NaPoWriMo part 2

April 24, 2016 § Leave a comment

We’re in the final stretch of NaPoWriMo with less than a week to go, and it’s looking like this will be the year that I manage to complete it! The changes in attitude towards prioritising my writing and being a perfectionist that I wrote about in my last post have definitely helped a great deal. I’ve still found myself occasionally writing in the last two hours of the day, but my essay deadline now really is chasing me and snapping at my heels like a hell-hound.

I only fell behind once, and only by one day (and that was the day after my birthday so we should be lenient and accepting of this if I do say so myself). I told myself that it would be easy enough to write two poems in one day to get caught up, but it took a few days for this to actually happen. What kicked me back into gear was inspirational monthly live literature night The Stanza (based in the North East of England), which I’ve been attending for over a year now. I absolutely consider myself a page poet, but I also definitely know the value of spoken-word and live literature; not only attending events, but getting up there myself and reading my work. When I was younger, I was really taken in by the idea of the solitary poet, and while alone time is no doubt necessary not only to writers, but to everyone, I’ve found that you can’t shun the idea of getting out there and sharing and developing work with other artists. Not only is it a great way to test your new material and get feedback, but I can’t think of anything that gets me back in the swing like being in the room with poetry as it is happening. (If only the same applied to my academic pursuits – nobody could ever get me to enjoy giving a presentation!)

A notable challenge which I didn’t mention in my previous NaPoWriMo post, and which didn’t really arise until the middle of the month, is choosing subject matter, which is of course one of the biggest problems faced by any artist. For the first week and a bit I was able to use little notions and ideas that I already had floating around my head to kick-start my daily poems, but once they were all used, what then? Well, before this month I had largely rejected aspects of my daily life as suitable subject matter for my poetry, but in the search for something to write about I’ve ended up writing a good deal of poems about my work, which, apart from anything else, has been a pretty good way to vent some demons. Let me just say that I work in retail and leave it there for now. It led me, as someone who almost never uses curse words in her poetry, to spend a day experimenting with letting loose the bad language in one poem, which was great fun even if it won’t necessarily lead to a great poem! What it has also made me realise is that of course the things you come into contact with on a daily basis can become valuable parts of your writing.

Let me leave you with a haiku that I wrote on the drive home from The Stanza. I hope, if you’ve read my two NaPoWriMo blogs, that they’ve struck some chord with you, and helped you with your own writing, whether you’re doing it daily or on a more measured basis!


Add two bay leaves to
the sauce. Remember, poets
once were crowned with these.


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