Thursday 26 April 2012

NaPoWriMo blown (sort of)

A few days ago I no longer could manage a poem a day, as the sinus infection I thought I'd conquered at the start of the month had returned. However, the intense projects I've been working on--a montage of pieces on Peter Coker's painting, "Sunflowers," for Sylph Editions and a series of poems using Esther Summerson's narration from Bleak House--mean that I have 28 pieces on day 26. I think that means I'll make 30 poems in 30 days, if not a poem a day, and I'm thrilled with that. How are others getting on?


  1. Anonymous1:47 pm

    Much applause for you, Carrie! May the sinus infection soon be conquered altogether.

    My attempt was thwarted on day 13 by the annual youth conference at my church, with a new job following hard on its heels. The best of what days 1-12 gave me can be read here:

  2. I've been plagued with sinus problems since I was young and they ofetn hit me when I get a cold. I sympathise with how wretched it can make you feel.

    Still managing a poema day, though an extra haiku crept in the other day and looked so miserable I gave it a place by the fire. Wrote a Cento late last night, or perhaps compiled is a better term. I was raiding Scanning The Century for material and wonder how Cento writers deal with copyright. Do they only work from old sources, out of copyright? They don't, presumably, get permission for every clip?

  3. Well done Carrie, good going! I was writing writing writing until about five days ago. I had been writing sections of a long piece I'm working on, and found I was getting stuck in one bit of the poem - and one physical location in the poem too: the forest, where my main character gets lost for days, months, years...we don't know. I realised I needed to get out of the forest!! And hence took a step away from writing. I have about 18 pieces - to varying degrees of being complete, so feel I have a lot to work with. It was really challenging because I felt disatisfied with so much of what I was writing (given the lack of time to focus on it and edit etc) so often felt as though discouraged rather than pleased with the achievements in terms of quantity. A really interesting experiment I was pleased to do. It also reminded me to write in the morning... Often I do other work and come to writing poetry later, when my head is perhaps more analytical after reading other material, rather than perhaps more intuitive first thing in the morning.

  4. Aisling Tempany2:18 pm

    I think i'm gonna retry this in June/July because these months are so chaotic that I've just felt too drained for a poem a day. (unless writing two lines in my head counts?)

  5. am still doing it. i do a few, take a break, do a few, take a break. it works well for me that it's a new and self-contained project. very fun. no pressure.

  6. I'm hanging in. I'm averaging 1 a day. I wrote three one day, then skipped a couple of days and only made notes for poems. But it's something I can go to when I want to write.
    A sestina I wrote a year ago won first prize in a contest, which makes me very happy. I love sestinas and have written a bunch of them. I even named my cat Sestina.
    Also got together with a group of poets to critique one poem each on Tuesday. Very satisfying and SO helpful to have this input.
    Some days I wake up and think, Ugh! I have to write another poem! I push through.

  7. Anonymous4:08 pm

    I have missed the occasional day, but then have written two or more poems on another day, so I am in the same place, Carrie. I am sure I'll finish out the month with 30 poems. It has been great! The mindset is the most important benefit, I think. Being at the well of creativity every day. Even if a poem doesn't get written, one feels so refreshed! I may try to continue a more regular (maybe not daily) visit to this well -- in other words, I may change my expectations about how many poems I am capable of producing. I have been low balling it for too long.

  8. Anonymous7:02 pm

    Hi Carrie,

    I've been keeping up with schedule and some of the results have been posted to my blog. Keep up the good work here as some of your posts have given me ideas for the future.


    P.s my flash fiction piece will be appearing in hard copy in the near future. Many thanks for all your input and use of duct tape.

  9. Kit Kennedy7:12 pm

    Take good care, Carrie.
    I crafted the challenge to write at least 20-27 lines (which may stand alone or may not) each day on an ongoing long (getting longer by the day) poem. I'm on track. It's been great fun. Knowing that others are engaged propels me; it feels as if it's a global collaborative project, which I find satisfying. In the end, the writing might yield a couple of poems.
    I'm certainly glad you set forth the invitation: thanks.

  10. I loved reading everyone's comments here, the battle to or not write a poem a day. I have been writing a lot but I am often left questioning the value of the poems I might "toss off" before bed when I cannot even be sure that my mind is working. But I like that for some, like me, the idea of also trying to do this on other months, to keep every day space for writing even on the busiest days, would be perhaps a great end goal. I have always been one who writes a ton one day and then goes a few days then comes back to write a ton more--all the while revising and rewriting the things I threw down on the page at one of the sporatic moments. This month i have been facing my own processes as much as writing poems. So, get well and return to it! Poem a month in June again? or poem revision from this month for may?

  11. Hope you're starting to feel better, Carrie.
    I started well but a death in the family and associacted issues (all making good material I suppose for future poems) thwarted my writing. What I have done, though, is re-work some old ones, polish up the ones I did start on, and have something like a nascent pamphlet. So it really got me thinking about my poetry again, if not exactly producing one a day. Thanks so much for setting it up.

  12. Well my fifteenth poem of April was written four days ago, but I have been to an Uncle's funeral in Cheshire since Wednesday, and I haven't had a free moment to sit and write. Not to worry, I'm on quite a creative high and it will all come good in the end.

    From Facebook this evening I was diverted to listen to The Verb on Radio 3. Thoroughly enjoyed your reading of your prose poem Carrie.

  13. I'm one poem behind at the moment on day 29 - so I need to write 3 poems before tomorrow night. Some of what I've done has been fun, messing about, doggerel. But I did manage to write a sequence of 13 poems, each of 13 lines, which I was pleased with.

  14. Last day, and I returned to a poem I'd worked on on first on the 2nd, then the 20th, 24, and I think I finished it today. This was a poem that I'd only had a ghost of since 2008. I probably wrote/started 15 poems in the last month, for me a delightful accomplishment; more than I ever have in such a short time. I found a week and a half ago or so that I wasn't happy just going onward. I really had to get to some intensive revision. So, thanks, Carrie, for inviting me aboard this speeding train. I ended up in some beguiling places.