So, this is my first year. And I was really, really excited to try NaPoWriMo. In a way, I didn’t expect it to go so well- I didn’t actually think I’d be able to write a poem a day. And so far, I have. Which is a good thing- I know I can actually make a goal and not give up after a day of writer’s block. But what I hadn’t really thought about? Writing every day does not mean writing something you like everyday. Even just fifteen days in, I’d say most of the stuff I’ve written so far I have not really enjoyed writing and I don’t like most of it.
But in a way, that’s also been good for me. Because after writing all day and deciding I don’t like what I wrote, I can’t just say “Oh well, I’m going to ditch this and write something new tomorrow.” Nope. Either I edit like mad and MAKE it work, or I don’t edit it but keep it anyway and let it run through my mind the next few days, with plans to edit it later or, in some cases, ditch most of it and only keep a few lines for a future project. So far, it’s definitely not been about writing well. It’s just been a month of making a conscious decision to not give up.
So I have mixed feelings. There are days where I know I would have done better had I had a few days to let the poem work itself out in my subconscious, days where I decide I hate poetry and I hate writing and I hate my inability to express myself well. But it’s like playing that piano piece you’ve loved to death for years: you start it, make a mess of it. Play it again and again and again, failing each time, and play it again. Play it again, decide you’ve ruined the song and you should just stop because now you’ll never listen to the song again without thinking about how you weren’t able to play it. But you play it again because there’s still that glimmer of hope that, just MAYBE, you can make it work. And five months later, you can not only play it, but you can play it well, (maybe, dare I say, perfectly, if you’re lucky) and you love that song and every time you hear it now, you grin because in your head, you’re naming all of the notes and keeping time in your head and reciting fingering, and it’s not just their song, it’s YOUR song.
This month, I’ve accomplished two things that I’m proud of. I’ve made it fifteen entire days without giving up, which is a rare thing for me. I proved myself wrong. I CAN go more than three days with a goal. And I was finally able to play Mrs. Darcy from the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack (Kiera Knightly version- while I am a firm BBC follower, I liked the other soundtrack best) perfectly. Good thing too, cause I’m performing it on Saturday.
That may not seem like a big deal to anybody else, but to me, it’s huge.