2019 Poetry Marathon: My half-marathon recap

Another year’s half marathon come and gone. As I often point out, I prefer to do the half marathon because I like to sleep; consequently doing the full 24-hour marathon simply wouldn’t work for me, as it would take me at least a couple of days to get back to normal.

Making things easier this year was my recent acquisition of Scrivener. Thanks to the program’s separate panes, I was able to have the prompt always visible as I wrote:


Screenshot showing working layout in Scrivener, with area for notes on the right


As before, I worked with all the prompts for the sake of simplicity. That said, a couple of them still gave me trouble. For example, for the hour 5 prompt calling for a poem about a dream, nothing immediately came to mind, so I dug out a couple of my old journals that I knew included detailed descriptions of dreams I’d had. The problem was that the ones I still have dim memories of today turned out to be not that interesting. I finally just picked one and tried to reduce it to the barest details (taking a couple of liberties along the way). Similarly, none of the photos in the hour 4 prompt did much for me—and my first choice (the black-and-white photo of the woman next to the tipped-over stool) felt a little too obvious for me. And the song chosen for the hour 7 prompt was not at all my taste, so I had to take some time to find something I would find more inspiring.

In the end, most poems took me 30–45 minutes to write, lightly edit, and post. On the whole, I think they turned out all right. At least, I didn’t hate any of the poems I posted.

This time, I did get around to checking out the later prompts and using them to write additional poems. I posted only one of them (also written while listening to music), however.

Now to pick out the two poems to edit and submit for the anthology…

(23 June 2019)

2 thoughts on “2019 Poetry Marathon: My half-marathon recap

  1. Kevin, I’m with you on this. It took me 30-45 min too for most of the poems. That said, having to run to the store, receiving company for tea, and a little one running around, made for an interesting challenge. I used Scrivener too. 🙂

  2. I like this method, and although I didn’t use Scrivener, I did have a similar system in place to keep things as simple as possible.

    Editing was something I did less of during the challenge itself, but I tried to cap my writing time to 30 mins to stop myself falling behind or overthinking anything.

    I used the prompts for all twenty four poems, but was a little lax in how exactly I followed them.

    I did consider the half amrathon, but knew I’d have regretted stopping at the halfway point knowing others were still going. Got to the end, but I was woefully underprepared for the challenge, but I’ll be ready for next year to do it all again. =)

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