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Writer Marla Deschenes blogs about why she is participating in National Poetry Writing Month.

I decided on April 1st to participate in NaPoWriMo. It was a gorgeous spring day that I was thoroughly enjoying with warm sunshine on my face as I walked my beloved dog around the streets of my neighborhood in Connecticut. I don’t know if it was just my happiness at not having to wear a coat or the fact that the air smelled like spring and new beginnings, but I felt alive and invincible. After exercising my dog enough to have him take a nap, I sat down with my laptop to check some email and waste time on Facebook. I saw a lot of my poet friends posting about how April is National Poetry Writing Month, a fact that I knew in a peripheral sense but not well enough to give a lot of thought to it at all. Reading how poets were pledging to write a poem a day for the entire month made me stop and refocus, no small feat when I was completely embroiled in social networking.

I can’t really say I have been on strike from writing. I participate in SPARK, run by the absolutely awesome and amazing Amy Souza who is also a dog lover like myself. I scribble in notebooks. I write in the margins during meetings at work. I call myself a poet and a writer. I read zines and blogs. I write supposedly witty “tweets” and “status updates.” But sitting in the glow of my laptop screen on April 1, 2012, I finally realized what was missing. To be a writer, you have to write with some kind of regularity. To be a poet, you have to write poems with some kind of regularity. I wrote sometimes. I didn’t make writing a priority. I needed something to give me a kick in the ass and force me to focus on my writing every day. NaPoWriMo was that thing.

To keep myself honest and to be able to share my adventure during a month of poetry, I created a Facebook page – National Poetry Month April 2012 – 30 Poems in April! By Marla Deschenes. I post the poem I wrote that day, how I am feeling about poetry, quotes and songs that inspire me and anything else that adds more poetry, art, creativity and thought to the world. I love the idea that I am sharing my poetry with the universe for a month with abandon. I love that my friends get to see my work. But most of all, I love that writer Marla is back.

Marla Deschenes is a poet, writer, zinester in hiding, wife, stepmom, doggie mom, feminist crochet artist living in her secret punk rock hideout in Enfield, Connecticut. She is currently working on a manuscript in hopes of having a chapbook published by someone other than herself and is also thinking about unveiling a new zine to the world by the end of April 2012.

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