Saturday, March 30, 2013

NaPoWriMo is Coming Right at You - Five Tips to Be Prepared

NaPoWriMo is coming at you.
It's not too late to get some preparation done.
April is a busy writing month, especially for poetry.  I love the challenge of NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) where I pound out a draft of a poem each and every day.  Inevitably, it forces me out of my comfort zone and into a place where new and different becomes the norm.  I've been working for some time on my chapbook of poems of childhood horror, and it needs a few more gems.  NaPoWriMo is pretty unpredictable, but I do usually get a handful of good drafts out of the experience.

I am never adequately prepared, since there isn't really a best way to prepare for poetry madness except to go crazy.  But this year I did manage to come up with a few tips for myself.  I thought I'd share them here since others might want some ideas for how they might inspire themselves.

1.  Find some good prompts and exercises.  Find blogs, journals, and books with good prompts.  I'm going to post a selection of ideas right here at the start of each week of NaPo, using some new thoughts I've had as well as prompts from my "Prompt the Muse" archive.  Check places like deviantArt for people who do things a little more off the wall.

2.  Surround yourself with poetry.  As always, the best inspiration for writing is reading.  Get your favorite poetry books down, and then find some you haven't read yet.  Start each writing session with a little reading, and your creative flow will, well, flow.

3.  Fill your toolbox.  Inspiration can come from anywhere, so give yourself some room to bring new ideas to the surface.  Your toolbox might include paper, markers, paints, camera, computer, favorite pen, clay, music, picture book, or whatever.  When you are stuck, go to your toolbox and let yourself play.

4.  Connect with the community.  Don't let the unrelenting pace of NaPo drag you down.  Make a list of others participating in this madness so you can stay in touch via twitter, blog comments, facebook or even in real life (heavens).  Your poetry pals are your best source of support when things are going slow, and greatest fans when you have a banner day!

5.  Take Care of Yourself.  Now is a good time to consider what you'll need over the next month to stay at your writing best.  I'm a big fan of nutritious food, good sleep, and moderate exercise (even if I don't actually do what I should, when I should).  I know perfectly well that taking care of myself will result in more stamina and energy for writing.  I'm thinking right now of what I need to do over the next month to increase the chances that food, sleep, and exercise won't be missed.

Good luck with NaPoWriMo!  Check back in here for daily prompts and writing exercises, hopefully to be posted at the beginning of each week (that starts tomorrow, yikes!)

Image Credit:  Pink Sherbet Photography Flikr via Creative Commons CC 2.0

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