PAD Challenge 2020 – Recap

I decided to take stock this morning and look back at what I wrote this month. 36 poems and 7 starts (that may turn into poems at some point). I even like 4 of them! Most of the poems I’ve gone on to publish in journals or anthologies have started from seeds planted during these poem-a-day challenges.

I recently submitted a revised version of my poetry manuscript, and the majority of poems in it also started from the monthly challenges I’ve completed in previous years. I realize prompts don’t work for every writer, but they have been an amazing motivator for me, and also help me explore writing in new forms or about different topics than I’m normally drawn to.

All of this to say, even in the midst of one of the most stressful and disorienting months I’ve ever experienced, poetry has been a respite. I know it always will be.

To anyone who has read or commented on my work this month, thank you! I am grateful. I always write for myself first, but it’s encouraging to know something I’ve created and shared resonates in some small way with someone else.

Next comes editing and revising. A different kind of fun! But not until June. The words need time to age and settle a bit. First I plan to read more of the poems others have created this month, and dig in to the MANY poetry books I’ve purchased in the last several weeks. I firmly believe every day is better with poetry, but never has that seemed truer than now.

green leafed plant on sand

Photo by Engin Akyurt on


4 thoughts on “PAD Challenge 2020 – Recap

  1. So true and as always -I love your poetry. I found it interesting your process- to use the poems as a starting point. I’ve always just left them and haven’t gone back but I will look at this now as the first stop in a writing process.

  2. Yes prompts work great for me too as a motivator! I do need to be more motivated in going back to them, revising, and considering putting another collection together of the best ones though – I’ve been doing the challenge since 2015! Need to get better at not just writing them and then abandoning them…

  3. I liked a lot more than just four of yours! Now I feel better about doing nothing with mine anytime soon. Yes, just let them rest. (Or I’ll get sucked in all over again.)

    I’ve never tried prompts or a group like that before. Didn’t think it would do much. But the right prompts do, and there is a certain rolling energy in a group document. Between the two, you can open a vein, or become the vein. Something happens. A bit draining and raw, more of a marathon than I expected but with energy at the end.

    I should be able to derive a method from this experience, but it seems like there wasn’t just one.

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