I decided to drop NaPoWriMo this year
Usually NaPoWriMo is something I’m really charged up for, but I am not feeling it at all this year. I was pushing to write poems to fill a poem a day quota, but nothing was truly moving me. It was turning more into prose than poetry, and I think that’s telling.
I am very determined to write Peacock King and that’s really driving me as a writer right now, not poetry. Sometimes contests/challenges are fun, but I’ve noticed my enthusiasm has dropped for NaNoWriMo over the years too. I think it’s because I’m already writing novels the rest of the year anyway. I’m already a writer. These things charged me up back when I wasn’t writing regularly, but now they just seem like novelties.
Also, my writing process is less impulsive and more planned. I tried to be the kind of writer that could knock it all out in one draft with no planning, but that makes for a story that falls apart around the middle or the first third. I can’t stand that process. Once I figured out how to outline (read “2K to 10K” if you want to know how I learned it) and plan a plot, then everything went so much faster and felt so much more genuine. I wasn’t spending days figuring out the right direction or rewriting scenes over and over. I just sit down, look at what’s next in the plot plan, and write what I mean to write.
I wish i could write impulsively or take random prompts like others do. heck, I wish I could write out a whole book at a time like Stephen King does. I’m very planning-focused and my best work is often the result of a lot of structural procedure.
Also, I can’t write my best without a cowriter, and that means all my plans have to be out where Char can see them. I need her input before I can go forward with a plot. I have a great sense of how events should be ordered and what story arcs should be paced like, but she’s the one with a feel for “that seems ridiculous” or “you can’t make that happen without explaining the history of that character” or “I don’t see what the context of that scene is in relation to the rest of the story” or “this character has no purpose, you need a reason for him to be there”. My best poetry tends to be a back and forth reaction/ping pong game with Char as well. As a writer I need someone to pitch things to/respond to. Without that there’s no words.
Anyway I wanted to let anyone who was waiting for more poems know that this NaPo I’m not doing any more. I aim to do poetry when it strikes me, though. I think I’ve been trying to save it up for NaPo instead of just writing it when I feel it. Most of the time, to be honest, novel-length prose is what really strikes me. I like crafting stories and moments and reactions, and I like doing so in long form.
Tl;dr: less poetry more Peacock King.