Twenty-five months… the age of this blog. Started April 1, 2014, it was to serve as a way for me to participate in National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo), and perhaps continue with blogs about things real or imagined. Well, those blogs occurred infrequently, although you could say the poems I write and post are about things real and imagined. Even those were few and far between, once my first NaPoWriMo was over.
But then, a couple of months after my second go around in 2015, I decided that having more poetry in my life would motivate me to write. So, I made the effort to check on the poets I was supposed to be “following,” and I actually started following them on a daily basis. This led me to other poets to follow, and now I find myself fretting when I need to catch up on a day or three, following a trip or other event.
I’ve learned new forms of poetry, even tried some of them through prompts or challenges, and I’ve been inspired by the poems I’ve read. For years I avoided reading the words of “contemporary” poets, out of the fear that I might end up plagiarizing or mimicking others. In the process, I was short-changing myself. A single word from another poet, or the thought behind a poem can take my mind places it might not have otherwise gone. I see that now, and I see that my writing has expanded by recognizing that.
I’ve now completed my third NaPoWriMo, and despite the trepidation I had (again) on entering, it was much easier for me this year. The fact that I have been writing at least three poems a week for the past six months was part of that, especially with the desire to meet prompts and challenges as an incentive. In fact, I also followed the daily prompt from napowrimo.net on six occasions, and I actually posted 41 poems for the month of April. (For the one day on which I posted three poems, two of them were from my archives, going back more than twenty years.) I even included video for two of them. I’ve enjoyed making video poems (especially editing graphics), in the past, but these were the first I’d done for WordPress.
My goal of reading everything tagged “napowrimo” just wasn’t possible this year. After the first two days, it became clear just how unrealistic that goal was, so instead I’ve occasionally checked in on several standouts from those two days, and from comments and pingbacks on the napowrimo.net blog. By the time I’m done reading, I’m sure I’ll be following more poets. Many of the poets I already follow post on a daily basis, but it has been nice to see their responses to the daily prompts. Overall, it’s been a rewarding month for poetry.
Of course (Wait! Is “of course” acceptable?), I don’t expect to write a poem each day, but I can see myself getting there. I will continue my tradition of posting a poem on May 1st, and that will follow shortly.
I’m looking forward to my next year of writing.