Its been a while but I just wanted to give you a heads up that over on Writers Digest website tomorrow, this years Poem A Day (PAD) Challenge for November begins. As the title suggests, each day there will be a new prompt posted for you to write your poem from. If you have ever wanted to write poems, the PAD; Poem A Day Challenge can be a great place to start.
From the main website, scroll down a little and look for the ‘What’s New’ area of the site, there you will find that day’s prompt and often the previous couple of days prompts too. I believe this is an American site, so the times of day when the prompts go live will be based on that region.
Don’t know about you but I do like sitting by the patio doors, having breakfast, looking at the misty mornings of autumn and writing poetry. This is my most productive time of the year for poetry. This season hurts emotionally, and physically and often mentally too but from there, also comes a creative force. A voice that needs to be heard and the prompts often tempt that voice onto the page. If I could give you one tip, its to write the words your soul wants to speak.
There are a lot of rules about poetry, and lots of poetic forms to explore shoud you wish too. Stephen Fry has written a comprehensive book about them called The Ode Less Travelled, which I ‘tried’ to read but I got confused n just took my journal, a pencil and let the words fall out. Sometimes it works, sometimes they need a nudge to make them sound graceful in a poetic sence. Sometimes the prompts cause free writing, rather than true poetry. But if you write from your soul, it can feel soo good, so freeing, so healing. Follow your heart, get paper, a pencil n feel what you feel, write what you feel, hear, think and see. You might surprise yourself.
Just remember if you are nervous about writing for the first time, or for however long you have been writing. NO ONE has to see what you write. You can write for YOU, because you want to, like to, need too. If you aren’t sure if what you have written ‘works’ for you, maybe try reading it outloud to yourself, it can help to get the words to scan the way you feel you want them too.
I’ll let you into a secret, which is that I write ALL the prompts into a journal to save. I love to write poems, and there are times when the prompts grab me as I read them and the words just flow, other times, they need to be saved n savored at a different time. For me poetry is something that just ‘happens’ I cannot and do not write to order, I’m mearly the one holding the pen and the words arrive. I’ve also found this approach good as at different times I can have different reactions n poetry thoughts and ideas from the prompts so it can be good to revist them more than once.
If you are new to poetry, or this challenge and want to make it a bit special, one of those mindfulness, self care n kindness practices. Do treat yourself to a journal that feels beautiful to you, grab a pen or a pencil can be good as its easier to make corrections if you wanted too. But what is most important is to ‘just write’ it doesn’t have to be perfect, to rhyme if that doesn’t feel right for you, just let the words fall out of the pen and go from there.
If you want to look up different poetic forms (different kinds of poetry) then Stephen Fry’s book An Ode Less Travelled is good. I found it helpful as a reference book so if someone mentioned a technical term that I didn’t understand I could look it up, but I didn’t get on so well reading it from cover to cover but I have dyslexia and shh don’t judge me but I don’t know a verb from a noun. So if too are not one of life’s most accomplished english lit masters, please don’t let that put you off giving writing poetry a go.
- Writers Digest website Once the challenge has started go to the ‘What’s New’ section on the left hand side for each days new prompt
- The Ode Less Travelled; Unlocking the Poet Within by Stephen Fry. A great place to look up the ‘technical terms’ used in the poetry world, like stanzas, and different verse forms. You don’t need to read this first, but if you want to learn the local lingo of poetry, learn new forms/styles of writting it is very useful.
If you find yourself bitten by the poetry bug, the PAD Challenge happens each April and November on the Writers Digest site and there is also a poetry prompt every wednesday on the site throughout the year, also found under the ‘What’s new’ section.
Best wishes and thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy your poetry journey.