Happy Thursday everyone!
I am so so sorry for skipping last Thursday in my NaPo Tip series. Frankly I only have, like, three concrete tips anyway (there’s not much to succeeding in NaPo haha), so maybe it’s not too bad I missed last week. You can find the other two posts here and here. NaPo starts tomorrow! This is the final day of preparation. Are you ready?
Today we’re going to focus on quantity vs. quality.
Tip #3: Word Count isn’t Important.
Unlike NaNo, where you set a word count goal and your challenge is to meet it, you don’t have to write so many words a day with poetry. You can write however long or short you want to, in all sorts of formats. Sometimes the shortest of poems proves to be the most powerful.
That being said: this time, the content should matter.
Arguably, the quality of your writing should be important during this challenge. It’s an opportunity for you to really hone your poet skills, you know? That’s not to say, sweat the quality. I think creating a first draft is always what these challenges are about, so even if you don’t consider it to be good the first time, your effort definitely counts. But your focus shouldn’t be on whipping out thirty poems and calling it a month. It should prompt you to ask: “What needs work? What can I work on during this month?” If you’ve followed tip one in setting a time each day, that should allow you time to really think about what you can write. Yes, use the prompts to your full advantage, but I advise you to think about how this specific day is going to make your poetry better.
As writers, no matter the style, we’re always learning. Let that be the main goal of NaPoWriMo.
Honestly, don’t fret if you don’t write a poem every day. Don’t feel defeated if you don’t finish and meet your goal. Let your goal be that you learned something new. Challenge yourself to expand beyond your boundaries. Don’t do this to be done. Do this to get better. When I first looked at this challenge, the meaning of it appeared hazy. What was the point of it? Writing 30 poems is obviously the gist, but I went deeper in realizing for me, this challenge was to get me writing and learning and growing.
It can be the same for you! Let this tip be the overall gist of the challenge. What route you take in writing your poems is completely up to you, from the prompt to the timing to the process. But what NaPo should mean for all of us, just like NaNo means as well, is that this challenge is supposed to help you grow. It’s a matter of effort and diligence to effectively shape yourself into a stronger poet. What goals can you set to achieve this?
My goal is to learn new styles of poetry, cover topics I don’t usually write about, follow the prompts on the NaPo site and hopefully learn some new poetical techniques for future poeting. These goals will potentially educate me on more poetry-related topics I haven’t yet learned, so I’m hoping that in doing this I become a better writer and poet.
I hope this final tip makes NaPo clearer for you. I hope it inspires you to keep going and to learn new things! Get out your pens everyone: NaPo is upon us!
What are your goals? What does NaPo mean to you? Comment below!
Pax in Christo,