What it Takes to Succeed in NaPoWriMo by Grace
It’s April and that means one of two things: it’s either Camp NaNoWriMo or it’s NaPoWriMo. In this club we are focusing on NaPoWriMo, or National Poetry Writing Month. This is a challenge in which you write a poem every day all 30 days of April. Thirty poems might seem like an intimidating number for some of you, but fear not: there is a method to succeeding! Poetry writing can be difficult—first off, where does one even start? Will I run out of things to write during the month? What can I do to be successful?
Here are a few tips and links to keep you fully equipped and successful all 30 days.
#1) Set aside a specific time each day you know you can afford for writing your poetry. Here you’ll be able to give it your full attention and make the most of your writing time. This can also be very handy in making sure you don’t miss a day of NaPo as well!
#2) Locate helpful sites and other resources that offer either poetry prompts or NaPo prompts. Napowrimo.net offers a daily prompt throughout NaPo that you can refer to if you’re ever stuck on the what to write. This Creative Writing Blog will be doing the same (the lovely Editorial Board has created some mighty magnificent prompts!). Not only will this will keep you going, but you’ll find it expanding your poetry knowledge, especially when the prompts introduce you to a new style you’ve never used before or challenges you to write a topic you’ve never tried writing about.
#3) Don’t sweat the quality! I do want to stress the idea that you should try to make the most of NaPo by exploring different topics and styles, therefore expanding your poetry knowledge and fine-tuning your poetry writing skills, but don’t dwell on editing it too much. Your first priority is writing a poem. If you spend too much time thinking about how you want the poem to go, you may find yourself never actually writing it. If I’ve taken anything away from these challenges, is that the key is to write, and then edit later. That’s why these challenges are very beneficial—they get you writing a first draft you can work on from there!
#4) I’ve found Shadow Poetry an excellent resource for poetry styles. If you’re ever interested in learning of new poetry forms, I highly recommend you check this site out, because not only does it have at least one hundred styles to choose from, but it explains the style and its history in easy to understand detail, with examples you can look at as well! It’s a great learning experience, and it provides you with another poem to write during NaPo. The link is http://www.shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/types.html
All in all, National Poetry Writing Month is an excellent time to exercise those poet muscles. Writing poetry is far different from writing a novel in some respects, yet the same in others. For example, don’t sweat the quality and just keep writing! However, because NaPo isn’t as grand a challenge as NaNo, (which requires you to keep on the same project and reach a specific word count goal) try focusing on the quality a little bit more. Remember: you can write anything you want in any way you want to. As you face NaPo, think about what needs the most work in your poetry writing skills, and try to address it with the poems you write. Don’t be discouraged if you miss a day—try again! Set other goals too. Though the overall challenge is to write a poem a day all thirty days, create other goals you can meet, like writing about a topic you’ve never done before or learning one new poetry style a day, etc. You don’t have to write for the heck of it—you can do this challenge to learn new things, to sharpen your skills, and grow as a poet. J
What are your goals during NaPoWriMo?