Freestyle, Inktober, Poetry, Writing

What I Learned From Participating in Inktober

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Taking place every October, Inktober is a month long event that encourages artists to create a new piece every single day; artists are provided a prompt list (from the official Inktober site, or from somewhere else on the Internet), that lasts the entire month. For years now, I’ve wanted to participate in Inktober. But, it always seemed intimidating, and I never knew quite where to start. This past October, I finally took the plunge and joined in.

As I mentioned above, Inktober is traditionally geared towards artists. However, my art skills are less than stellar. So, I decided to participate with poems instead. I followed along with the official prompt list and wrote a new poem for each one. Needless to say, Inktober was a huge learning experience for me. Here are a few takeaways from my experience with it.

I Learned More About My Writing Style

I wrote a poem each day for 31 days straight. Doing so gave me a lot of insight into my own writing and how I relate to it. I learned what works for me, and what doesn’t. To be honest, I didn’t feel very strongly about some of the poems I wrote. Others, I absolutely loved and felt proud to have written. It was very interesting to gain more insight into how my mind develops and reacts to certain pieces.

I Learned What My Audience Enjoys

Of course, Inktober taught me more about myself. But, it also gave me an idea of what my followers like to read. It’s important to write for myself. However, it’s important to focus on what my audience will actually read as well; especially if I want to get my poetry published (which I very much do). Partaking in Inktober and posting my entries on social media, gave me an easy way to see how readers gauged each piece.

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Inktober is a Significant Commitment

I determined this fairly early on in my Inktober journey. It’s a hefty commitment, in many different ways. Sure, Inktober takes up a decent amount of time, but it also requires significant mental and emotional input.

I’ve always been the type of person who enjoys getting work done right away. Even in high school, I never procrastinated with my assignments and projects. As long as I knew I had to get something done, that feeling would weigh on me and nag at my mind. It may just be because I have anxiety, but I felt the same way with Inktober.

Most days, it didn’t take too long to write a poem. However, the responsibility of needing to do so would nag at me until I’d fulfilled it. I’ve never liked feeling that way; it’s an uncomfortable, oppressive sensation.

In addition, I do believe that Inktober took away some of the excitement I normally feel throughout October. With Halloween being my favorite holiday, October is a month I always look forward to. But, with all the responsibility from Inktober, I think I was more focused on work than stopping to enjoy the season. Next year, I won’t be participating in Inktober; I want to instead enjoy October to the fullest and focus on my favorite season.

Inktober was a Fun, Valuable Challenge

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Despite a few negative aspects, I genuinely enjoyed Inktober. Writing is something I absolutely love, along with poetry. So, being able to create and share my Inktober poems was a great feeling; it truly filled my heart with joy.

Moreover, I’m incredibly proud of myself for sticking with it the whole month. This was the first time I’d ever participated in a month long challenge, and I was kind of freaked out at first. Regardless, I wrote each and every day. Eventually, I had 31 new poems, most of which are decent. I’m just glad I kept with it and didn’t give up. After partaking in Inktober, I feel I accomplished something important; important for myself, and for my future.

Your Inktober Experience

If you also participated in the 2019 Inktober challenge, I’d love to hear about it! Did you enjoy it? Was it stressful? What prompt list did you use? Let me know how it went for you! And feel free to link your Inktober work below so I can check it out!

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