sharing a poetic LIFELINE with the world

Posts tagged ‘National Novel Writing Month’

Witness to the Art and Dedication

"Writing", 22 November 2008

I have a nine-year-old son and a husband who both love my attention. I know they both have Quality Time as one of their top love languages (and mine!), so it is important. However, this has made it even harder for me to write when others are around. My son wants to share, or do something with me. My husband comments “but you had all day to write”. So I tend not to write on weekends or breaks from school. Or if I do, I get cranky from all the interruptions. Then an event like NaNoWriMo comes around, or National Poetry Month. I think: this is important! I will make an exception. But the boys don’t see it that way. To them, it’s the same as every other day. So as the month goes by, I would do less challenges in evenings and weekends. Until I eventually stalled out altogether, feeling I wasn’t getting the support I needed.

I have since realized my mistake. It’s impossible to prove to someone that my writing is important if I don’t act like it is. I haven’t made it a priority. I can’t expect them to respect my writing time when I don’t respect it myself. When they don’t *see* me write. I put that to the test last April. Both husband and son were made aware that I was going to write a poem each day, and be spending time on the poetry forum, even on weekends and spring break. In return, my husband helped remind my son when I was working, and I got the space and support I needed. And it ended up being my most successful poetry month.

Now that it’s summer, I’ve put into the schedule for one hour of writing every week day. It’s not a perfect system yet. My kid is good with schedules, and has been giving me the hour when I ask for it. I need to be more consistent in doing so, and not wasting that hour when I do.

How do carve writing time for yourself? How do you convince those in your life that writing/creativity is important?

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Simmering Muse

It was only a couple days before the month began that I decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this year. I was already planning on doing November Poem-A-Day (Nov PAD). With two projects going on, I knew I’d have to prioritize one of them.

Since the novel will take up more words and hours, that took top spot. This also kept me from stressing over the poetry prompts. In previous years, I’ve struggled getting a decent poem written off prompts. It’s a very finicky process. I’m way more reliant on my Muse to cooperate for poetry than fiction. In fiction, I can push forward and just write. That doesn’t work for poetry! At least not for me.

So Day 1, I read the poetry prompt early. No ideas come to mind, so I shrug and allow myself to focus on my novel. I worried that since I wasn’t coming up with even an idea, or giving time to it, that the poems would be a bust again this year.

But that prompt was still in the back of my head, doing its work. Turns out I need to have more faith in my Muse/subconscious. For first thing the next morning, when I was trying to get more sleep, there was that prompt, and accompanied with how I was going to use it. I even had a repetitious phrase!

Lesson learned: For the poetry, read the prompts but don’t stress it. Let it simmer, sit in the back of my brain while I do other stuff. When it’s ready, I won’t be able to ignore it.

mary-sig2

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