NaPoWriMo: Observations

There are only two days (counting today) of NaPoWriMo left, and I have just a handful of poems to finish. A few of the things I noticed during the month:

  • When it comes to poetry, I do far better with structure than with free-verse. With free-verse, there are just too many possibilities, and I can’t seem to reign them in to something cohesive. Despite that, most of my NaPoWriMo poems were free-verse musings that I wrote obligatorily before bed. In theory, it seems like I might be good at free verse poetry because I’m a prose writer, and people have told me that my prose is “poetic.” However, I think the difference is that, with prose, I do have the structure of the story I’m meaning to tell. Perhaps I should attempt more story-like poetry.
  • Some structured poems that work well for me are Pantoums, songs, and poems using “pre-provided” words, such as Fortune Cookie poems and magnetic poems. Finding that I’m better at structured poems should have spurred me to explore writing more different types, but I don’t actually like the sound of some of the more common poetry structures, such as haikus or limericks. The forms also intimidate me, which I should have used this month to get over!
  • Doing a month-long writing project makes the month feel LONG. I’ve noticed this during NaNoWriMo, too. You’d think the effect would be the opposite, since any time there’s a lot to accomplish in a short amount of time, time seems to go too quickly. But instead, I look at some of the issues/subjects I was dealing with at the beginning of April, and those issues seem so far removed that it’s hard to believe it’s been less than a month. Likewise, during NaNoWriMo, it’s hard to believe at the end that, only 30 days ago, you were writing your first words of a then-complete or nearly complete novel.

I also discovered last night that Tarot serves as a good writing prompt because of its imagery, which is the most important element in poetry. Making poetry out of readings probably enriches the reading experience as well — a win-win.

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