You Scream, I Scream: NaPo!
Ladies and Gentlemen, we’re here again at our favourite time of year: NaPo! All through April I’ll be joining you in the delicious pursuit of 30 poems! One for every day of the month, my heavens but we’re adventurous!
I’m looking forward to seeing all of the wonderful things you all create during the month. If you don’t have a thread/profile up on The Young Writers Society, please share a link to your work here! I’m always up for devouring more poetry writing and I’d love to share the experience with you.
NaPo(WriMo) stands for National Poetry Writing Month and much like NaNoWriMo, NaPo is concerned with a concentrated effort of writing over a period of time. NaNo emphasises quantity over quality a bit, asking you to write 50,000 words in a month. We’re much kinder in the NaPo camp, we only want 30 poems in your month. You can even write some of these poems on the same day, we’re not going to be particular about it. This is excellent because if you’re like me, you have no consistency of writing at all! Part of this is the muse and when they hit down on us, breathing in life and taking it all out. As writers we’re often stuck plugging with empty pens until the real desire hits. On top of that, however, is knowing that you don’t have the best track record for many poems in one month – 30 poems in a year seems a lot! It is a lot, to be honest, and I’m always surprised when it works out (it doesn’t always work out, the Great Hissy Fit of 2012 left my poetry thread with a meagre amount of poems).
What do you get out of doing NaPo? Nothing but the satisfaction of knowing you’ve written some poems. Even if you don’t finish the month with the full complement, you’ve written at least one poem in the month and that’s an achievement! Think of those months you go dry, without any bolstering lines, rhymes and puns. This will make you grind something out, regardless of the quality. If you throw down some lines, you know that you’ll be able to edit those into something – even if you edit them into two good lines, or one great line. NaPo is all about putting the poet back into the swing of poetry and giving them a challenge: Maintain your skill, it cries, give us a concentrated amount of your work.
Don’t forget that you can (and should) experiment during this time with form and structure, punctuation and language conventions. Use this month of poetry as your block experimentation. I, for one, will write at least ONE villanelle this year. There are activities, games and workshops you can be a part of and I welcome anyone and everyone to bombard me with questions or queries during the month! That offer goes for all the months of the year, but this month in particular.
I hope you’ll join you during my convoluted month of lovehate-ing poetry, and all the angst that goes with!