Greetings everyone! I’ve got a new series of posts I’m doing this month! And yep, you read the title right: NaPoWriMo is upon us. It won’t be for another month (April), but I think now is a good time to start gearing up!
How does one gear up for NaPo, you say? What is NaPo, you say?
NaPoWriMo stands for National Poetry Writing Month. It’s a less complex and publicized (for lack of better words) challenge than NaNoWriMo, however it’s equally beneficial in exercising those writing muscles while sharpening your skills as a poet. When I first began, it was a little difficult to determine what I would actually be doing during the month. Granted, the goal was to write a poem a day, but for someone like me, there had to be more to that challenge. At first my thought process was sort of like: Poetry is interpretive, so who cares if I whip up some half-hearted stanzas, post it to the blog, and call it a day? I wasn’t sure how far in quality the poems could go. I try to take poetry seriously, to be quite honest, because it’s my favorite form of writing next to short stories or lyrics. How was this going to help me? There’s so much more we can do in April than throw a few metaphors around and slap the label “poem” to it every day!
I decided I’m going to write about some of the things I’ve learned along the way while doing NaPo last year, and what I’ll be applying to my NaPo experience this year. They’ll be on Thursdays this month (and how fitting the last Thursday is the day right before NaPo starts!) so if you’re interested in them, keep an eye out! These tips will hopefully challenge you to take NaPo seriously, just as novelists take NaNo seriously. 🙂
Tip #1: Have a Game Plan
Just like in NaNo, you should have a game plan before April 1st knocks on your door. But, how do you have a game plan? Poetry isn’t always something you can force out of yourself in order to adhere to a guideline. What I mean by a ‘game plan,’ however, is something much different.
By game plan I mean: start organizing in a way that will allow you to poet every day. Believe it or not, writing a poem a day is a difficult task depending on our schedules and creativity and means of poeting. Make a game plan based on your preferences and your poeting capabilities! Search for ways you can master NaPo this year.
- Utilize daily writing prompts. If you’re stuck on where to even begin, NaPoWriMo has a daily writing prompt you can use on their website. Other writing websites do the same. This is one way you can keep your ‘poeting’ on track without letting life get in the way. Bookmark your writing prompt sources and make a note to check them daily.
- Make a schedule: when are you going to write your poetry? What times of the day are you completely available? Add that in to remind you. Even though sometimes unexpected things arise, it’s better to set aside a time you know you most likely can get your poeting done.
- Set a weekly theme you’re going to follow. Last year I created my own writing prompts to follow with a weekly theme (i.e. week one was ‘nature’, another week was ‘relationships’) but it ended up getting hard to follow because I didn’t try the second bullet point above. However, you may find this helpful in narrowing down the possible topics to write about each day of the week.
- Reach out to your poet buddies! Who else is participating in NaPo? What are they going to do in order to write a poem every day? Set goals with one another and challenge each other before the month begins.
To sum things up: have an idea of what you’re going to do. It’s true that poetry is different from writing a novel, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan ahead. The points above may benefit you in confidently starting this challenge on the right foot; you don’t want to get caught in a slump and get behind either because you didn’t have time or you had no clue what to write.
More tips to come!
Are you doing NaPoWriMo this year? What are you going to do in preparation for April? Did you find this tip helpful? Comment below!
As always, keep poeting!
Pax in Christo