On Lessons Relearned from GloPoWriMo

Yes, I made it across the finish line, huffing and puffing, and wobbly with exhaustion. 😀 I’ve done global and national poetry challenges before, but never reflected on them. But this time I thought I’d share lessons I relearned from the exercise:

1. Creativity Requires Freedom

After publishing my latest poetry collection, I vowed to focus on fiction writing until I can write a happy poem again. I miss the feeling of writing poetry from a place of awe, wonder and joy. But here I am, with poems burdened by injustices of our world. The more I tried to control the direction or the outcome of each poem, the more I failed. So, I simply went with the flow.

2. Being a Verb, instead of Noun

There’s no doubt, writing a poem every day for a month requires discipline and commitment. While consistency is an achievement, for me, showing up regularly to the page reminded me to be a verb again, instead of a noun. That is, shut up and write, instead of talking about writing.

3. Embracing Imperfection

There’s much editing to be done now. But I wouldn’t have had anything to edit if I didn’t embrace imperfection. It’s liberating to know I can’t create a masterpiece during GloPoWriMo, and maybe never. The act of writing itself, not the outcome, becomes the focus.

4. Community Fosters Growth

I know I often complain about social media activities and behaviour. It’s because healthy discussions, encouragement, or valuable insights are scarce on these platforms, nowadays. As poet Mark Nepo once said, we’re living in a society where everyone is trying to get attention.

Thank goodness for the blogs! The blogging community remains one of the best. I’m deeply grateful to you all who wrote alongside, read and offered encouragement this past April. I appreciate every comment. Thank you!

5. Poetry is a Journey, Not a Destination

Each poem written is a step forward in the journey of self-discovery and artistic expression. This is also why I wanted to acknowledge this GloPoWriMo effort, instead of rushing off to the next big thing. Poetry writing is an ongoing process that enhances self-awareness and understanding of the world around me. Perhaps, the reason it remains my first love.

On that note, I’ll continue the search for a happy poem, especially now that birds are back. 🙂 Wishing you days full of wonder and joy, whatever season you’re in!

Khaya Ronkainen
Khaya Ronkainen is a writer, poet and creative professional. Her blog focuses on all things poetry and creative nonfiction.

17 Comments

  1. Congrats on staying the course! I, too, have been ‘relearning’ creative insights. All five of yours ring true to form. 🙂

  2. What a wonderful reflection, Khaya. One of the benefits of most timed creative efforts is that we are forced out of our critic/perfectionist heads, forced to let go of control and just write or paint or dance. It’s wonderful practice and very freeing. I’m glad you partook in that experience. All wonderful insights, my friend. Happy Creating!

  3. Excellent takeaways, with which I agree 😉

    I’d say many of these can be applied to life, in general, too.

  4. Congratulations on finishing GloProWriMo, Khaya! I look forward to reading whatever you write, as I know it comes from the heart and is always insightful.

  5. I’m so glad this experience challenged and taught you. I have experienced similar feelings with NaNoWriMo. Sometimes the muse has a heavy hand. I think you produced some beautiful work in the exercise. And that next happy poem is still out there.

  6. Many thanks, Laura! Staying the course can be hard, but it’s so rewarding when it’s done. Now I’m curious about your creative insights. I look forward to hearing about them at some point, no pressure. 🙂

  7. “we are forced out of our critic/perfectionist heads” Say that again! That inner critic… Thanks so much my friend for your kind comment. Much appreciated!

  8. Thanks Christina, I appreciate your vote of confidence. And I too hope, the happy poem is out there waiting to be discovered. Now, I wish the muse’s heavy hand can point me back to the fiction work I was supposed to be editing instead of writing poetry…*sigh 😀

  9. Khaya, I found you via Diana’s blog and am glad I am here. Your lessons were good reminders for me. Also, I agree – this community has pulled me through the darkest times and been my biggest supporter. I’m not on social media, but I sure love it here on WordPress. Congratulations on completing your challenge! 🙂

  10. Hi Incurable Dreamer! Thank you so much for your visit, kind comment and being part of this wonderful community, and now mine…Diana is a wonderful connector. I appreciate you taking time to read and following my blog. I’m looking forward to reading yours, too. And how I envy you for not being on social media! 🙂 Life without social media seems so enticing for me, at this stage. Because I find the whole exercise exhausting…Anyway, thanks once again.

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