Being Smart with the Year of Poetry
So why am I dedicating a year to poetry?
Honestly, I have been hiding a bit from my writing, from my reason for working part time. Taking on responsibilities and projects that while beneficial to myself and others in a number of ways take away from that dream of writing good or even great poetry. I need to take this seriously.
Sh*t or get off the can.
I have had some success this year, 3 poems published (some even paid - Thanks Tincture Journal) but I feel as if I have wasted a lot of opportunities.
But write good or great poems is a very broad goal.
So being specific, what do I want to accomplish?
I want to exceed publication credits for this year so that's 4 + published poems. I want to write at least 12 poems of publishable quality. I want to increase my own poetic understanding through reading technical material and through reading of other's good poetry.
How am I going to do this and how do I measure it?
Stay away from the internet where possible. I am notoriously bad at letting myself get distracted so I will be reorganizing my day so that I take advantage of the times when I am most alert. I intend to give a couple of hours each morning to writing and reworking poetry. This is the corner stone of the whole project. I can easily see myself being lost researching technical/craft details if I let it happen. I will then split the day into close reading and study again in periods of 1.5 to 2 hours. I will end the day with reflective journaling. I want to spend at least 18 hours a week focused on poetry so I will be monitoring how many hours worked.
The publishing of poetry is to a large degree out of my hands. It's possible to write good poetry that doesn't get published for a number of reasons, hence the low target.
Far more within my sphere of control is the ability to write poems hence the target of 12 poems of publishable quality. I wrote 5 this year and that was when I wasn't nearly as focused.
I will monitor the increase in my understanding through the monthly reflective journal entries.
Are these goals achievable?
I think so. I can dedicate 3 days out of seven to writing, reading and studying poetry. I know I can produce poems of publishable quality, I know that I can write poetry full stop. There's enough wiggle room to be flexible if paid work comes along and there's enough time built in for down time if I find the situation is too much.
To the broad dream of being a poet and writing poetry. Very much so.
I have a year to achieve these goals but I have also allotted specific time/hours per week and I will be monitoring/reflecting on a daily and monthly basis.