Day 19 #NPM15 – Landay

A poem a day? Uninspiring.

I need a new challenge to expand my brain’s wiring.


The Day 19 prompt from napowrimo was to write a landay (which I actually did that day—just slow getting it posted). This is a form that I had not heard of. In a nutshell, it is 2 lines of 22 syllables (9+13) that rhymes. And the history is intriguing. It is a form of poetry from Afghanistan, typically used by Pashtun women, generally only spoken and often covering themes of love, grief, homeland, war, and separation. If you click through to the article about landays, you can scan it quickly for examples.

This is the third year I’ve done NaPoWriMo and so far this time around, I haven’t been generating anything particularly interesting. It has felt more like an dull obligation rather than a creative inspiration. I’m not giving up on writing poetry daily, but I decided to shift focus. For a while now I’ve had some raw notes that I have been meaning to working into a series of poems, so I’m going to start working with those. I’m not sure they will lend themselves to a daily poem, but I’ll offer periodic updates on my progress, maybe sharing a few lines if it makes sense.

OK, so happy NaPoWriMo, everyone—enjoy your writing!

The Challenge Has Been Met!

We’ve reached the end of May Manuscripts: 31 Days of Meeting the Muse. My goal was to: 1) produce something daily and 2) publish something daily (not necessarily the same thing).

Mission accomplished!

My stats:

  • Days of writing – 31!
  • Days of publishing – 31!

My unexpected stats:

  • Views during May – 344!
  • Views on my busiest day – 63! (Thanks, Mom!)
  • Followers – 20! (Really? Who wants to read what I have to say?!?)
  • Comments – 46! (Although I have to admit about half are my responses to others’ comments…)
  • Likes – 43 (No, they weren’t from me!)

Now, I know for those of you who’ve been blogging a while, all that is no big deal. But, gosh, don’t you feel a little bit of pressure as the number of Followers grows?? What if they don’t Like your writing anymore??

I started this challenge expecting to write for me, myself, and I—and my challenge buddies Linda and Wendy. What a great surprise to find all the support out there—THANK YOU!!!

I also found myself exploring other people’s blogs, so I’m now following blogs from 14 people that I’ve never met. They’re from all around the world. Some are writers, some artists, some musicians. Wow! I never knew how fun all this creative sharing (and learning!) could be!

Halfway through my challenge, I did a lessons learned post. To continue the list for the last half of the challenge…

Lesson 5: Challenge brings growth.

Like fasting for Ramadan or giving up chocolate for Lent, sticking with your challenge even when it is annoying or irritating or uncomfortable and you just don’t want to do it…stretches you. And when you’ve stretched that far you can say “Oh. That wasn’t so bad. I think I can do even more!”

In 2011 I wrote about 12 poems all year. This past month I wrote 10 poems! Most of them aren’t worth pursuing much further, but 3 or 4 are. Not bad!

Lesson 6: Support is essential.

Besides the unexpected followers noted above (again—yay!), my cohorts Wendy and Linda were tremendous. We checked in with each other via email almost daily. As all three of us are the introspective type, we frequently made observations about ourselves, our responses to our challenge, the shifts we felt, the resistance we ran up against. A debriefing session mid-way through the month, and a writing retreat 2/3 of the way through added to our sense of community.

Thank you, challenge buddies—you were my muses!!

Lesson 7: Just SHIP!

I read Seth Godin’s blog on a daily basis. One of his core themes is “Ship!” In other words, don’t just write and never share your writing. Don’t try for perfection – get the 80% solution out there. Ship frequently and make adjustments based on the feedback. Get your ideas or products out there for the world to use, enjoy, criticize.

The month of May provided a great lesson in shipping. Now that I’ve started, I’m not sure I can stop…