I haven't been around for a while, so I don't know if words of the weary should be given an audience.
When I first came here, I was anxious and unsure, and through much encouragement, I learned a little bit. Not enough to make me a proper poet, but enough to make me stick around for a bit.
And I am at a loss as to what to say to you now. I went through several stages, the first being utter and total joy at finding my people (*smile*) nad wanting to pay that encouragement forward. So I tried very hard to read everything posted--and it was easier to do that when Pip wasn't so big.
I tried to accentuate the positive in my replies--but then I got to the "critique" part--and almost everyone has their critique flag turned on--but I found my critiques misunderstood for hostility, very many times.
As a student of poetry myself, I began to question my own authority...so I stopped.
As a student of poetry, I began to question my own ability...so I stopped writing too.
I understand what you're saying, but I have never reached a point where I felt happy about doing much but replying that I had read and enjoyed. This has chaffed me arse so much that I quit writing for a long time, too.
And I still don't like what I write.
But there are workshops, and the Deputy Mod forum is helpful to understand how delicately the diplomacy of critique should be handled, especially by the novice.
If you have some fresh ideas/solutions, please enlighten me.
I'm forty-eight years old and all it did was confuse me.
And to think, I once aspired to be a teacher!