This year, I had a crack at NaPoWriMo (“National Poetry Writing Month”). This is an annual creative writing project, held in conjunction with National Poetry Month in North American, in which participating poets from around the world attempt to write a poem a day over the month of April.
I see this challenge as the low-key cousin to the more famous NaNoWriMo, in which brave individuals around the globe attempt to complete the first draft of their novel from beginning to end in the 30 days of November. Nevertheless, when I first attempted this poem-a-day project back in 2017, it kind of fell apart and I wasn’t able to make it to the literary finish line…
Which makes me pleased to say that this year was a great success. I wrote thirty complete poems over the course of last month and didn’t lose my sanity.
You can find my entire collection here. Check them out!
A loose theme I drew on throughout the poems was this idea of “transitions”, especially given that (down here in the Southern Hemisphere) April is mid-autumn and represents the pivot from from summer through to winter.
I was fairly pleased with the quality and effort I put into this personal project. Nevertheless, it was hard. It got frustratingly hard towards the end to come up with an idea, draft, review, delete, re-draft, review, re-re-draft, and post a poem every single day. It did not help that I was on the road over the Easter break, and that I couldn’t simply scribble down some nonsense on my off-days and leave it like that.
Here are five of my better poems in the collection (in no particular order):
And here are three of my worst poems in the collection (in my opinion) as well, because why not:
As a final reflection, my experience has left me with a bunch of open questions around the art (and self-torture) of creative writing: What is the best strategy for carving out time in the day for writing? How should you handle off-days and brief spells of writer’s block? What is the correct balance between slowly refining a single piece of writing repeatedly versus quickly writing down fresh, new pieces in order to improve your writing?
Ah. The writer’s road is very long. And now April’s over and it’s time to find my next creative project…
To see more poetry I’ve written for external publications, as well as sample poems on this website, see the Poetry page.