Writing Hang-over

The downside about Napowrimo: the writing hang over.

Though I think that my month of writing a poem a day was pretty productive — probably about half the poems are usable– I was wiped out this month and only wrote one poem.

I have a kind of plodding type of writing schedule though–I usually complete two poems a month. I guess like running sprints, shaking it up and writing thirty poems vs. my typical two, could help my creativity possibly.

But after all that poetry, I find my mind wandering to different things, different projects.

I’m currently working on a cross-stitch (because it’s good to work with your hands), starting to consider revising my sci-fi middle grade novel again, and in the beginning (obsessive) stages of getting a new project (an anthology?) off the ground.

I used to worry when my steady two-poems-per-month pace was interrupted–existential questions of “will I ever write again?” plagued me. However, after many years of writing, I’ve found that there are some seasons in life that breaks are needed and good. I tend to take a break over part of the summer and let my mind wander other fields.

So what do you work on when you aren’t working on poetry?

With Kit, Age 7, At The Beach by William Stafford

We would climb the highest dune,
from there to gaze and come down:
the ocean was performing;
we contributed our climb.

Waves leapfrogged and came
straight out of the storm.
What should our gaze mean?
Kit waited for me to decide.

Standing on such a hill,
what would you tell your child?
That was an absolute vista.
Those waves raced far, and cold.

‘How far could you swim, Daddy,
in such a storm?’
‘As far as was needed,’ I said,
and as I talked, I swam.

What I learned from writing a Poem a day during NAPOWRIMO

I wrote 30 poems in 30 days, and here are my take-aways:

  1. When you write a poem every single day, you look for poems everywhere.
    Interesting words, phrases, situations–everything could be the “moment of the poem” for that day.
  2. You learn how much time you Actually have for writing during the day.
    Turns out, most days I do have writing time–the days that I didn’t, I made the time.
  3. Your poems become less precious.
    Yes, many of my poems were throwaways! And that is ok–not every word leaked from my pen is pure gold.
  4. You find veins of interest / connections in poems.
    For me, I found a vein of writing interest about mid-month that I’ve followed, and I think could turn into a chapbook at some point.
  5. You learn the value of a writing buddy.
    If I didn’t have a friend to send my poems to each day, it would have been so much easier to give up! Having a writing community or even just one writer friend to cheer you on can make a huge difference.

You don’t have to wait til April to write a poem a day!