A little over a month ago, I took the plunge and signed up for the LexPoMo Writing Challenge. I had been watching them for a few years and was enamored by the tenacity of the contributors and with the community feel of the whole project. Basically, for the month of June, you write one poem a day and should try to submit at least five to their blog.
This month, for me, has been quite busy. I am working on my second novel, coordinating with my graphic designer for the cover work, producing my podcast, and gearing up to record an audio book. I am also in the beginning phases of planning a second podcast and possibly a YouTube channel.
Needless to say, I have done it again. I have overloaded myself until I can barely breathe.
I find that I work really well like that though. I tend to languish or grow lazy if I don't pile the plate high.
I was definitely intimidated by the project. Not only did the act of writing a poem per day cause me some panic attack moments, but I was also going to contribute to a group that has so many talented writers. I mean it. They are phenomenal. I am quite humbled by their gifts.
But I wanted to learn. I wanted to practice and possibly expand my writing. I wanted to meet these incredible people and be a part of something bigger.
I soothed my anxiety by telling myself that I only had to submit five. In other words, I could just do my five and reach the blog post goal for the challenge and I could be done with it. In reality, I don't like lying to myself. That would have been cheating on my agreement. At least for me. I'm not judging anyone that only wrote one or found they couldn't write at all. I need accountability for myself. I am just enough of an analyst that I see metrics of completion as a thing of beauty. It's how I drive myself. Results oriented. Concise.
I've stuck to it so far. I am posting my poems one day behind because I was a little too late on the first day. I got snagged by the reformatting on their poem editor. It's okay though. It opened a door for a fun idea for the end of the month for the 30th day.
My greatest challenge has been teaching myself about all the various types of poetry that are out there. I vaguely remember studying poetic verse in high school and I have written free verse for years. I found this fantastic link that lists 168 poetry forms. Some of them I can't even pronounce. On my tired days, I rely on free verse but on the days I am a little more bright-eyed, I am selecting a form from this list and applying my own little twists.
You can find that list here:
Yeah, I know the link says 50 but the article title says 168...
As I mentioned before, I can be quite analytical. Before June 1st, I sat and made a list of common horror themes, concepts, ideas, and words. I toyed between writing something for each item on the list or to break it into ten units of related ideas and explore each one three times.
Yeah, I'm a nerd like that.
I went for the latter. I wanted the chance to write from different perspectives about each concept. It was much like an assignment from my college photography days - take one subject and shoot it from a wide variety of angles. It was a chance to learn how to see things in a whole new light...just by shifting your perspective a bit.
I am doing the same here. Nine neat little horror concepts that are comprised of related words for the topic. The tenth was the random concept: the wild card, the dark horse, the ace in the hole. I am not writing them in any particular order as it allows my brain a chance to breathe or to forget what I had already written so I don't accidently become repetitious.
I have a few that I am ambivalent toward but I have several that render me terribly proud. That is how it goes though, right? Practice makes perfect. Keep trying. Do it again.
I even managed to mix a little analyst thinking with horror and I think it turned out well. I hope I am the only person that has managed to combine those two terribly different things.
So far, so good. I am keeping to my end of the bargain. I may not get to it until 11:45 PM some nights but I am getting them done. I am almost to the end.
*Uh yeah, I am not counting the poem in my drawing as one of the thirty. This one was strictly for the Blah Blah Blog.
To learn more about LexPoMo, visit their website at www.lexpomo.com.