National Poetry Writing Month is approaching fast! Here’s a little self-prompting technique that might just help you to write (or at least start) thirty poems in April.
There are three reasons why writing poetry in April is a good idea.
1 – It’s spring!
2 – It’s always a good idea to write poetry
3 – It’s National Poetry Writing Month
National Poetry Writing Month – or #NaPoWriMo* will see thousands of poets challenging themselves to write a poem a day. For me, the main issue with this is having thirty ideas, when normally, I have a good idea for a poem once every week or two. Thirty in a row is going to be TRICKY!
There will be daily poem prompts up at www.napowrimo.net to help – but I don’t know about you, I’m a bit contrary and find the idea of a thousand other people writing on the same theme off-putting.
So I thought I’d share my most failsafe self-prompting technique, which I’m planning to use when stuck. It’s really simple, and it really has worked for me in the past!
1. Choose a novel with a similar feel to poems you like to write
If you like fun poems, choose a fun novel. Romantic poems… you get the drift. I like writing surreal poems, so I chose “The Lefthanded Booksellers of London” by Garth Nix.
2. Randomly extract an adjective, then randomly extract a noun
Stick your finger somewhere random in the book, then read on until you find the FIRST adjective. Repeat, but with a noun. Write them down. My first effort brought me “minor path”.
3. Write a couple of lines inspired by that little phrase.
It can be as directly or indirectly about it as you like. Don’t think about it too hard. Just give yourself a minute or two.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 four more times
That’s it! Ta-da! You now have a little pot of five poem starters, rather like this:
You don’t have to use them all, and you can repeat the exercise with all kinds of different books through the month – maybe include some non-fiction books as well.
I’ve already got most of a poem from my “minor path” prompt. Actually the poem ended up completely going away from the idea of paths at all but… it got me started.
Good luck and happy writing!
* This always reminds me of that joke about what Edward Woodward would be called if the letter D hadn’t been invented. #EWarWooWar
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