Leaf number 2: Personal Poetic Pursuits 🍂
I put a great deal of time and mental energy into TGLR. My little literary passion project that’s neither little nor just mine. Our team now has over 20 people and the whole organization, process, and published journal rely on me to hold up my end of the proverbial bargain. Which is to say, aside from reading all the submissions, I do most of the work. It’s teetering on a full-time affair at this point and you know that work doesn’t get done without a fair bit of personal sacrifice.
As sacrifices go, it stands to reason I’m not willing to give up anything that I’ve been trying so hard to make my priority—my children and spouse, our household running smoothly, or my own health and well being. The natural thing to fall off the list of “do for everyday” is my writing. Well.. writing including everything from this blog, to CNF, to poetry, to revising, to submitting work to publications. It’s all suffered this year as my physical and mental energy has been used up elsewhere.
I’ve been down about the actual writing part for sure, and haven’t written much at all this year. At least not compared with the last 4 or 5 years. And when I have not felt that creative spark, I took to submitting work. That became an easy substitute that made me feel like I was still being productive. Even that became a bummer this year with the “aim higher” approach and all the rejection.
I’m still Smaug, with thick scales that deftly deflect the arrows of rejection, but the silence of not publishing much this year and the longer wait that comes from sending poems to the snobby places is making me feel uneasy. Like waiting for a giant boot to drop.. right on my head. Are dragons vulnerable on the tops of their heads?
Mixed metaphors aside, I slowed my roll in October and decided to completely abstain from submitting in the month of November to see how I feel and if I could use that time elsewhere.
Time is such a shifty bitch though, and whatever time I thought I would have, never amounted to productivity in other areas. Except for maybe my beloved TGLR. Even as I type this, I’m developing a little theory about time. And relativity. But I think that’s all been done before so I’ll get to my point…
The next new leaf that’s being turned over in December is to commit to spending a little time each workday to either writing new poems or CNF, revising existing work, or submitting to publications. I don’t just to say I’m going to spend time, though. Just as it is with my new diet plan, I need to establish a concrete goal.
The commitment then, is to write one new piece of creative work and/or submit something each workday.
There have been two days so far in December and I’m pleased to report that not only did I submit poems both days, but also wrote a new poem-ish piece yesterday. For those keeping score, this is the first new poem since June 28th.
We’ll see what today brings, but you see, even if it’s nothing, I built an out clause in my goal. I used the term “workday” and that means Monday through Friday, technically. So since today is Saturday, the pressure is off. I might still be able to squeeze something in, but not hopeful because I couldn’t even write anything new in the poetry workshop zoom I attended this morning.
Anyway, that’s leaf #2.🍂 Huzzah for goal setting… Let’s go December!!
That’s it today. Time to get rolling with the rest of my day.
Peace and Love,