Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Writing Wednesday: Writing A Poem a Day is Hard

Writing a poem a day is HARD, much harder than I expected it to be. I am a huge fan of Nanowrimo and can usually write 2000 words a day when properly motivated, but a poem a day? Even a short one? Well, this is turning out to be a different kind of challenge for me.

Part of it is the lack of flexibility. With Nano, you could take a day off, or only write a little bit, but make up for it later in a great show of writing frenzy. At times, the novel takes on its own momentum and almost writes itself.

A poem a day is much more disciplined. And it uses a different part of my brain. Which is good. Which is why I chose not to join Camp Nano this month and do Napowrimo instead.

I also need a different kind of head space to write a poem - it's a struggle to come up with a unique idea and form and carry it out every day. With novel writing it is different. Even when I don't know what to write, there is usually some logical thing to do next, or I can have characters bash around together until something happens. With poetry, I have to make it all happen. Though, I must say, the prompts help. And I do write random words or ideas down until something solidifies.

Also, in the past, I only wrote poems when inspired. I'd have a niggling in my brain, an urge to write something that wouldn't go away, so I'd write it all down and move on. With Napowrimo, I've been writing a poem every day, whether I feel like it or not.

And, today is only the 10th day! It's been a long road to write the nine poems that I've posted so far. It's been hard to post them. Again, with the novel writing, I write bad first drafts and I know it, I don't show them to anyone until I've edited for months. I feel raw and exposed posting these poems every day.

I would love to hear from others writing Napowrimo or taking on other writing challenges and hear how you are doing.

If you are interested in Napowrimo, click here for the link.


  1. First, I have to say that the picture at the beginning of your post is perfect. She has the funniest expression on her face.

    I am also doing the NaPoWriMo challenge for the first time this year. It was hard coming up things to write the first week, but it has gotten a little easier. Today, I had a poem that I had written last month that fit the prompt, and I posted it, but then had that unfinished feeling nagging at me until I wrote something else. (I hear that people who exercise get a similar feeling when they miss a day...)

    I have found that three things have made it easier for me.

    1. It falls in line with the purpose of my blog. Almost everything that I post is a first/rough draft. I wanted an incentive to write anything and created my blog for that. I have found that the scary exposed feeling is not nearly as strong as it used to be.

    2. I am sticking to short forms of poetry because they are newer to me and don't seem to wear me out as fast.

    3. I am still participating in other prompts, just not as fully as before, and combining them with the NaPoWriMo prompts. I have't figured out how to embed links in comments, but I like dVerse, The Mag (magpie tales), Three Word Wednesday, Kellie Elmore's Free Write Friday and The Sunday Whirl.

    I hope this helps some and wasn't too long. I really enjoy your blog and your poems!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and I don't mind long comments, especially ones as thoughtful as yours. I love the picture too - it made me laugh. I appreciate your advice. I will certainly check out your blog, I love the purpose behind it.

  2. I felt it too, after day 9. It was as if scores of poets' momentum waned and drained. I wanted to write a post similar to yours. I am glad you did.

    Then serendipity stepped in and some real life events lined up with the Day 10 prompt (my day 10 poem is here if you're interested: I was re-energized at least for a few more days.

    1. Yeah for being re-energized! Glad I wasn't alone in those early hard days. I'll go check out your poem right now.


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