A Dozen Tips
for NaHaiWriMo Prompting
Provide prompts, one new prompt each day, that explore both objective and subjective/conceptual ideas. A prompt such as “bowl” will produce very different results from “emptiness.”
Variety and creativity are welcome in your prompts, including subjects that are both dark and light in tone. Don’t worry about possibly repeating prompts that have been used before, but do not repeat any of your own prompts within your month.
Feel free to connect your prompts with historical or topical events related to the day in question, but please keep each prompt relatively short (we have mostly avoided using visual prompts, so please focus on verbal prompts).
To make prompts, you will be asked to become a temporary admin of the NaHaiWriMo page, which will allow you to post as NaHaiWriMo. The process may be easier if you access NaHaiWriMo from a desktop or laptop computer rather than a smartphone.
Please post each prompt and its date on the Facebook page. Make sure you are logged in as NaHaiWriMo when you do this (it should be easy to switch between your own personal account and the NaHaiWriMo account; ask for help if you need it). Participants will respond to your prompts by posting their poems as replies to each of your daily prompt postings. In addition, please date each prompt and add it as a comment on the monthly note (with the name of your month). Please post just one prompt per day, not several at once (the goal is to promote daily interaction).
Remember that NaHaiWriMo has a worldwide audience, so it’s good to post each daily prompt up to 24 hours before the day to which it applies (depending on your time zone). This way, if you live in the Western hemisphere, your prompt won’t seem like it’s a day late for people in Japan or Australia, although it will feel early for others. It helps to check New Zealand time, and make sure your prompt for a given day is posted before that day starts in New Zealand.
If your prompt is seasonal, please remember that seasons are opposite in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Participants who aren’t in the current season of your prompt can easily project themselves or remember something in that season, but you might want to offer an alternative seasonal prompt for folks in the opposite hemisphere, or at least acknowledge that your seasonal prompt may not match the season where some participants live.
Please keep a record of your prompts for the entire month. When the month ends, please send your complete list of prompts to Michael Dylan Welch to be added to the NaHaiWriMo site.
If you need to be away during part of your month, feel free to post a few prompts in advance (if you really have to), or ask Michael Dylan Welch to post the prompts on your behalf (in general, though, please try to avoid posting more than one prompt ahead of its day).
If you want to suggest that people post haiga or photo-haiga for one of your prompts, that’s fine, but please provide an alternative way to respond other than haiga, because creating haiga is not possible for many participants.
Please try to be as inclusive/worldwide as possible with each prompt, and be careful with references that might be overly specific, such as referring too often, for example, just to American culture (with occasional exceptions).
Have fun! And yes, it’s fine to respond to your own prompts!
We also ask each prompter to respond to a brief set of questions for our “Meet the Prompters” page. You’ll be sent the questions just before your month starts, or shortly thereafter. If you respond to the questions in a week or two, that enables us to post your responses (with a digital photo of yourself) by about the middle of the month. This is a small way to recognize each person who volunteers his or her time as a daily writing prompter for NaHaiWriMo. These interviews also make participation more personal for those who respond to your prompts.
Thank you for volunteering your time as a monthly prompter for NaHaiWriMo. The NaHaiWriMo Facebook page has many hundreds of active participants, so on their behalf I thank you for your inspiration. If you have questions at any time, don’t hesitate to contact Michael Dylan Welch.