11 April 2010

NaPoWriMo, one week (and a bit) in

As I said last week, I was going to do NaPoWriMo this year. And just over a week in, apart from the very first day when I didn't, I've written at least one poem every day.

I was helped by beginning with Easter, where four days off gave me some time to get back into my head and do some writing. I've also been helped by the fact that I'm not doing it publicly, and so told myself I could write whatever crap I felt like, so long as it was a poem, and that it didn't have to be very long. And some of the poems have been rather short, and some of them probably pretty rubbish. But I've written them, every day.

So, I guess what I've been enjoying is the fluency, the feeling that I don't have to wait for inspiration to hit to write poetry, and the feeling of freedom that not requiring it to be deep or even good brings.

That said, while I haven't read over most of the poems yet, I'm feeling resistance to writing stuff that doesn't matter. I'm feeling that it's a bit of a waste of time - there's already a lot of poetry in the world, and the world doesn't need more unnecessary words. I have to say, this has been exacerbated a bit by the fact that I've started reading my way through the JAAM 28 poetry submissions. I don't mean this as a comment on the quality of the submissions - there are some absolute gems already - rather on the sheer volume.

So, it's an interesting tension. I'll keep going for the month, and I'll see at the end if I've gotten much salvageable out of, or if I've gotten something more abstract out of it. Or whether it's just distracting me from properly finishing Cinema (the next book).


Emma said...

Sad to hear you're a bit ambivalent about the whole thing. I always struggle with writing bad stuff. However, I always find that it brings me to new directions and often gives me really good work.

I can't say whether it is getting less useful for me over time, but I think that this year because I've not had much recent room for poetry it is especially hard and unrewarding. But still, there is something I love about inviting poetry into my life every day.

I'll be interested to hear what you say at the end!

Helen Rickerby said...

I guess I'm reserving my judgement, but I'm totally going to see the whole month through. I feel like I AM going to get something out of it, I'm just not sure what.

And I know what you mean about inviting poetry into your life every day - actually it was your comment that doing NaPoWriMo meant you at least thought about poetry every day that really convinced me it would be a good thing to try.

I hope it picks up for you in the next weeks, and builds up a nice momentum and energy for you.

Emma said...

Oh well that's a lovely compliment! Perhaps my comment reflects my own ambivalence with it. I often have love hate relationships with things like this.

I am glad to hear you're going to keep going. I will be interested to hear your thoughts as you go along!

melissashook said...

oh, interesting and helpful.
I've been under the weather, but the idea of everyday might just spark some words.
thank you.