Sunday, 6 May 2012

Is NAPOWRIMO A Good Thing? Discuss.

07:30:00 Posted by Damp incendiary device , , , , , , 3 comments
by David Riley

It's certainly a challenge, having to write a poem every day for a month. It could be any sort of poem but I decided when I joined in I would do all mine with 14 lines. This means I didn't use the prompts thst appeared on the NAPO site periodically, giving suggestions as to a form to use if you were stuck for ideas. Oh no, not me. I was much stronger than this. Juts manly jaw.

Plus I had a plan so cunning you could stick a tail on it and easily mistake it for Reynard. I'd come across a writing exercise which suggested using other poems as inspiration for your own in a particular way. That'll do then. Sorted. I just needed 30, 14 line poems and Robert is your mother's brother.

That was the theory and it worked. For a bit. Then I started to scrat around for suitably inspiring stuff (doing this hand to mouth, as it were, makes it trickier than I thought it would be). Plus I wanted to do stuff of my own, without the need for this method. It was do-able and it was done...but...

This became a bit of a treadmill. There was no time to revise poems among other things. Also, I tend to write poetry in a very narrative style and need to practise changing that, which NAPOWRIMO didn't give me the chance to do; it was a matter of finish something and add it to the blog. Overall I suppose I'm fairly happy with 10% of what I put up there and they can be revisited and reworked. The rest might form something, eventually.

Would I do it again? It was good to join in with others and suffer together. As for developing as a poet? I don't think so. I need to work on certain things and this didn't allow that, so on balance, fun but not very useful.


Ashley R Lister said...


I really enjoyed reading your writing throughout the month of April. It was first rate on a daily basis.


Shaun. said...


I think I agree and disagree with the things you are saying here. As for the posting a poem a day, I lasted until about day 12/13 before just not having anything to put there at all (and subsequently abandoning the ship). The thing is though, by day 13ish I had actually got a few ideas in my notebook going spare- just not spare enough to rush through for the sake of a blog perhaps only the contributors were reading. These ideas all made their ways into various other ideas and at the moment, I can actually say I've got things on the back burner which is nice.
I didn't manage the full poems every day but was still engaging in the process of writing everyday- albeit whilst kicking myself for getting behind. I have taken the habit of engaging in writing daily from the month. For a procrastinator like me, that has to be a good thing.

PS If I do it again next year, I'm stealing your tactic ;)

Lindsay said...

I tried NaNoWriMo last year, and didn't get far. The plot wasn't formed properly and the pressure to make the minimum words every evening just sucked the enjoyment out of it. I work better with a little self discipline, but doing it because I have an idea, not writing words to fill a page. I agree with your sentiments David, it must have been difficult to come up with something brand new every day but you managed it well.