poems with like minds, enjoy the benefit of their unbiased opinions and input, and polish your work. You can also comment and enjoy the work of others, which can be an endless source of inspiration if you keep an open mind. Overcome your shyness, and do not worry if you think your poem isn't good enough to be read aloud. We writers are oft the worst judges of our own writings. Allow those who can view your work objectively to help you craft your poems to perfection!

Whatever you do, do not be disheartened easily. Keep at it, keep your chin up, and you will master poetic expression. There is a poet in each and every one of us, coax that poet out of hiding, and above all, enjoy the writing process!