Why A Poetry Challenge?

When I thought two days ago of a year-long poetry challenge for myself, there was not a moment of pause. It felt like opening the door of a cage on a side of myself that doesn’t get a lot of attention. It felt like a deep tender part of myself was finally being given space to breathe. In that moment it was beautifully, completely clear that I needed to do this for the health of my soul. But a week, a month from now, I may be struggling for motivation so I want to take this moment to put down exactly why I’m choosing to go on this journey.

Making time for my passion – I adore writing, especially poetry, but because it takes effort and it’s often attached to feelings of inadequacy or doubt, I don’t spend as much time with it as I’d like. A daily goal is the perfect way for me to make sure I spend time every day with a dear love of my life.

Work on my skills – Along with the sheer pleasure of writing poetry, my hope is I can also develop as a writer, and as it will no doubt affect my spiritual and emotional health I also aim to become a better poet over the course of a year. I look forward to having a year’s worth of poems to look at as a whole and see how I’ve grown over that time.

 

Look at the world differently – With the impetus of knowing I’m expecting myself to churn out a poem every day, I’m sure the way I look at the world will change. Daily activities will suddenly have the undercurrent, “Can I make a poem out of this?” I’m so intrigued to see how I view the world with this new lyrical lens. Let’s face it, for many of us 2016 wasn’t a stellar year. Setting the intention to go into 2017 deliberately looking out for beauty and spirit may not be such a bad idea. Maybe it’ll add a mystical dimension to washing the dishes. If not perhaps it will distract me from my more mundane tasks.

Discover more poetry – Having poems on the brain every day, I will be more inclined to go in search of new poems and new writers, and expose myself to new thinkers and ideas and parts of the world. I’m already itching to order a heap of anthologies from the library.

Embrace being a poet – So often I see people who are reluctant to identify themselves as anything unless they do it eight hours a day and bring home a paycheque from it. But it is important to own what we do, to think ourselves worthy of it. My hair is light so I call myself blonde. I live in Canada so I call myself Canadian. I write poems so I call myself a poet. Over the course of a year I would love all three of these sentences to feel accurately descriptive of me.

 

Some of the most tenderly, simply beautiful moments of my life have been spinning letters into words and words into free-wheeling many-hued ideas I’ve never made before, and filling pages with thoughts I wouldn’t otherwise have a record of. Knowing I’ll be taking time each day to try and touch that joy makes me look forward to the coming year with a sweet, rose-coloured yearning, like I’m about to be reunited with a true love.

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