For Focus, Just Add Pressure

First things first: I completed the poetry marathon for the first time! Woot!

If I want to do this again, I need to look at how I managed it – and I think a big part of it was because I gave myself an added challenge. On top of writing one poem every hour, I titled my poems in alphabetical order, and gave myself a very small pool of forms to choose from each time. has a list of poetic forms on their site. Once I’d eliminated the ones that would be too long (such as the epic), I was left with 120 – that’s just five for each hour. By limiting my options, I avoided wasting time and energy on wading through a sea of endless possibilities. I picked my form and title in minutes, leaving me the rest of the hour to create the poem, comment, and rest.

I also wrote this victory post before the event started, to motivate myself to (a) finish, and (b) stick to the plan. || It mostly worked. This part here is being written on Sunday, minutes after uploading my final poem, and I can report that it was an almost-complete success. I dozed off a couple of times, and missed the odd deadline, but I made it to the finish line with 24 poems and time to spare. Other marathoners were very supportive, and encouraged me not to give up just because some of my poems were technically late.

Massive thank you to everyone – all the wonderful poets taking part, and especially the organisers. You are all seriously awesome, and I look forward to reading your work carefully over the next few weeks.

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