January has me writing new things, with new projects in mind, and a new approach to writing, which hopefully will bear fruit soon. I had to take a step back again and reassess my process. Let me explain a bit what I mean …
I have put together two manuscripts and submitted them to various places, with hopes that my poems will resonate enough to motivate an editor to want to publish my work. It is crazy hard getting this done. I just have to trust what I have put together and trust where I am sending it off to. Take deep breaths, and keep moving forward while I wait.
In the meantime I MUST WRITE. It’s the only thing I can do. But unfortunately, I’ve learned from other poets and some editors that I have spoken to that I can’t post poems on my blog anymore. Nope, not if I want them to be considered for publication in a magazine. Which quite frankly sucks, since a huge part of my process has been this wonderful blog, which I love and has loved me back.
So, I can’t post new poems on here. Which leaves me at a loss of what to do. How can I get feedback? How can I test my ideas and be brave, which is the most important thing for me? How can I get help with my poems from other readers?
The only answer to that right now is to write and write and write, set aside, look over, and edit and write some more. It can’t be self-gratifying, as this blog has been, since I can post a poem and within hours receive lots of “likes” and comments, and even follows from Word Press readers. It has to be more disciplined and consistent. It has to be a committment.
I promise, though, that I will continue to read and record my new poems on SoundCloud. I will post the readings here so at least they can be heard, if not read. I enjoy posting my poems on SoundCloud. It helps me in the editing process, and helps me tune my reading voice.
A new thing that I have begun to do, and hope that it will stick as a habit and part of my new process, is writing morning pages. Morning pages are exactly that: writing a set number of pages freehand every morning. It’s supposed to be like a freewrite, but the most important rule is to write every day. My college pal Kartik Singh, who directs films and writes screenplays, shared this with me, and I just knew when he told me about it (three and half years ago, gulp) that I had to do it. I’m finally doing it Kartik!
The other thing I am doing is submitting more. Oh, gosh it is so hard to do- submitting poems and hoping against hope that some will get published. When the first one finally gets published I will be so freaking happy! Yes, I will certainly blog about it.
Lastly, I have been applying to writer’s workshops and fellowships. This is in lieu (for the time being) of actually getting an MFA. I am not opposed to getting an MFA, but I have to consider the time that it will take away from my family and work, not to mention the expense. But, I think I know deep down that I need something like that. I need to learn more and to hone my craft, something I feel is still is in it’s baby-stages.
I still don’t have enough poetry in my life. I don’t think I will ever feel like I do. This is a contant thirst and it gets satiated at times, but never fully. In order to keep my blog alive with poetry though, I am going to start sharing other poems, poems not written by me but that help fill my poetry void. Hopefully this will help create a discussion about poetry that will inspire and motivate my readers.