I have officially completed the National/Global Poetry Writing Month challenge, having drafted my 30th and final poem of the month this morning.
I had to type that twice because the first time shocked me. I wrote 30 poems. In a month. That may not seem incredible, but it is for me. I’m notoriously unprolific. Doing this challenge has showed me that, yep, I’ve just been letting myself off the hook and that I can write more and more frequently. It’s also helped me fight my perfectionist tendencies, as I told myself I was drafting poems, to be revised later. Now I can go back, reread, and revise. I fought the impulse to reread during the challenge but admit I skimmed back through once or twice.
I also only sort of cheated once, within the last week, when what I wrote was more like notes towards a draft rather than an actual draft. I don’t feel (too) guilty about it.
Because 30 poems!
As for reading, I’m still slowly making my way through Szymborska’s collected poems (I’m somewhere in the ’70s). Next I will definitely delve into U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith’s work; I just heard her speak on NPR, and I can see we share similar views on poetry, its role, and how to approach poems. I’m also thinking it would be a good time to get reading poetry craft/theory again.
Wish me luck on my revisions! Hopefully I’ll get sending some of these babies out to journals. I’ll be happy to share links or publication notices if any are accepted.