Even though I spent many April nights (after a good first week of finishing drafts by 3pm) falling asleep with a pencil in my hand, these last few days of not writing have felt strange. The brass tacks:
- poems written: 30. THIRTY! I’m totally thrilled.
- how many written that are keepers: 26. I may actually be able to save the other 4 as well, but right now I don’t love them enough. And of those 26, I’m feeling that only a few require substantial revision. But this is due entirely to the fact that I worked more and more on them before posting, thus the late nights dozing with a pencil in my hand.
- how many days I will wait before starting to submit: 0. I began the process this weekend, after spending Friday immersed in 30 poems in hard copy. I LOVE to submit, love choosing the journals (and I subscribe to a boatload), the frisson it brings to the act of checking my mail, both virtual & actual. Even if I only have 3 worthy poems, I always have submissions out there circulating those 3 poems.
Now, having been able to complete this NaPoWriMo challenge, after not writing much at all during the last year, begs the question: why can’t I write this much all the time? And I think the answer has to do with NaPoWriMo being such a widespread community affair. Making this pledge, and being among a group of others doing the same, gives you an impetus you don’t have normally, and makes you accountable in a unique way.
And one of the reasons to take part in NaPoWriMo is to give you that kick in the pants. By forcing myself to find the time every single day to write a brand new poem, I’ve hopefully taught myself new ways to write. And I’ve learned that I can actually write with a baby in my lap. And on little sleep.
But I couldn’t write this much all the time, the wells run dry. I need time to read, too, and writing this much means not much time left over to recharge, or revise. Not to mention my poor poetry widower/husband. But that’s the grand thing: I’ve toned up my writing muscles, and as long as I work on my writing every week, that’s good enough. And now I know that however busy I am, I do indeed have the time!