Well, April is gone, and with it National Poetry Writing Month (Global Poetry Writing Month).
NaPoWriMo was my motivation for starting this blog in 2014. My writing had fallen way off, and I saw that as a way of jump starting it. I was proud of the fact that I was able to achieve my goal of writing a poem a day, but my output pretty much tanked for the rest of the year.
I tried again (successfully) in 2015, but in the months that followed I saw myself slacking, again. So, I made a conscious effort to follow the poets I had encountered, and by late 2015 checking into WordPress became a daily routine. Reading other poets gave me the motivation I needed, and NaPoWriMo 2016 was another success for me. In fact, I’ve probably written more poems in the past year than I did in my first ten years, from the early 1990s.
Even so, I think I was as intimidated by NaPoWriMo 2017 as I was in 2014. For me, 2016 also involved following a lot of prompts, which I enjoyed, but I also found that I was turning religiously following prompts into a task. I stopped obsessing over (nearly) writing a poem a day. I also set about editing/rewriting (with some very generous help) some of my poetry from the last twenty years. When NaPoWriMo 2017 rolled around, I didn’t announce it in advance, because I wasn’t sure I would be able to write that poem-a-day needed to complete it. I shouldn’t have worried.
As I’ve said, April has passed, and National Poetry Writing Month is over. And, I posted 32 poems during the month. Two of those, the first and last, were my interpretations of literal translations of Chinese poetry, a form I’ve found I enjoy. Three were haiku, and three were tanka. I followed the optional prompt of Maureen Thorson at NaPoWriMo 2017 for 21 of the 30 days. Writing 30-in-30 was easier than I expected. Along the way, I learned about some poetry forms that I may try (or return to) in the future.
Also, in reading the poetry left as comments on Maureen’s posts, I was reminded of the many poets I never get around to following. Limited time in the day, and all, but now I’m following more.
Thank you to Maureen for those prompts, and thank you to all who have read my poetry. Here’s to NaPoWriMo 2018. (Fingers crossed!)