ESCAPRIL 2021

Last year, I discovered the ‘ESCAPRIL‘ poetry challenge and made my first attempt at completing it. The challenge involves a poetry prompt for every day in April that can be used in whatever way inspires you. You then post the piece you’ve written on social media. I don’t tend to post my poems; the challenge is really just for me and my writing practice. But, I enjoyed posting a handful on here last year so I thought I’d do the same again.

I’ll readily admit that I was not very consistent this year. My university deadline was halfway through the month so that ate up a lot of time and once that was done, I was completely exhausted (and hit with what felt like endless migraines) so it wasn’t the ideal time for the challenge but I did my best; I did the prompts that inspired me as they inspired me. That was all I could manage this year.

Here are this year’s prompts:

So, now the month and the challenge are over and I wanted to share some of my favourite pieces. It was really fun to write in this form again and I definitely feel like I wrote things that I wouldn’t have written otherwise. And that’s the goal, right? To stretch yourself and try new things and see what they inspire…

Screenshot 2021-04-30 at 22.31.01

Screenshot 2021-04-30 at 22.31.50

Screenshot 2021-04-30 at 22.33.05

Screenshot 2021-04-30 at 22.33.45

Screenshot 2021-04-30 at 22.34.12

Screenshot 2021-04-30 at 22.34.54

Screenshot 2021-04-30 at 22.35.25

Screenshot 2021-04-30 at 22.36.03

So I hope you liked these, that they aren’t too weird or clunky or obscure. I’m out of practice at writing poetry so it was a bit of a struggle to get back into that mindset, plus I’ve had a ridiculously busy month. I didn’t get to write as much as I would’ve liked to but it felt good to write what I did, so maybe I’ll come back to these prompts when I have more time (not that I have any idea when that will be).

Anyway, as I said, I hope you like them. I hope they’re okay. I like writing poetry but I have no idea if I’m actually any good at it. It’s something that I only really do for myself. But then a challenge is called a challenge for a reason.

Escapril Poetry Challenge 2020

A while back, I discovered the ‘Escapril’ poetry challenge, organised by writer Savannah Brown. For every day in April, there’s a poetry prompt that can be used in whatever way inspires you. You then post the piece you’ve written on social media. I’d been eagerly awaiting it for what felt like ages because I’d been really excited to get into writing poetry again (prompts or briefs often help me when I’m out of practice at something), even if it did land in the same month as the deadline of my most recent university assessment.

Here are this year’s prompts:

I didn’t manage a poem everyday (especially while working on my essay) and very quickly, I realised that I didn’t want to post them online until I’d had more time to develop them, edit them, and just make sure that they were good enough to share. I didn’t want to put a piece of work out into the world that I wasn’t confident in.

I have to admit that I’ve been struggling to be creative since the pandemic started and we went into lockdown, something I know a lot of people are dealing with. I read that long term fear and stress affect your brain, making it difficult to find inspiration and be creative – I don’t know about you but having a scientific reason for why I’m struggling so much definitely helped, even if it hasn’t actually solved the problem. Knowing why at least reassured me that my brain hadn’t just stopped working for no reason, that presumably it will start functioning again at some point. So I just have to be patient with myself, as hard as that may be. I’m a lot less patient with myself than with others, as it turns out.

Anyway, the month and the challenge are now over. As I said, I didn’t manage to write a poem everyday but I did manage to write something for most of the prompts and I really enjoyed writing in this format again, despite struggling with all things creative. Since I didn’t post anything during the challenge, I thought I’d share a few here that I’m pleased with or can see potential in…

2. GROWTH/DECAY

Screenshot 2020-04-28 at 18.07.04.png

6. OBSESSION

Screenshot 2020-04-28 at 18.09.24.png

12. SUBMERGED IN WATER

Screenshot 2020-04-28 at 18.09.38.png

17. GRIEF

Screenshot 2020-04-28 at 18.09.51.png

18. HOW DID THE SKY LOOK?

Screenshot 2020-04-28 at 18.10.13.png

24. BLACK HOLE

Screenshot 2020-04-28 at 18.11.07.png

So I hope you enjoyed these, that they’re not too obscure or clunky. As I said, I’m out of practice at writing poetry. It has a very different feel to writing songs and it’s definitely different to writing essays, the two forms of writing I’ve been doing over the last few months. So, yeah, I hope they’re okay. I hope you like them.

Have you taken up any new hobbies or skills since the lockdown? Or revisited old ones?