National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo): What Is It and How Can You Participate?

Have you been itching to jumpstart writing poetry again? Or maybe start writing for the first time ever?

Feeling unmotivated and uninspired? Need to scream your soul on a paper or screen, but no ideas on what to write?

Do you wanna pretend you’re a lonesome, romantic poet writing in a wood cabin? Instead of in your room, eating uncooked macaroni from the box, and watching while the world burns . . .

Either way, today I’d like to discuss National Poetry Writing Month (a.k.a. NaPoWriMo)!

If you didn’t know, National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) is a month-long writing challenge in April founded by Maureen Thorson in 2003.

There’s something similar in April known as National Poetry Month. Created by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, this month-long event is to show poetry appreciation — regardless if it’s writing, learning, or reading it every day.

But that isn’t why we’re here today.

We’re here to discuss National Poetry Writing Month.

Emphasis on writing.

The idea of NaPoWriMo is to write 1 poem every day of April. By the end of the month, you will have accomplished writing 30 poems. You can write any type of poem (sonnet, haiku, free verse, etc.).

Whatever strikes your mood!

“But what do I write about?” I hear you ask.

Well, during April there’ll be “official” prompts on the NaPoWriMo website given every day, but you don’t have to follow those.

With a Google search, you can find prompt lists other people have made (take a peek in the Google images tab). Or you can use a prompt generator to get inspiration.

If you want to follow a specific theme, make your own prompt list! Whether it’s a Doctor Who or Winnie the Pooh-themed prompt list, use what inspires you to write every day for a month.

There are no rules, have fun!

This month is to challenge you to write more. How you make that happen is up to you.

That being said, don’t feel like you have to write 30 poems every day. If you have a tight schedule, make adjustments. Create goals where they can fit, and be proud when you hit them.

Can you write weekly instead of daily? Coolsies!

Write one poem a week! That’s 4 poems you wouldn’t otherwise have, and I’m glad you could reach your goal.

Or if have time on the weekends, write seven poems per week.

Can you only manage writing a little throughout each week?

If you have kids, make it a fun activity you all do together. Could be a nice change of pace if you’re homeschooling in our current world climate.

If you go to work or school, jot down a couple of sentences during breaks. On April 30th, put them all together as one big poem.

Adjust how you write to whatever best fits your lifestyle and inspires your creativity.

If you need more tips on how to fit writing into your life, check out my Medium post, “3 Things Stopping You from Writing (and How to Start Now!).”

As for me, this year I’m planning my own method of writing poetry.

I’ve found this list of publishers you can submit creative writing to. You can find it on this blog called Published to Death by Erica Verrillo. I’m basing my daily prompt on some of these publishers’ guidelines.

I’ll write 30 poems, and on May 1st, I’ll start submitting those 30 pieces to their designated publisher.

If I get replies to my poems (rejection or acceptance), I’ll make another blog post on my experience and results.

Why am I doing this?

Because it’s a challenge to let go of fear, and to show people what it’s like to submit their work.

Hopefully, it’ll encourage others to do the same.

If you think my method sounds interesting, try it out!

Challenge yourself to reach your writing goals, whatever they may be.

But the most important part of this month-long escapade is to have fun!

Thanks for reading and happy writing!

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