I visited my blog the other day to see how I was progressing on my poetry goals for 2017 only to discover they weren’t there. I never posted them! Thankfully, I had saved them in my Dropbox and could check there. I also want to share them here even though it’s no longer the beginning of the year. I’m a nerd like that. I love seeing how other writers get shit done, and so maybe someone out there wants a peek inside my brain. (WARNING: It’s not a very hospitable planet, and you’ll have to provide your own snacks.)
Anyway, here it is! I’m on track, btw, on almost everything despite having been in a funk. Yeeha!
My SUPER OFFICIAL, SUPER SERIOUS POETRY ACTION PLAN for 2017*
Revise my poetry manuscript (again)
Although I will continue to revise the manuscript, I will do the bulk of this work in the first quarter (January 1 – March 31).
Submit the manuscript to contests and open reading periods
I will send, send, send it out again and again until it finds a home.
Write 6 new drafts each month
I will free write regularly and turn those free writes into “something” (at least 6 “somethings” a month to include poems, essays and blog posts). This goal commences April 1, after the new round of manuscript revisions are “done.”
Submit work regularly
I will step up my rate of submissions. Last year, I aimed for submitting to a total of 25 publications at the rate of about 2/month. This year, I would like to submit to a total of 100 publications, which will require submitting to 2/week.
Continue to be part of the literary community locally and online
Poetry community and the company of writers are not only important to my writing practice but they also bring me great joy. We need one another. This year, I will
- attend at least 1 poetry event each month and/or write 1 book review
- use my social media accounts weekly to applaud and support the work of other writers and
- seek opportunities to write (blog or social media) for presses or publications I admire.
Go on 3 poetry “adventures”
As in the past, these will probably be local. More than likely, they will also be unorganized and spontaneous (like an inspiring trip to a cool town or museum) instead of specific conferences/workshops, but I’m not ruling those out.
What this will require:
- track progress
- attempt 1 writing-related task each day no matter how small
- commit — and schedule — writing time (at a minimum one weekend “office hours” session of 2-3 hours; plus writing during lunch on 2-3 weekdays)
- reclaim time/energy where possible (such as limiting social media and news consumption)
- stay flexible
- be kind to myself and
- have fun!
*Written always with a nod toward January O’Neil (Poet Mom), who has written an annual poetry action plan for as long as I’ve known her and from whom I got the inspiration to do so myself