I have survived the 2019 poetry marathon!
24 poems in 24 hours, one poem per hour.
I don’t remember how I’ve come across The Poetry Marathon, but I remember it was earlier this year, way before the application window had opened. I remember waiting restlessly for that and then waited one extra day to apply, so I don’t seem too eager (ahem). After a while, the confirmation email came and I have started counting the days to June 22.
June 22, 9 am EST was when the marathon started. [There was also an option for a half marathon (12 poems in 12 hours), with two separate starting times]. Over 400 people signed up from all over the world, of which 90 finished the whole marathon, and about 200 the half marathon (if I remember correctly).
After the starting gun: 24 hours of thinking, soul searching, writing, editing on the spot, sharing. Before the event, I mostly worried about sharing my raw, almost unedited writings with strangers, but soon this became the least of my worries. Firstly, everybody were busy writing and uploading their stuff. Secondly, I’ve never been more eager to share my stuff. Ever in my life.
What I found extremely helpful during:
* The amazing Facebook group (although I am not a very social person and I was mostly lurking in the shadows - still am -, the Facebook group was a rock, especially during those weird early morning hours when the whole (minus few) world is asleep; 3:48 am, anyone?).
* Being fed on time by my amazing soul(&house)mate. Good, nutritious, high protein, high fiber, low glycemic food. Keeps the brain steady.
* The huge table I had drawn on a piece of packing paper & pinned up on the wall. It had 3 columns: time, title, prompt (whether I’ve used the official prompt of the hour or just did my own stuff). After being done with writing and posting for the hour, I’d add all the details to the table and check it off. This was really helpful for keeping track of posting during the hour and not missing any posts.
* Documenting every hour live on Instagram and Facebook stories (all pics are saved in the highlights section on my Instagram profile under “Poetry Marathon”). The love I received from friends and strangers in real time was overwhelming.
* Chocolate, brownies, pretzels! (around hour 22&1/2 - 23, when desperation hit majestically)
I had been riding the marathon high for a while after it ended. Considerable high. I was afraid it was going to leave me depleted of words, but it hasn’t. If anything, It helped me escape the rut I’ve stumbled into a while ago. Just in time for July’s Camp NaNoWriMo.