And National Poetry Month!
It’s been a month since my last blog post, and there are many excuses as to why it’s been so long since I last posted.
In varying degrees of severity, ranging from a busy work schedule to keeping up and maintaining my newsletter (more on that later), to the fact that spring is finally showing herself to us where I live, and something is intoxicating about being outside these days.
All this to say hello. It’s nice to see you again. Let’s catch up.
But before I begin, did you know that I have a newsletter?
It’s called The Lindsay Letters, and it’s personally one of my favorite things to write outside of my poetry. It’s sent out every Monday, and you can expect to read about things like obscure sorrows (Words like sonder, which refers to the realization that every person on the planet is the protagonist of their own story) to causes I believe in, such as Every Town For Gun Safety, an organization dedicated to ending American Gun Violence.
This week’s newsletter was dedicated to National Poetry Month, an annual tradition hosted by Poets.org since 1996 that celebrates anything and everything poetry.
I highly recommend subscribing to it. It’s free, it’s fun, and, as I mentioned earlier, it’s out every Monday:
Reader, if I can be honest for a moment, I must admit that it has been hard to write in the last few weeks.
I feel like the reason for this is two-fold: Firstly, it’s hard to find time to write. A few months ago, I got a new full-time job that requires me to do a lot of writing for work. And in the excitement of this new job, I used it as a catalyst for my own creative and artistic projects, this website being a primary focus.
In the short time I’ve been working for this new employer, I’ve made leaps and bounds in the professional development of my website and my craft, with what I believe are clear goals and plans for the future.
However, I can finally say that the luster of novelty has finally begun to wear off. And in its place is the monotony that is associated with work. This, paired with not knowing what to write about, has left me in a bit of a rut.
And this is where the struggle begins.
The push to continue to write for me and mine in the face of that monotony and lack of inspiration. To find the time to do so, even when I don’t have the time.
I’ve shared in the past my advice about writing when you don’t have inspiration: the answer is the write anyway. The same is true about writing when you’re tired or when you’re sick. Find the time to write, even when you don’t want to, because at least you’re writing something. At least you’re practicing.
Truthfully, even though I know this advice is true, I haven’t been putting it into practice.
Work has been leaving me tired. Spending time with friends has been taking precedence. Life has gotten in the way.
And that’s alright. You know why?
Because I’m writing this now. Writers at every level of experience fall into ruts where the last thing they want to do is write. But like I’ve said before, and time and time again, what is important is that at least you do it.
But I know what you’re thinking:
What does that have to do with a keyboard?
Recently, Reader, I got a new keyboard. It actually looks a lot like this one here (^), but it is all black with pink accent keys. It is adorable. This one is also adorable, but I digress.
I’m utterly obsessed with my new keyboard.
I kid you not. The first few days after it arrived, I spent hours taking typing tests to feel how smooth and satisfying typing was. Spoiler alert: It’s very smooth and very satisfying.
In fact, it’s so satisfying that I think you should get one.
If you’re a writer, I think you should invest in a keyboard that you are as obsessed with typing on as I am on this one.
Because it has made sitting down and writing fun. I’ll type out a whole page (maybe even two! wow! maybe even more!) to hear the little keys clickety-clack.
In fact, I recently woke up after an intensely vivid dream that I serendipitously decided to write down, and I’m so glad I did. Not only did I remember most of it, but I also had a blast typing away on my little keyboard and fleshing out the details. Now I have an entire short story, one that I intend to publish on the site later.
To make a long story short, Dear Reader:
The easier you make it for yourself to sit down at your desk and write, the better.
Get a cute, clackity keyboard. Incentivize your writing with a snack or a friend. Reward yourself. Make it fun. Find a way to write, even when you don’t want to.
And, in case you’re curious, I got my keyboard from Akko. This isn’t sponsored, so browse to your heart’s content.
Reader, did you know that National Poetry Month is every April?
To be completely honest, neither did I!
But now I do, and that’s what’s important. And now you do too.
National Poetry Month was created in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets to celebrate poetry's integral role in our culture. In the last 27 years, it has become the world’s most significant literary celebration, with millions of readers, students, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and publishers celebrating yearly.
Every year, Poets.org features multiple ways for people to get involved and showcase their love for poetry, hosting events, giveaways, and literature to share with friends and family.
This year, they created a list of 30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month, an incredible resource with multiple ways to get into the month's spirit.
Below, I’m going to share a few of my favorites:
This is one of my favorite newsletters and is a beautiful source of inspiration and knowledge.
2. Sign-up to receive a free National Poetry Month poster featuring a line by U. S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón and artwork by Marc Brown, creator of the popular Arthur book and PBS television series. Download the PDF and display it for the occasion.
It’s a free poster! Do I even have to say more?
3. Check out an e-book of poetry from your local library.
Libraries are perhaps the most slept-on institution we have and are a great place to find some genuinely incredible poetry. My favorite poetry book from my local library is The Best Poems of the Brontë Sisters by Candace Ward.
Poets.org has recordings of many of their poems (It gives me an idea for the future of my own poetry. Stay tuned for that idea).
5. Take on a guerrilla poetry project.
Honestly, I didn’t even know this was a thing, but I love it. Taking on a guerrilla poetry project is a little like making your own poetry zine or self-publishing a chapbook and asking local brick-and-mortar bookstores to sell it. The best part is some will! You never know until you try!
If you are interested in poetry or National Poetry Month, I highly recommend looking at the rest of what the Academy of American Poets has to offer. They truly encompass the feeling that poetry is necessary and celebrate it in such a joyous way.
And if you plan on partaking in any National Poetry Month festivities (even if it’s just getting that sick poster), please feel free to share down in the comments below.
Until next time,