Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Next Movement: Death by Words

It's April, and you know what that means - it's National Poetry Month! Some of us, in the name of Masochism, I suppose, have twisted this into (Inter-)National Poetry Writing Month, or NaPoWriMo. This is much like NaNoWriMo, except instead of writing a 50k novel, the goal is to write a poem for each day of the month of April. Poets in several communities, online and off, I'm sure, are participating, cheering each other on, and cranking out verse. The idea, much like with NaNo, is not not necessarily to produce top notch writing, but simply to produce. It's an exercise in endurance, in breaking through writers' block, and, for me, in having 30 poems at the end of April that I might edit into something decent come May.

So far I'm doing well, and have penned five poems over the past five days (today's has yet to be written, but I'm sure I'll get there before I fall asleep). I started with a list of topics I might write about, with some lines and phrases and words that I'd like to work into my poetry, and have been referring back to this list for inspiration from time to time. Strangely enough, I seem to keep writing about bugs, which is weird, because I hate bugs. At the same time, it's not so weird, because I love watching Discovery Channel specials on bugs. They're fascinating.

This is the third year I've participated in NaPo, and since in the past two years I completed the task, I'm raising the bar for myself. I'd really like to write 30 pieces that are usable. Even though NaPoWriMo isn't about quality, I think as a writer I need to challenge myself. Several poems from last year, and even a few from the year before, have since been published, and I wish I had more salvageable works to draw from. This is partially because I'm hoping to take a big leap in the upcoming months - toward a chapbook or a collection.

I'm not sure of the exact benefits entailed in having a book of poetry vs. having pieces published in magazines, but I've been assured that they are many. Of course I also like the idea of having a selection of work all in one place that my amassed fans grandmother can pick up and enjoy. At this point in my career, I am a bit loathe to self-publish. I am rather confident that with time and patience I might stand a chance in the big kid's league.

So, in the very near future, I will be submitting manuscripts to the Mimesis Digital Chapbook Contest (my manuscript for this contest will include my photography as well), and to the Templar Poetry Pamphlet & Collection Competition. Wish me luck!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent feline activity imagery!
    Our own Eliot is something of a black belt "bug-puncher". Sociopathic behavior in our cats seems to be acceptable. If I sat around squashing bugs all day they lock me up. Eh, well best left to the cats.