On Balance and Sonnets: #ThousandPoemYear Update – February Week 5

Poems written this week: 22
Poems written this month: 22
Poems written this year total: 125


My name is Joshua Judson and I’m writing 1000 poems in 2017.

I only decided to bite the bullet and go ahead with the #ThousandPoemYear challenge in the second to last week of January. This meant that the end of January was a mad blur of poems poems poems. culminating in a straight, two day blast of typing up a hundred poems. (For me, a poem isn’t a poem until it’s typed up).

I’ve always identified as a kinaesthetic learner, I prefer to jump in and learn as I go, and this has very much been the case for this project. And already, I’ve learned a couple of things that will be important as I move forward with the challenge:

1. That mad blur is not a sustainable way of working – Although initially, it felt great to be banging out 10+ poems a day, by January 31st, I was burned out and frazzled. This was probably due to the fact that I did not give myself the best start to the challenge by deciding to go for it in the second week of the year, but it’s great to know going forward that leaving the monthly poem target til the last week is not the way to go. To combat this, I’m going to make sure I’m writing a constant amount of poems everyday.

2. I need to be typing up the poems that I write at the end of each day.
I love feeling productive as much as the next workaholic, but spending two straight days typing up poems was not good for me. Burning out with a splitting headache was not the best way to see in February. So in much the same vein as the first point, it’s about finding a balanced and sustainable way of working. For now, that means typing up everything in the day at the end of that day before I go to bed.



Thankfully, I’ve managed to apply these lessons and learning curves to my practise in this, the first week of February. So let’s breakdown what that has looked like:


The most pleasing thing about this graph for me is that it shows that I have written every day this week. Pointing towards a more consistent practice on my part. Characteristic of my nature and my practise is the spike towards the end. I think this would be common of most things and most people when we approach deadlines.

I though it would also be interesting to provide a breakdown of the forms I’ve been working in:


Look at all them Sonnets! Shakespeare eat ya heart out! I hate/am uncomfortable writing Sonnets. So when, over Twitter, the lovely Leanne Moden told me about the 28 Sonnets Later challenge she and three other poets embark on every February and suggested I also take the challenge on, it sounded like the perfect opportunity to force myself into getting used to the form. You can check my ongoing progress with this particular challenge, and even read the resulting poems by searching the #28Sonnets hashtag on Twitter.

I’ve written a few too many Haiku for my liking. Haiku tend to be something of a filler when I am on one of these challenges. The good news is that I am constantly learning what does and doesn’t work when it comes to them, so my Haiku are always getting better and better. Tanka, though, are quite new to me and I’m very much getting a feel of them as I am with Sonnets.

Free Verse – standard practise for me. and Mesostic is a form that has become very important to me – more on this in another blog I think.


Thematically, I’ve been writing a lot about feeling at odds with my environment. London is big and scary and weird, sometimes I feel a part of it and sometimes I feel completely alien. I’m trying to explore that tension at the moment.


I think that about covers it for this month. Thanks for reading, more from me next week!


Joshua Judson x

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