Learning to Love Your Poetry by Hannah

            I stink at poetry. I’ll be honest about it. I tried NaPoWriMo a couple years ago, and I was four poems away from finishing, but couldn’t quite make it. One of my favorite forms of poetry is one with flowing rhyme (in the format aabb instead of abab) and good rhythm, so it makes sense that Shel Silverstein, but it’s also one of the hardest forms of poetry to write. I set my expectations way too high for myself, tried to write poems with perfect rhyme and rhythm, and ended up “failing” in my own eyes. Afterwards, I gave up on writing poetry, and though I knew that it wasn’t my strong suit to begin with, I secretly avoided it because of my “failure” with NaPoWriMo.

            This is not the way to do NaPoWriMo.

            You are your own worst enemy. You’re also your own worst critic, editor, and all those other nasty things. If you don’t finish NaPoWriMo, it’s no big deal. You aren’t failing anyone. You aren’t even failing yourself. You set out to do your best, and that’s exactly what you did. Yes, parents can have high expectations. But half the time my mom’s like “you must get no less than straight A’s”, and the other half of the time my mom’s like “it’s no big deal, don’t worry about it” while I reply (with my right eye twitching dramatically) “no, I must not fail, I have to be perfect, I MUST be the BEST!!!!”

            Don’t forget to have fun. If you miss a day, so what? Either you’ll make it up or you won’t. The goal is not to finish thirty poems in thirty days, but to have thirty days filled with poetry and a whole lot of fun. So congrats to those who make it, and applause to those who don’t. No matter what happens, just read the poetry you created and give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve earned it.

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Posted on April 2, 2015, in Editorial Board Essay. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Haha I meant to write “is my favorite poet” after Shel Silverstein. XD Sorry about that guys.

    -Hannah O.

  2. Great enchouragement that I’m sure everyone needs! 😀 Keep it up geniouses!

  3. Thanks for the encouragement!

  4. Hannah Oliver

    Wow! Thank you so much for that encouragement, Hannah! I especially love how you wrote, “You set out to do your best, and that’s exactly what you did.” Great post!
    ~Hannah Oliver

  5. Ha ha, I stink at poetry too but oh, well. Great advice! I loved reading this, and can definitely relate 😀

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