Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Goals for the Year

Already into week three, which makes me mindful of how quickly AWY may pass, which has me thinking about what I want to accomplish.

"Goals" has a kind of corporate aftertaste to it and suggests a focus on product that many would argue is or should be antithetical to the writing of poetry. I think that's probably true, or mostly true. However, I'm also aware that defined goals keep me writing when I otherwise might do something easier and more immediately entertaining. I'm doing AWY because I want to write, so I need to make sure I don't waste the time I have.

So, my goals for the year:

1) Prepare a manuscript of poems
That means I need:
  • 50-60 good poems, which should require...
  • 65-75 drafts, if not more, which means...
  • 6-7 poems drafted per month, which comes down to...
  • About 2 poems per week.
2) Get a few poems published along the way
Specifically, I'm aiming for:
  • 6 poems published over the course of the year (at least), of which...
  • At least 2 are published in national or otherwise prominent journals and...
  • At least 2 are published in local (Chicago-area) journals; so that means...
  • 1 submission per month (yikes).
3) Read a lot
Focusing on great poets, first books by poets I like, biographies of poets, and essays on poetry and poetics.
  • 2-3 books per week
4) Tap into the Chicago literary network
I haven't done a great job of this in the past, so I'll make more of an effort by:
  • Attending at least 1 reading or event per month
  • Submitting poems to local journals (see above)
  • Reading the work of at least 3 Chicago poets
5) Explore publishing options
By which I mean:
  • Identify competitions and deadlines for young writers / first books
  • Discuss options and strategies with friends in the publishing world
  • Reach out to friends who may be able to help
6) Document the process
  • Through this blog, by making at least 1 post per week, and...
  • By writing an essay or article about the experience

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