I originally posted this 11 months ago after completing NaPoWriMo for 2013. This year I’ve decided to take a step back and concentrate on Jo Bell’s ‘52’ project (which lasts all year!), plus a couple of other projects that are taking up a lot of my time just now. I may well dip in now and again, but committing to the full month feels more than I can realistically handle.
So my contribution to NaPoWriMo 2014 is the following wisdom – if wisdom be the correct term – and hopefully encouragement, for those about to embark on this wonderful month of poetry.
- Figure out how blogs work before you start (after two years I’m still working on this).
- After you’ve written your final poem for NaPoWriMo, you’ll feel like you never want to write another poem again, ever. This feeling will last for about a week.
- What you think is rubbish poetry isn’t necessarily what other people think is rubbish poetry; the same goes for what you think is your good poetry too.
- There are lots and lots of lovely people out there writing poetry just like you; and they often wonder why on earth they do it, just like you.
- Some people will manage to post a poem a day in NaPoWriMo, others won’t. Either is perfectly OK, because no-one’s really counting; it’s the poetry that really matters.
- Take heart that there are thousands – maybe tens, possibly hundreds (maybe!) of thousands – more poems in the world at the end of NaPoWriMo than the beginning.
- Some days you’ll really look forward to the prompt coming through, and relish writing your poem; other days you’ll just be glad to get it of the way.
- You will make new friends. Some of your new online friends will become real-life friends. Who knows, one day, some may even become lovers…
- A few words of appreciation, encouragement or a ‘Like’ go a long way – however, don’t expect it, and don’t be downhearted if you don’t get as many comments some days as others, because…
- You can’t possibly read ALL the poems everyone else posts, every single day, let alone comment on all of them. If you did, you’d never have any time to write your own! So don’t expect everyone else to read or comment on yours.
- Don’t be too critical of the offered prompts if they don’t work for you; remember that someone has put time and effort into providing them for you each day. If you don’t like them, invent your own.
- You will tire as the month wears on, and towards the end, writing poetry will feel like a slog. Creating thirty new poems in thirty days doesn’t sound like a big deal at the beginning, but if you’ve never tried it – believe me, really, it is.
- As you post your final poem you’ll feel relief and elation in equal measure, but also a certain sadness that NaPoWriMo is over for another year.
Good luck and a following wind to all who are taking part this year. Above all else, have loads of fun!