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.

About Pat Brown Bookshttp://patbrownbooks.comI’m a wife, mother, retired teacher, and writer. I’ve always wanted to write children’s books and am so happy to finally be doing what I’d put off for so long. I'm currently enjoying writing picture book manuscripts and querying agents. I also have a children’s poetry blog.