Jasmine D. Lowe, author of this month's Last Words, is a former Bakersfield native and current Marketing Communications Specialist who works and lives in Orange County, California. The Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State Fullerton alum spends her free time running, writing, and drinking way too much coffee. From 2013-2015, as a member of WOK, Jasmine served on The Write Way newsletter team. You can read more of her writing on her blog at jazzedaboutstuff.com
There were no awards given out at some beautiful ceremony, or trophies sitting high on top of pillars with my name engraved in the gold colored metal—but, I did it. I finished another writing challenge, and now I have pages of poems that I actually like, and some of them I even feel pretty proud of.
The 31-day blogging challenge to write a poem a day for the month of October was probably one of the best things I could have done to dip my feet back into the pool of poetry and kick start my writing for the rest of the year. OctPoWriMo, or October Poem Writing Month [not NaPoWriMo, or National Poetry Writing Month, which takes place in the month of April] encourages participants to push themselves and their writing and to explore poetry for another month out of the year.
This was my first year taking part in the challenge, and I’m hoping that this won’t be my last. I definitely feel as though I have been reconnected to poetry and that I was challenged in a way that would forge new habits in my writing and make sure I set aside time to grow and foster my skills. I wanted to continue practicing these habits into the next month by attempting to complete the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge. NaNoWriMo is an annual, Internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November. Participants attempt to write a 50,000-word manuscript between November 1 and November 30.
I’ve attempted the challenge before, but I always stop midway through the month as the holidays approached and traveling got in the way. However, I’m hoping my recent accomplishment with OctPoWriMo will encourage me to stick with my plan to make more time to write every day. I’ll see what I can do during the month of November, but I am planning on finishing the 50,000-word challenge even if it's not accomplished in the 30-day time span.
I may be a little late getting everything done, and I probably won’t receive a trophy after it is over, but I will have achieved what I have wanted to do anyway, and I will have solidified a great habit of making more time to write.