Saturday, December 31, 2016

Year of Poetry - The End (Part 2)

As noted in this post at mid year, I really did hit my goals by the six month stage.  

Just to jog your memory here's what I had set out for myself:

I want to exceed publication credits for this year (2015) 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.
Publication Credits

I finished the year with 9 publications: 3 of which were paid, 3 of which I received a contributor copy for and 3 of which appeared on quality unpaid websites/journals.  I would have liked to have had more obviously but I did take up full time work in the second half of the year.

NB. It's occurred to me that three of the above were accepted for publication and intended to be published in 2015 (The Poetry and Place Anthology) but that didn't occur until April 2016.  So if I am being super strict I still managed to exceed last year's publications.

Publishable Quality

Or poems I judged deserved the name and thought worthy of an attempt to publish.  I wrote about 42 poems, some of which will never see the light of day.  I submitted 27 poems but that figure includes sending out a poem more than once.  A brief overview of what I have in my 2016 folder and I am comfortable claiming about 18 for the year.

Poetic Understanding

This is the surprise area for me.  You think there's only so much you can learn about the art to find it's an almost endless field of study.  I was worried that I might run out of technical information but I realised that aspect is only a number of many when it comes to Poetry.  The biggest area of learning was in the growth of appreciation for the art of the line.

Rejections versus Acceptances

Looking at the graph below and having read what others have done this year I am pretty happy with this effort.


Where to from here?

I really don't know. I have established a good practice and want to maintain it. This year sees me back on a part time contract so I will certainly have the time.

Some commenters have suggested I release more poetry on the blog and if  blog starts are right, my poetry, when released does tend to cause brief spikes in attention. I am reticent though -writing for paid publication figures somewhat in this but also my tendency to publish too early i.e. while still under the influence/glow of self perceived poetic genius.

One definite is the intention to increase reading time - switch places with study time in times of overall breakdown for the reasons I stated in the previous post.

I'd also like to work harder on monthly reflections, going back over what I have learned and really encoding that learning.  Less time during the last half of the year meant this part of the practise dropped off.

Other observations

A significant learning experience for me was coming to understand how I work creatively and how I think ( or how my thinking can get in the way).  Writing reflections daily and weekly really enabled me to see very clearly how my attitudes to the work ebbed and flowed and how this really wasn't connected to the quality of the work.

I now find myself further away from wanting to rush out and get a pamphlet or first collection together.  It just doesn't seem to matter that much anymore. The practice and the daily achievement of writing seems to be more important.

Feel free to comment and suggestions, even your own observations.

Happy New Year




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