Last April I took part in the “write a poem and publish it every day of the month” challenge as part of National Poetry Writing Month.
I’m going to do the same thing this year, starting next Monday, so watch your inbox for a daily poem of some kind.
Lots of poets respond to this sort of challenge with “I can’t write a poem a month, never mind a poem a day”, or “I’m too busy” or “that’s truly scary”.
I agree with all of those responses. But I’m still going to do it.
What I found last year was that it forced me into some sort of writing discipline, and writing discipline is something that I sorely lack.
Also, I think that you just need to shut down your internal critic, the voice that says “what if you write 30 crap poems”. Thirty crap poems are fine, as far as this exercise is involved. Thirty crap poems are better than no poems at all. And out of the thirty crap poems may come two good poems, which is twice as many as my normal rate of output.
How to do it? Based on last year’s experience, I think the following will help:
1. Dig out all those half complete / quarter complete drafts that are sitting in your notebook or on your computer. If you’re stuck, just take one and finish it off.
2. Start working on new poems now. Have a few worked up that you can finish off fairly quickly.
3. Use websites which give you a daily poetry prompt. These are great for just giving you an opening idea that you can work on. e.g. Robert Brewer’s “Poetic Asides” http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs//poetic-asides
4. Give up the idea of quality. It’s quantity that counts. And that quantity is one: one poem, one day.
So bear with me over the month of April. I’m promising that you will get thirty poems (which may be crap poems), one every day.