Thursday, April 30, 2015

Notes on the 2015 PAD Challenge

I can't believe today is the last day of April and consequently, the last day of Robert Lee Brewer's 2015 PAD Challenge. I thought I would reflect on doing the challenge since it has been my major writing project this month. This topic also fits with this week's Wordsmith Studio 3rd Anniversary Blog Hop so I am killing two birds with one post.

This has been my most successful PAD challenge as far as consistency and number of poems completed. As I'm writing this, I have posted 26 poems for the challenge. I expect to complete the poem for Day 30 so that will give me 27. I missed doing a few when I was on vacation last week. I still have time to catch up. I may but it's OK if I don't.

Here are a few of the things that worked to my benefit:

  1. I looked forward to the prompt each day. I made a habit of looking at it early in the day and writing it down [Note: I do my first drafts with pencil and paper]. 
  2. No drama after reading the prompt. No cursing, screaming, crying, wailing or hitting my head against the desk. Maybe a few deep breaths, which I consider drama prevention, and a "You can do this" or two.
  3. I was patient. If I didn't have an idea right away, I didn't panic. I'd write down ideas, play with words even write down a few lines until I had something I wanted to work with. When I completed a piece, I didn't hurry to post it.
  4. I was flexible. Because I didn't hurry to post, I continued to make revisions. Sometimes another  idea came to me during the day and I ended up with a completely different poem.
  5. I let myself enjoy the challenge and its challenges.

I established some good habits this month, and I hope to keep the momentum going. Time for another challenge!


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  1. So glad to hear about your experience, Michelle. I think my biggest "process" change during this year's PAD challenge is that I often found myself writing a completely silly first draft as a way of getting comfortable with the prompt. Rather than driving myself crazy trying to write a "real" poem right off the bat, I just wrote something ridiculous, got the "oh no, how am I going to write this one?" out of the way, and then settled down to write something more meaningful. I'm really glad to hear that you've also had "prompt-block" on occasion, although it sounds like you've found a saner way of dealing with it!

    1. I think you have a great method, Patrick. I often start by playing with words. I write a few words that the prompt triggers then switch to words that rhyme or are opposites of those. I can't say I've intended to write a silly poem, but I know I've written many. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. 27 new poems! Hope you keep your momentum and creativity going!

  3. Thanks, Elizabeth. As Robert points out, the majority are first drafts so I have plenty of revising ahead of me. I'm most excited about how much I enjoyed participating this year. Thanks for stopping by.