They say it takes 21 days to learn a new habit.
April was National Poetry Month, and since I love poetry, I decided to take the NaPoWriMo challenge of writing 30 poems in 30 days. I've never written poetry "on demand" before, it is always something that I have done when one just sort of presents itself to me. So, I was a little bit nervous. But I did it. Whew!
And I learned a lot along the way. I learned that perhaps I don't always have to wait for the so-called muse to stop by for a visit before I pick up my pen. I learned that keeping myself in "poetry mode" at all times isn't as hard, or as stressful as I thought. And I learned that doing something every single day, even when you might not feel like it, forces you to grow.
I also learned that my stubborn streak really comes in handy sometimes. And that if I start getting out of bed an hour early every day to write, I start falling asleep well before my usual bedtime.
Perhaps most importantly, I learned to take the time to listen to myself, really listen. Even when I think I don't have that time to take.
The whole experience made me think a lot about writing. Why I do it, whether or not I'm any good at it, if, possibly, this is what I was meant to do. One of my fears about pushing my writing to the next level has always been the notion that if I had to do it for a living, would it lose its wonder, would it become a chore, would I dread sitting down to write? Of course, as usual, the answers have eluded me.
But the process was wondrous, eye-opening, thought-provoking. I'd have to say that is a pretty good habit to form.
Not that I plan to keep on writing a poem a day.
At least now I know that if I have to, I can do it.