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!