One Week of NAPOWRIMO 2019 Accomplished!

How convenient that NaPoWriMo starts on April 1, that April 1 was a Monday this year, and that I blog on Mondays. This way my posts can neatly sum up the previous week. I feel so organized!!!

I wrote the equivalent of a poem (draft) a day, although I wrote two on one day because there was a day I knew I could not write anything. To me this is acceptable. I still get the same number poems at the end of the month, and I am not ignoring something important like family over for birthdays and holidays.

Here are the (working?) titles of the poems I have so far:

  • Super Bloom
  • Maybe It Was Spring
  • I Want to be Irish
  • My Say
  • Noah and the Middle School Marching Band
  • Never a Bride
  • Javelina Life Rules

I haven’t even checked in with the NaPoWriMo site because I am having a great time using the prompts in Diane Lockward’s The Crafty Poet, which is her first craft book and one I hadn’t really taken advantage of before. I find her prompts to be of the type I need: they come at poem creation from at least two angles, if not more. Being told to write a poem about purple often isn’t enough for me. I like more WRITING CONSTRAINTS.

When I look at the list of poems above, I see that there are repeats in subjects for me. For instance, “Super Bloom” has echoes of “Super Nova” in Doll God. They are completely different poems, but I could write a paper comparing and contrasting the two poems. Noah and Lazarus are in here, and I’ve worked with them before. (Of course, Noah is one of my obsessions. I have a sculpture of Noah releasing the dove that I dream about and a tiny Day of the Dead Noah shadow box).

Are you participating in NaPoWriMo? If so, how are you doing? I’d love to hear!

Other subject: the other day I posted a question on Twitter. I want to know if other poets save drafts of their poems as they revise. It had suddenly occurred to me that this is important to think about. I’ve never given it any thought and, in fact, destroy all my earlier drafts as fast as I move on. You might say I do it obsessively! I’m embarrassed of the earlier drafts and want to forget they ever happened. Then one day I read that a poet looked at one of her old drafts. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAA? And I remembered how much time I put into studying the earlier drafts of some of Sylvia Plath’s poems when I was writing academically.

That’s when I thought to myself that we can choose to save our drafts or not. Or have some kind of system about it. Instead, I have been operating solely on emotion, ripping and shredding gleefully. And my computer operates palimpsestically (hahaha, as if that’s a word) and cleaner. Sometimes there is no trace at all of what came before.

Not sure if I’ll change, but I’d like to think it through. What about you? Do you save old drafts? Of poetry? Of prose?

Is there value in saving them?

And let’s not forget Noah. What are your “obsessions”?


Filed under #AmWriting, #NaPoWriMo, #writerslife, National Poetry Month, Poetry, Research and prep for writing, Writing

30 responses to “One Week of NAPOWRIMO 2019 Accomplished!

  1. I seem to save drafts but it is not a conscious thing. I rename files as I work through a piece and then don’t delete the previous file. When I go back there are all these versions sitting there. I still don’t delete them. Go figure.

    • John, this is interesting because it sounds like a similar thing to what I do–handling the subject without really thinking it through! You save each draft and then you end up with them. But why? It is actually probably a good idea, if you have the computer space, but why do it? Maybe intuitively you think it’s a good idea?

  2. Good for you that you are successfully participating in NaPoWriMo! I thought about it and that’s as far as I got 😏 As far as drafts: I keep drafts if they are a longer version because I might want to retrieve something I had cut for a new version. I imagine the same might be for poetry and some poets. Drafts might not be just a matter of refinement but also fitting your work to a particular journal. I’ve had to revise stories just because of word count restrictions. In those cases, I’ll keep earlier drafts in case I can find a home for the longer stories.

    • OK, this is the most well-thought-out approach to drafts or not I’ve heard yet. Very good reasons to keep drafts. And, of course, you made me realize that I have kept many drafts for the memoir, where I don’t for poetry. Again, this is all just intuitively. With the poems, I guess I know that the new draft is better than the old, so why keep it to remind me of how crummy it started out haha. Thanks, Marie!

  3. You sound very organized to me, Luanne. I think I’m not so organized with writing–and always so many projects going on. I tend to just write over poems, so I don’t have previous drafts–except, some poems I’ve re-written in different forms for submissions and renamed them, so the previous version exists. And I actually reworked a previous version of a poem that was recently published. But there is no rhyme or reason to this–though there may be in the poetry. Hahaha.
    For the last two books I did, there were several drafts of each chapter, and I was saving them in various files. Again, not intentional, just part of the process of putting a book together.

  4. Oh–and congratulations on getting so many poems done! 🙂

  5. Love the titles!

  6. When I first became serious about writing poetry, I used a typewriter. (Computers were neither widely available nor portable.) I type much faster than I write, so it was closer to the speed of my thinking and far more legible.
    As I typed a poem, I’d see ways I could improve it or things I wanted to try, so I’d return a couple times and type the revised poem then repeat the process until I was satisfied. So I’d wind up with a page (or more) of drafting with a finished poem at the end. I just automatically kept the whole thing together when I filed it.
    I use the same process now that I work on computer, but in reverse: because a file always opens at the top, I insert revisions above the previous draft. That way, the most recent version is what I see when I open the file.
    That’s about as close as I come to being organized. I file things in a way that makes perfect sense at the time but seldom makes sense to me later. Thank goodness for search functions!

    So the short answer is that I pretty much have every draft of every poem I’ve written, somewhere, usually attached somehow to the final poem.

  7. Good to hear that you’re working hard and getting results. I like that sense of accomplishment.

  8. Well done on the poems – and on the two in one day, anyway you get there is acceptable I understand. Two in one day is mind boggling to me! It’s so interesting to read the comments from other writers too. I think saving the drafts is important – else how can some student sit and study your process when Luanne Castle is a subject heading in University? As a highly unimportant aside I’d add that the reason for starting my blog was to keep track of the things I made and with the paintings to try and keep track of the process – which for me is more important than the completed project.

  9. I don’t save multiple drafts, but when I’m editing my manuscripts I will save a separate document with the 1000’s of words I end up cutting. Talk about painful!

  10. only on windy days, Luann…

  11. Kudos, Luanne! Thanks for your tip about Diane Lockward’s The Crafty Poet, I’ll have to check it out. I’ve been using the NaPoWriMo site and even watching some of her posted videos as part of it. Really enjoying the practice, thank you again for inspiring me! 😉

  12. Pingback: Skimming It | Daily Inkling – Normal Happenings

  13. Being at a university I’m used to dealing with acronyms, but this one takes the cake!

    • I’m not sure it’s a legal acronym. Is it one is it’s made up of the first two letters instead of the first letter? I love confounding myself with new questions haha.

  14. I have something like 100 drafts on WP. They usually get published eventually. After editing. Some of them get trashed tho.

  15. Wonderful, Luanne. You’re off to a great start. I love your Noah sculpture. The details are amazing. No wonder why it’s inspirational.

  16. anjum wasim dar

    I do have a newspaper covered notebook with one blank and one lined page, I use a black lead pencil with an erasure, sometimes colored pencils but very seldom a pen, my drafts are usually erased but many are still on the pages, very interesting and valuable points here Luanne Love your work always

    • You are so very organized! And I love that you think through your writing process, too. I am appalled how I just “go, do” and don’t think it through. Many good wishes for your poetic production this month! xo

  17. anjum wasim dar

    Dear Luanne Thank you for your kind and encouraging words You have been a great source of support for my writing from too You inspire me profoundly

  18. Thhanks for sharing

Leave a Reply