…I am trying to write and post one new poem every day in this new year.
For the last few weeks, I have been working with opposing goals.
On the one hand, I have been making an effort to write more regularly—every day, in fact. Not forcing myself, but making space during the day to get something down on paper, and/or working with an idea as soon as it comes to me. By doing this, I hope to get myself into the habit of writing daily, rather than waiting until I ‘feel like it’. So far, this seems to be working. There are fewer gaps in my notebook, and I have been writing at least two or three poems each day.
On the other hand, I have been trying to be more selective about the poems I post to this blog. This stems partly from my desire to begin submitting poems to poetry journals, who mostly do not accept previously published poems, and get first publication rights to the poems they accept. Because of the latter requirement, posting a poem to my blog immediately disqualifies it from consideration. The other part of this is that I have wanted to present my best face, to post my best work, rather than just putting everything online whether I like it or not.
What has been happening lately, with these two goals at work, is that I feel as though I have been posting less, while accumulating poems that I do not look at for several days. Setting them aside is helpful in that I am able to look at them with relatively fresh eyes, but I also find that I am less likely to post something that is not right in front of me.
This puts me at odds with my desire to get my work out there and in front of people. Yes, I write for myself, but I also want to share what I do. Like most people, I like to be recognized for my efforts from time to time. I like seeing that someone has clicked on that ‘Like’ button. I like seeing that another person has started following my blog. I like occasionally selling a copy of one of my books (I have no delusions about getting rich from publishing collections of poetry, but it’s gratifying when someone likes what I have written enough to spend money on it). I also like that some folks recognize their own experiences in something I have written. I have long gravitated towards certain songs, books, and movies because they resonate with me in some way; if I can provide anything like that for someone else, well… I would love to have, as William Hurt’s character in The Big Chill says, ‘a small, deeply disturbed following…’
So anyway, I have decided that I am going to post the best of each day’s new poems—within a day of writing them, if not that same day. I figure this is about as close to a New Year’s resolution as I am going to get…
(5 January 2015)