So, as I mentioned Monday I am trying this thing called NaPoWriMo. And so far so good.
I realize it’s just the 3rd day, but I’m feeling really optimistic about my performance so far.
I’m also so excited about having the perfect excuse to talk about poetry and writing poetry and…
Who am I? I don’t remember getting so excited about writing before. Especially poems.
I think I like this new aspect about me.
But we’ll see.
The best way I’m finding to keep myself thinking and writing is using various kinds of prompts.
I can understand where some people might find prompts restrictive or narrow, but if you’re as random as I can be, prompts are the perfect spring-board into ideas you hadn’t thought about before. If you tell me “write whatever you want” then I get sort of lost in the possibilities and I find myself falling back on the same old same.
Give me a prompt and I can rule the world.
Even if I don’t stick to the prompt it always helps me stretch my thinking a little.
The NaPoWriMo site has a prompt everyday. Today was a pretty good example of where I used the prompt to inspire, but not exactly the way it was provided. Actually, I used two prompts today… no worries, I’ll explain.
NaPoWriMo suggested we try a sea shanty today, I had never considered that so I went to the wiki page and read all about sea shanties. I have to admit, I’ve never felt that inspired by the sea. But read about the form that sea shanties took I saw that they often included refrains.
I am all about refrains.
In taking a couple creative writing courses and exploring the way I write, I’ve discovered that I like repetition. I tend to repeat phrases and words. In fact, I’ve noticed that my little sister also uses repetition in her writing, maybe it’s genetic? Poetic forms that have repetition and refrains, like a pantoum or a villanelle, really make sense to my brain.
So I decided to use something with refrains today, I went with a pantoum. Because I could!
But I didn’t want to write about the sea and I’m not focused enough to pick a topic on my own today.
I was surfing about, reading other people’s work when I came across this thing called Trifecta.
It’s a writing challenge, it has a weekday challenge and a weekend challenge. You can read more about it here.
This week’s word is “Rain” and in keeping with the theme of three, the third definition (as provided by Urban Dictionary) is what you’re supposed to write from; “to take money in bill form and throw it up in the air.” (there is more to the definition, but I’ll let you read that yourself. This is the Urban Dictionary we’re talking about…)
I took aspects of my two prompts and squashed them together to get “He Liked To See It Fall.”
Yesterday I used the prompt about lies to write about my mild curiosity about some game called Candy Crush…
Yesterday I also participated in a challenge from a fun little joint called the Speakeasy.
The Speakeasy is the poetry and fiction side of thing over at Yeah Write. The Speakeasy is a weekly challenge which gives you a first line that you have to use (which is provided by the previous week’s winner) and a picture that you have to reference somewhere in your work (but your work doesn’t have to be about that picture).
It’s lots of fun and there is a small group of really good writers that post to it every week. I normally write poetry for my Speakeasy entries, but yesterday I found myself doing some flash fiction.
As far as my creativity is concerned, prompts are where it’s at. And I like it when they are in a challenge format, it really helps me stretch my brain just a bit more.
If you’ve tried NaPoWriMo out, or plan on jumping in, I’d encourage you to at least keep an eye on the NaPoWriMo daily post for ideas (you can follow them on Twitter or Facebook to make it easier, if you use those sites). Even if you don’t use them, they can be great spring boards for other thoughts.
Another great thing about joining writing challenges is that often times you can get some pretty good feedback on your work. Which is something I’m always looking for. I like it when people let me know what’s working for them and what’s not when it comes to my writing.
So here’s to the Journey… I wonder what the destination is going to be?