I recently participated in a writing challenge created by writer and YouTuber, Savannah Brown, which consisted of writing a poem every day in April following a list of prompts she created. The event was called ‘escapril’ and was to celebrate national poetry month by ‘escaping into poetry’ every day in April, and I think this helped me do exactly that!
I have often felt when writing poetry that I really need to be ‘in the mood’ in order to write it, so I was initially concerned that I would find writing from prompts quite difficult and would result in mediocre writing (although the point of the challenge was not necessarily to write good poems every day, but just to be writing something everyday). Needless to say, I was surprised at how easy writing for prompts became over time. At the beginning it was definitely a challenge as anticipated, but I began to enjoy the way it pushed me to write about new subject matters and actually consider more what I was writing, rather than just ‘letting it flow’ all the time. I found it was a test of my true writing ability and I was pleasantly surprised at what I was able to produce. In a way it gave me a new perspective on my writing and I proved to myself that I am more capable than I think.
Now, trying to write a poem per day whilst also in the throws of a rather intense period at University was certainly trying, and I had to manage my time very well to make sure I had time to write poems every day. There were certainly days I skipped that I had to make up for but I still managed to write 30 substantial poems in a month, and honestly I’m struggling to pick a favourite! I have since returned to regular life which does not include writing a poem every single day, and although by the end of April I was ready for a break from worrying about what I’d write that day, oddly enough I’ve begun to miss it. I think this comes from the fact that I was having to schedule free time in my days. ‘Me time’ if you will. True to the name, I really was ‘escaping into poetry’ every day. I needed time to myself every day to write my poems, but now I’ve stopped planning for that so all my time is spent on homework and other such things once again. But I think I’m missing the time I had to myself to work on my own creative endeavours outside of university work. Now if I have free time, rather than writing a poem I watch Netflix to relax, because it’s easier and I don’t have to do anything else. I think I liked that escapril forced me into ‘productive’ me time, that really improved my life for the better.
I think I’ve maybe learned more from this experience ending than I did during the actual writing. Now I’m reflecting rather than being caught up in it and I’ve realised the importance in making time for myself that isn’t just mindlessly watching Netflix or YouTube. So, this is something I’m going to try and make an effort to incorporate into my life, because I think it has an impact for the better. I am always very focused on my work because it’s extremely important to me, but I’ve simply come to the realisation that planning time for my own personal creative endeavours is just as important. It is imperative that I am always planning for the day that I want to have, that will help me achieve my goals in all aspects of my life, because that will make my days far more meaningful to me.