Being Smart with the Year of Poetry

As I near kick off date and the excitement generated from having a "great new idea" subsides, it occurs to me that I better have a look over the "Plan" and see if it's SMART or more specifically will it result in goals I want to achieve.

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.

Time Bound?

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.


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