I've noticed that when I do my 30/30, one of the comments I receive the most is "I wish I had time to do this." Time is an issue. Between school, friends, family and a boyfriend, sometimes the last thing I want to do is write a poem (okay, maybe it's not the last, after all, poetry is my life). But it is hard. You don't have to spend hours drafting a long poem. Heck, there could be ways around the poem a day rule. I've had some ideas brewing in my head for a while that I would love to share with everyone. Maybe I'll start some trends. Hopefully, I'll at least inspire other poets. Or maybe you'll ignore it. But anyway this goes down, here they are.
For those who have little to no time
- Write poems in only short forms like haiku, tanka, lune, etc.
- Concentrate on one short form for the month. The most popular form is haiku. You can write a haiku a day. Or even write a bunch in a day, every day.
- Do a 30/30 on Twitter. Twitter is a social networking site where you can post whatever you are thinking in 140 characters. The best part about Twitter is that you can do it from your phone. So you can be on the go and write a short poem. Go to the site and check it out What can you come up with in 140 characters? You can follow my Twitter page once you have yours up and running at twitter.com/poem_lust.
- Write one line a day. There is such a thing as one line poems. Or you can put them all together at the end of the month and see what you come up with.
- In relation to writing a line a day or a one line poem is the six word novel/memoir. Say whatever you want to say in six words. Check out the six word craze at Smith Magazine.
- As I mentioned before, mobile phones are a wonderful thing to use on the go. If you have a phone where you can send e-mail from or surf the web from, write your poems from your phone and post them on your site of choice.
The 30/30 challenge seems like a very solitaire thing when it comes to creation. People will read your stuff. But how many people will write with you? Find some poets who would be willing to do some of the following with you:
- Write a renga! This usually takes just two poets. You can either work on one with somebody for one day or you two can drag it out and work on a couple of lines each day until it's complete. You can read up on how to do a renga atAhaPoetry or Wikipedia.
- Pick a person and write poems about each other, any form or just one form for a challenge. Both of you can either write a poem to each other each day or you can take turns (one person writes a poem on Monday about the other, the other writes a poem about you on Tuesday, etc.).
- The steal a line game. This requires a group of poets, whoever you want to include. One poet can write a poem. The next poet finds a line in that poem that they like (only one line) and uses it in their poem. Then the next poet after them looks at the second poem and finds a line that they like and uses it in a poem. And this goes on and on. Another variation to this is to have each poet grab their favorite line plus the line that the previous poet chose (this does not apply to the first and second poet of this group venture).
- Another similar exercise is the exquisite corpse. The simplest way to describe it is that you get a group of poets together, you each write a line and in the end, you put them all together. I've usually done this in person. You take a piece a paper, write a line, then past it to the next person. The person writes something and then folds up the paper so that only their line can be seen and passes on to the next person. And then this goes on. If you do it through the computer, you can all decide on a general idea and send in lines or you can each send a random line and put it together. You can read up on the idea of an exquisite corpse here.
There are so many ideas to get you writing. I have learned and thought up quite a few. I know that I will probably have another blog or two during this month about more ideas, but here are the ones I have:
- Write in a different form each day. Or choose one form and write in that form for the month.
- Create your own form or combine two forms together and see what you can come up with.
- Get a word list and write a poem based on that word list. Try not to look up the meaning of the words if you are looking to do something a little more abstract. Go with what sounds good together or by what you think the word means.
- Try a poem generator. There are plenty of them out there on the internet. Some of them will generate a full poem, which can help with inspiration, but most of them lets you interact and contribute to them to generate the poem.
- Use a translator. Babelfish from Yahoo is a good one. Translate your poem to a language you don't know, then translate it back to English. Something unique can come up.
- Find a poem in another language and without using a translation software or translating it yourself, write a poem based on how you think the words sound or look like in English.
- Find a picture you like and write a poem about it. Maybe you can even combine your poem and the picture together if you know how to do that digitally (though there is always good, old fashioned, let's write or draw on this picture).
- Do cut ups! Find a magazine, newspaper (or for those that are more daring, a book, one you own, not one you have borrowed) and cut out words or lines. Put them in a bag or envelope, mix them all up and pull them out one at a time, create a poem with them.
- Make a copy of another written piece of work by anybody and circle words and phrases you like. You can black out the surrounding words and see if you have a poem.
- Write a poem on a object and then take pictures of it. You can do visual 30/30.
- Pick up a CD of a group or singer you don't know and look at the track list. Use the titles to write a poem (I like to call this album poetry).
- Find a status you like on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, etc and either use that status in the poem or write a poem based on the idea of the status.
- Similar to that, find something off a social network and write a cento poem. A cento is when you take lines from different sources and put them together to create a poem. I once did a Twitter Bio Cento.
Actually, this is the most important piece of advice: Don't worry about if it is good or not. The point is to be writing.
You can check out my 30/30 on the blog or on Facebook. Below are a bunch of links I gathered for help, inspiration and fun. Enjoy!
Let the poetry begin!
General Sites and Blogs on Poetry:
Resources, Exercises and Games:
Classes (Online and Off):