November PAD

I'm participating in the Poem-a-Day Challenge this month, the first time in four years.  The rules of the challenge are different for me:  I allow myself mulligan days, partial pieces, and other things I normally don't.  At first, I rallied against my self-accommodations but, as time went on, I realized I couldn't participate without them.  Do I want to produce three poems following every stipulation, or thirty with tweaks to the process?

2019 is one of the hardest years of my life so far.  There is always an illness or emergency sucking away my sleep, time, and health.  Writing isn't a priority when the world is on fire, and all you wish for is that no one dies.

Nineteen full and partial poems—by day's end, that number should be a nice, round twenty.  I don't even know if I wrote nineteen poems this entire year prior to November.

The part I don't like about this challenge is how few poems are actually good.  Out of every piece I wrote so far, I might currently like two.  I keep mixing metaphors, covering the same ground, letting the middles sag, and producing endings that aren't endings at all. But, that's what editing is for... I guess.  I just wish there was more wheat within the mountain of chaff.

Are you doing a writing challenge this month?


  1. Congratulations! I'm a fan of writing challenges. In October, I do the Nightmare Fuel project, which provides an eerie photo or art prompt each day and invites writers to create an accompanying piece of flash fiction. In November, I sometimes do NaNoWriMo. I'm doing it this year, trying to finish my current novel (gothic romance, The Architect and the Heir). In April, I like to do the AtoZ blogging challenge, too.

    The bad part is that some of these challenges can pull me out of my current WIP, but then that's sometimes the good part, too, because it revitalizes my creativity and gets me out of ruts.

    A poem a day would have been challenging for me even when I wrote poetry more regularly. You might feel better about some of the fodder you're creating when it's not as fresh. I know I often am hardest on my work when it's the freshest.

    1. Wow, NaNo is a huge commitment! Are you on track to hit your goal? How many books does this make for you when you finish your current WIP? The October challenge sounds amazing!

      I'd love to do the blogging challenge in poetic forms, but I think that's too much failure on display at once. lol
      I hope I do like more of my poems later, but they're pretty disastrous.

    2. I'm behind right now, but even on the years I've won NaNoWriMo, I was always behind at this point. I get a nice chunk of writing time over Thanksgiving holidays with no school for five days in a row so I can steal more hours for my creative life. Even if I don't "win" though I consider it worth it for the hard focus on a single project and getting more words than I would have otherwise.

      I have three published novels now, and ten stories in anthologies, but I also have three complete drafts of novels on my hard drive, waiting to be revised into something reader-ready.

      I'd be with you on poetry. Posting early drafts of that work might be too disheartening…at least if you write like I do, with layers coming in after multiple drafts. You could post some lines that you like as you go though.

    3. How far are you behind in NaNo? What was the furthest you were behind at this point in the month and still "won"?

      "...and getting more words than I would have otherwise" is exactly why I decided to attempt this year's PAD. Even if I only get one viable poem, it's one more than I had prior.
      Three drafts of three novels? Dear cripes! I can't imagine writing one.

      Hmmm... maybe I can do a post on my favorite lines after the challenge. Thanks for the suggestion!

    4. As of today, I'm about 8K behind. I've definitely been able to catch up from this level before. The deciding factor will be Thanksgiving holidays and how many hours I can snatch for my writing on those non-school days. The Girl Scout camping trip this weekend is definitely going to slow me down.

      The time commitment is definitely the rough part of having chosen novels as my art form. It takes me a year, on average, to have a full draft of a novel, and that's not *done* it's just a full draft, ready for revisions.

      I like the favorite lines post idea :-) Maybe "Darlings I Didn't Kill" LOL.