That was a month, huh?
So, I’m done with NaPoWriMo, for the fourth time in a row. And as usual, napwrimo.net had a whole bunch of challenges for us. I tried to follow as many as possible, and 90% of the time, I’d like to think that I did a pretty good job at following those prompts. But here’s the thing: you can’t always follow a prompt to a T. Sometimes, you find yourself not as motivated as you’d like to be. In my case, I work best in the evenings; all my creative energy comes out best in the evenings. I can’t be that creative in the daytime, which somehow works out well for me because I like to research and construct a poem in my head throughout the day. But on some days, you’re just exhausted after everything that the day has had to offer, and you just don’t have it in you to work on a long, winded, challenging prompt. On those days, you either just backdate a poem or two, or let yourself write whatever comes best to you.
The best way to be creative, I’ve discovered, is to let things come to us naturally, while allowing ourselves to constantly learn.
This NaPoWriMo season, I learned a lot more forms of poetry than I had ever hoped to learn. I learned about the nonet, curtal sonnet, a duplex, a concrete poem, a cento, Homeric similes, and I got to explore various forms of poetry that have been developed by other poets. This is amazing to me because throughout the course of my undergraduate degree, we were taught very specific forms of poetry. But to see that poetry, like everything else have evolved greatly over time, and enough for poets to develop their own forms of poetry, is a beautiful thing to behold. I immensely enjoyed learning about these new forms of poetry, and I enjoyed allowing myself to grow as a writer.
I think that is where learning truly begins. When we are willing to see past what already exists, and embrace everything that has come to exist since, we begin to learn a lot more than we could hope to. This NaPoWriMo season has left me with the realization that I am still a poet, no matter how long or short my poems are, no matter how many poems I have written, no matter what form of poetry I choose to put my words in. I have learned to take my creativity and direction more seriously than ever, and I like that I know where to channel my ideas.
I also got to network with a lot of new poets this NaPoWriMo season because of a wonderful initiative started by my friend @literarychills. This was also my third year running, doing NaPoWriMo with my best friend, Kittu’s Modern Mixtape, and my second year running with my other best friend, Amour Infini. I am so glad to be in the company of people who know and understand poetry, and who show it the same, if not more, love that I do.
I also got featured in an online article for The Mid-Day on what NaPoWriMo is and how to stay motivated throughout the NaPoWriMo season, along with a bunch of amazing poets. It’s my first ever feature in any article or interview, and I was so honoured to even be there. Amidst everything, my book ‘Autumn Winds‘ (international version here) was also featured at Ne8x Literature Festival 2022 as the recommended book, and it won the Book Honour award at the same festival, as well. I would have never imagined, in my wildest dreams, for my book to reach such a milestone within just a month of being out there in the world. Safe to say, April has been a pretty amazing month, considering everything I have achieved so far.
Here’s to everything that there is to come, and everything that I am yet to achieve. I have big hopes for myself, and I have big plans for my writing. I don’t know where it will take me, but I am hoping it’s going to be somewhere good.