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Hmmm. Some thoughts. Not wholly unrelated to previous thoughts.
Writers with thin skin need not read further unless they want a jolt of reality.
Not tagged ‘snark’ because it’s not.
Even if you think it is.

While browsing NaPoWriMo and poetry posts these past days, I’m finding a theme of, “Oh, I’m doing this NaPoWriMo thing so follow me and read everything I post and validate me, but I know everything I write will be crap/but it is quantity versus quality/but everything will be just drafts/but nothing will be finished/but I won’t post it if it’s not ‘quality’/but but but…”

Frankly, it’s pissing me off. I’d like to have an “Ignore and never see posts from this blog again” button to click instead of the ubiquitous “Follow.”*

Lucy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do!

I’m enjoying this NaPoWriMo thing. It’s my first year trying (or even knowing about) it and I’m enjoying the CHALLENGE of it.

The triolet from Day 1.01 took a bit to get straight in my head. The form itself, with repeated lines and rhyme-y scheme, seemed pedantic until I realized the the ‘identical’ lines often changed in the progression: punctuation, cadence, meaning, reference, etc. Oh. That makes it more complicated. I think the tone in the poem mirrors the frustration I was having with the form, but I still dove in. The pool might have been empty, but I still dove. Maybe it wasn’t the best idea, but, hey, I said I would at least try.

The song prompt for Day 2 kind of threw me. I looked up the song for my birth date and it made me laugh too hard, so I decided to pick another song from the pop/country genre to replace it. That song took me down a path of memories that I hadn’t visited recently. It was bittersweet. I used the bittersweet for the piece.

The epithalalalalallllmmmummm…. (dang it) epithalamium from Day 3 came out waaaay different than I had first imagined it. I let the words, the sounds, and the feeling take it over. I’m glad I did.

Yesterday, I wrestled with the ‘blues lyrics’ prompt. Holy cow. Lyricists have earned undying respect from me. I didn’t write a p-o-e-m. I wrote lyrics. To a tune that is not written yet. Granted, I had a back-up band chunking through the 12-bar standard blues progression in my head all day with a raspy smoke-ridden vocalist in the corner staring me down, waiting for the lyrics. I had to write it to the “standard” traditional blues tune (yah know, the one that what’s-his-name on “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” will use for the song improvs?), just to get the feel of the rhythm/cadence. It did take on a life of its own and I let it.

Today is a humdinger. How in the heck am I going to write about baseball? Well, I will give it the old college try**, at the very least. Maybe it will be good. Maybe it will just be a bastardization of “Casey At The Bat” or whatever else I find out there. Maybe it will be horrible, but I’ll still try it and toss it out there (into left field).

So my question is this:
Isn’t the whole point of this to challenge yourself?

You challenge yourself to produce something new every day.***
You challenge yourself by writing from prompts, if you choose.
You challenge yourself by throwing it all out there.

I’m doing this for the challenge.
I hope that these challenges will help me become a better writer.

I hope I learn to think outside the box.
I hope I learn to think outside my head.
I hope I learn to think outside my own reality.
And I hope to meet others who hope the same things.

I may preface or pre-explain to avoid misunderstanding or frustration in real life or in the blogosphere (like in this post) when talking or discussing or musing or ranting or…

But this is supposed to be p-o-e-t-r-y.
It is what it is.

Good, bad, or ugly, if you have to (pre-)explain what you mean, then you haven’t done it in your piece.
Or, you won’t let it speak for itself, which I think is even more sad.
(Or the reader is clueless, but let’s not get into that.)

Write it.
Mess with it.
Then let it go.

If you don’t eventually let it go, you will be holding on to so many scraps of paper you’ll look like you’ve been tarred and feathered with ticker tape.

Cheers!
Michelle

p.s., In case someone gets their panties in a bunch: Yes, I put the link to the prompt on top. That’s mostly for me. And it’s partly for others to click to if they haven’t seen the NaPoWriMo prompt for that day. And, yes, I often include stuff in my posts after the poems. Not an explanation. More like, “this initiated/happened in/occurred to me during the process” or “omg my head hurts” or “oooh look a giraffe!”, usually followed by an unwritten giggle.

* Feel like that about me? No hard feelings. Click here to go to NaPoWriMo’s website list of other participants. Maybe you can find one you like there. Cheers!
**Probably not the best phrase for me to use as I did not graduate.
***Or 30 in 30, as some people approach it. (I not-so-secretly think they still try to write every day.)

NaPoWriMo2012More info on NaPoWriMo2012
(National Poetry Writing Month 2012)