Reflections on NaPoWriMo 2018

Well, it’s been a while since I visited this page. This April was my first attempt at the annual National Poetry Writing Month challenge. Although I didn’t quite make it to the finish line, I managed to amass around 25 poems. That’s a personal YAY for me! There are a few that I did not have time to post, but they do exist in a notebook somewhere. It’s fair to say that towards end of the month poetry writing got away from me when everyday life took over and distracted me from my creativity. I may post the last few poems at another time simply to acknowledge that they were actually written. In the meantime, I’m happy to report that this exercise did serve the purpose of rebooting my fiction writing – which is why I took up the mantle initially. It seemed that I needed to switch gears creatively for a bit as I became stymied by my fictional world. I doubt that I will completely abandon this format for my blog, but the poetry may be shelved for a bit. Thank you to those who took time to read and comment, I truly appreciate it!

~S.T. Marie

The NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo Community

I’m borrowing a list from fellow blogger, David Ellis (aka TooFullToWrite), and sharing some links to other NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo participant blogs and sites. Enjoy!

1. The Great Unknown
2. RIVRVLOGR
3. 1st Non-Manuscript
4. Flutterby’s NaPoWriMo
5. Ileea (Swedish blog, but Google Translate should help if you need it)
6. Zouxzoux
7. QUEST FOR WHIRLED PEAS
8. ORIENTATION::QUILTER
9. WORDS FROM A LYDIAN WORLD :
10. inktuition
11. toofulltowrite (I’ve started so I’ll finish)
12. barbaraturneywielandpoetess
13. words in your eyes
14. .: Arash’s Poetry :.
15. Voiceless Fricative
16. WHAT LIFE SAID TO ME
17. this and other poems
18. Voyagedesmots
19. MY OWN GARDEN OF VERSE – MEIN GARTEN DER GEDICHTE (a bilingual poetry-blog)
20. Unassorted stories
21. ARHtistic License
22. KATIE STATEN
23. Poetry by Hansen
24. Raven Redux
25. Summer Blues
26. kavyastream
27. Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings
28. TAROT PROSE
29. Tidbits by Shannon
30. SOUL STRUCTURED LINES
31. Rhyme and Reason – Poetry Meets Film Reviews
32. Art is Work
33. EAT ALL THE WORDS
34. Purple Mountain Poetry
35. Author Emily Ramser
36. palimpsestic possibilities
37. erbiage
38. CLAIREVETICA
39. What Rhymes with Stanza?
40. clayandbranches *
41. My Life Is My Making *
42. Suzanne Olivante Poetry (features image prompts) *

*These are some additional blogs I’ve stumbled across in my own NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo reading

NaPoWriMo – April 2018

In the month of April, the Academy of American Poets urges us to celebrate National Poetry Month – a unique invention that they instituted in 1996. They even provide us with 30 potential ways to celebrate. These include anything from learning to write poetry, to reading poetry, to buying poetry books.

30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month

As for me, I’ve been an avid supporter of NaNoWriMo for many years. For those who still may not be familiar – that’s National Novel Writing Month. It originally began as an annual event in November which encouraged writers of all talents and experience to come together, commit to a project, and churn out at least 50,000 words by month’s end. To be fair, that is quite a feat for those of us with limited time on our hands and I’m a rare completionist, but a regular participant.

Over the years, NaNoWriMo has expanded its offerings to include 2 camps in the spring and summer months, as well as a youth program and a script writing program. These offer more flexibility than the rigid 50k commitment in November, which I can definitely appreciate. In recent years, I’ve also discovered a splinter group that calls themselves NaPoWriMo – if you haven’t guessed, that’s National Poetry Writing Month. They’ve claimed the month of April as a time to commit to writing one poem a day for the entire month. This seems like a beautiful way to celebrate National Poetry Month. Plus, it’s less daunting for someone like me. I can commit to one poem a day a lot easier than I can commit to 1,667 words a day.

So, here goes…I have a few days to make up, but I’ll be posting each of the 30 poems here throughout the month. Good, bad, or otherwise!

A NaNoWriMo Failure

November has come and gone. NaNoWriMo has flown away with it.  After three attempts (we won’t count those summer cabin excursions in between), I remain unsuccessful in my endeavor to write an entire novel in one month. I know people who accomplish this task, so I’m convinced that it’s possible. Somehow it escapes me each time and the questions of competency, ability and doubt plague me.

As if a struggling writer needs more of a complex. In my opinion, every writer has some kind of complex. My writing group once spent an entire evening discussing each person’s unique psychological affliction. Insomnia was a common theme. It can be hard to sleep with all of those voices in your head. Seriously, someone who hears voices in their head is typically sent to the nuthouse, yet writers get a pass on that one. It’s part of our creative nature. Right?!

So, what is it that prevents me from accomplishing this one goal? Well, to be fair, I have to admit that I have yet to actually finish any one of my novels. They dwindle out in the nether without reaching completion. My muse is fickle in her attention. She grows bored easily and flits over to the next idea. All the while telling me how terrible the previous story is going. Plot holes. One-dimensional characters. Bad dialogue. Too much description. Not enough description. Is that another adverb? You’ve used that one at least 3 times…  I’m starting to wonder when my muse became my editor? Or maybe my editor is her crazy twin.

Sometimes it would be nice to silence some of those voices.

Perhaps for 2013, I’ll have to start my own tradition. How about NoWriYe? Novel Writing Year has a nice ring to it. Completion of one novel to silence the crazy lady in my head. Maybe then the next true NaNo won’t seem so out of reach. Onward!