It’s hard to believe that I only have three days left to finish writing my daily poem for National Poetry Month. I took on the personal challenge of doing this when I found out about NaPoWriMo, quickly starting a blog and submitting it to their site. Writing for NaPoWriMo has made writing urgent, and pressing, pushing me forward into a place where I should have already been. A place I always have somewhat inhabited but that few people ever knew about. The old (and new) pages of my private poetry contrast my children’s poetry as much as night and day. I am grateful for having pushed myself, being able to share a part of myself with children and grownups alike. And there’s always the great, incredible catharsis that writing poetry brings, it’s also one of the best ways to get a good dose of endorphins.

I’m happy to say that I’ve followed the writing prompts on the site most of the days. Just yesterday I learned what a pantoum poem was and wrote my first pantoum poem. The writing prompt was to write a poem that uses repetition, and a pantoum poem is a form of poetry that relies on repetition. Today I wrote a poem based on Shakespeare’s 18th Sonnet, again, based on the prompt. I was off all week for spring break, so I was able to afford myself the luxury of taking longer to write and post the daily poems on my blog. I have tomorrow, Sunday, and two more work days to complete this personal writing challenge. I cannot say that I will follow the remaining three prompts, although I will certainly attempt to. In the very first days of participating in this writing exercise, the ideas flowed out of me as quickly as water coming out of a faucet. The poems were just for me, my immediate family and whoever happened to come across them on the NaPoWriMo site. Then, as I began to share my poetry blog with friends, co-workers, and actually mentioned it on Twitter, things began to change. There were some days that the ideas either didn’t flow as easily as they had, either flowing in a scattered myriad of directions or just, well, stopping intermittently, getting stuck…I did, however, work through it and get the daily poem done. I must say that the biggest challenge was actually getting ready for work, somewhat frantically, on more than a few of these days.

All in all, I have enjoyed this more than anything I’ve done in a long time. This has given me the discipline to go forward and make writing a daily part of my life. I’ve learned about new forms of poetry and have been inspired to learn even more. I’ve stretched myself in a way that I believe is necessary to become the published children’s book author and poet that I aspire to be. My mother told me she will miss my daily poem, which she enjoys reading after she checks my blog on her phone first thing in the morning. I think I will miss it too, although I won’t miss the pressure I have put on myself to get the poem written before work. I’ve decided to change the landscape of my poetry blog, paring it down so that I can make a compilation of the poems and pursue getting them traditionally published. I will also add some more poetry to the blog that I will choose to share with those who want to read it. Most importantly, I have experienced the awakening of a new passion that drives me to pursue what I hope will be a very fulfilling second career.