Reflection: NapoWrimo Challenge

So last month was poetry month and there is an event called NapoWrimo where poets challenge themselves to write one poem every day for the month of April. Here is a link to information about it:

I found out about the event last year but didn’t do it because I was in the middle of moving and way too busy at the time. This year, I decided to give it a try because I was in a better mindset and I had time. Also, since last year, I’ve been writing poetry on an almost daily basis so I didn’t think it would be too hard. I also wanted to post a poem a day on social media but that didn’t happen. Life got crazy with kids and my two jobs so I took a social media break in early April to focus on real life. However, I still updated my blog and still wrote poetry. During the month of April, I’ve averaged writing  between 9 to 12 poems a day. I’ve used prompts from Instagram and my own prompts to write so much and here’s a few examples of them:

I made prompts from lyrics

One thing that really helped me with this challenge was to turn off my internal editor. What this means is anything goes when I write even if it sounds shitty or terrible at the time that I write it down. I tell myself, I can always go back and revise it later. I also gave myself permission to not judge anything I write down and to really have self compassion for myself no matter what comes out. This gave me absolute freedom to write. I’ve also been sharing on my blog a poem or two from this challenge on a daily basis. It was hard at first because I was sharing raw and unedited work that sometimes doesn’t make sense BUT I said fuck it. I’m not claiming to be a good poet or a good writer. I’m well aware of my flaws and limits when it comes to my writing and I’ll address them someday. With this challenge, I wanted to just focus on writing even if what came out was cringy or repetitive or super emotional. I also want to mention that while this writing exercise challenged my creativity; it also opened the door to process parts of unhealed trauma which led to more healing. I know what you’re all thinking, how much more healing does this bitch need to do? Trust me, I’ve asked myself the same thing every day. I could write a whole book on healing from past trauma but I won’t. I’ll leave that to the experts. I guess my main takeaway from NapoWrimo was that for me to do it and be successful at it, it was important to turn off judgment and my internal editor. Something I didn’t expect from this exercise was how therapeutic it ended up being for me. I also didn’t expect for so much of the poetry I posted to be well received by my followers. I’m honestly humbled and grateful every time I get a like or comment about anything I write because it’s hard to imagine sometimes that my brand of messy and crazy resonates with anyone.  My advice when it comes to doing this kind of exercise is the obvious: shut down your internal editor and turn off judgment. Also, don’t be afraid to just write even if it doesn’t make sense why you’re writing it or how it comes out on paper. There’s a purpose and reason behind your words even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. Most importantly, write from the heart with loads of self compassion. While I shared what I wrote and really liked that aspect; I won’t tell you to do the same. It’s up to you if you want to write just for yourself (which is okay) or to share with the world (that’s okay too). Below are some of favorite poems from this writing challenge: