In this month without a post, I’ve been quiet, but not silent. In honor of National Poetry Month, I’ve been participating in the Sundress Publications NaPoWriMo! 30/30 project. In case you’re confused by the lingo (I was), this means I was tasked with writing 30 poems in 30 days, and posting my attempts for all to see.
You can view this work here for another few days if you care to look. I’ll be taking them down on May 1st to revise and send out the ones that work.
I learned a lot about myself this month of writing every day, something I swore adamantly I could never do when I was in my MFA program. “I have to wait for the spirit to hit me,” I’d argue, and most of the time people would indulge me with a nod. The truth is, that spirit can be chased, and from the chase itself art can be made. I even did double duty on some days, insisting that during the first quarter of the project I work on my hybrid visual poetry chapbook. It turns out, that stubbornness that worked against me in previous years could actually be redirected. I urge you all to try it if you’re as insistent as I am that things can only be done one way–the way that you’re used to.
Honestly, I plateaued the way that some do when working out every day. Around the middle of the month there were some days I would rather sleep and pretend the deadline wasn’t looming there in the dark, beckoning me to fail. Other days, though, I wrote two poems, and felt like a cheater.
The process itself has left me with what will be thirty poems that can be cleaned up and included in a full-length manuscript, or a chapbook I’m working on, or a new collaborative project. The thing is, I never wrote without a project in mind. It wasn’t as literal as saying to myself “today I’m going to write a poem for X,” but writing with intent made the project a whole lot easier to follow through with. When I was bored working with one theme, I’d work on a different one. In this way, I was challenging myself daily with different underlying threads.
When this is over (3 more poems to go), I will likely rest and revise. As of now, though, I’m not opposed to another sprint like this. Each part of the process (writing, revision, global manuscript revision, submission) needs to be included in the balance, though. As long as I can find a way to incorporate all of my responsibilities as a writer, I think I’ll continue to be prolific.
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