30 Poems, 30 Days

June 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

For those of you that are unfamiliar with NaPoWriMo, it stands for National Poetry Writing Month which begins on the 1st of April and ends on the 30th of April. In these 30 days, you’re expected to write 30 poems. Sounds tough enough, right? Well, let me assure you that it is.

This year was my first year partaking in NaPoWriMo. Though I have been participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – 50,000 words in 30 days) for the past few years now, I hadn’t even heard of NaPoWriMo until just a few months ago. When I did hear of it, I was wary of actually attempting it. I had always been much more comfortable with prose than I was with poetry, aware that prose comes much easier to me than poetry ever has. But I suppose these challenges are about pushing boundaries and, well, challenging yourself.

So April was spent writing mediocre, and often less than mediocre, poetry, most of which will probably never see the light of day because yes, they’re that awful. But honestly, it was a really good experience. I have 30 more poems in my poetry folder than I did before April.

The 30 days of being purely a poet also got me into the habit of going to bed with a pen and notebook on my bedside table. Many times in April, I woke up in the middle of the night and forced myself to pick up that pen and notebook and write whatever inspiration had suddenly struck me. I have gotten out of that habit more recently, but am trying to force myself back into it. I realise that I’m at my sharpest at night, teetering on the brink of sleep and consciousness. No, I’m not very aware of what I’m writing or what I’m thinking at that time, but that allows me to write what I’m feeling at the moment, without being extremely self-critical of myself.

My first NaPoWriMo was a success, though a success that was quite difficult to achieve. Hopefully, next year I’ll be able to attempt, and succeed at, the challenge once more.

Have any of you attempted NaPoWriMo? If so, share your experience of it in the comments section!


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