It's somewhere near terrifying that I'll be a quarter of the way through A Writing Year in just a few more weeks. Fortunately, over the last couple weeks, especially, I've felt a new energy for writing and a sense of confidence in the work I'm producing. I'm drafting about one poem a day, and though they certainly won't all be worth keeping, I feel like that pace is helping me build a kind of creative momentum. I'm thinking about new poems all the time and suddenly seeing solutions for problematic older drafts. When I started this year, I worried about having enough material to keep my readers occupied, but now I find I have to hold myself back so they aren't overwhelmed.
That said, I'm still cautious. Having found a good routine and achieved a kind of productive rhythm, I'm wary of doing something that could mess it all up. So I'm trying to avoid thinking about it too much and to conserve some energy from day to day, keeping a balance between creation and revision and attending to new ideas one at a time, across the week. For now, it seems to be working.
Though putting them together felt totally lame, the goals I mapped out for myself before starting AWY have kept me motivated and are helping drive my current pace. Here's a quick update of my progress so far:
Since January 1, I've drafted and typed up 23 poems. There are probably 6-10 more that have yet to be ensconced in MS Word. That translates to 3-4 poems per week, or almost double what I was aiming for. Which is good, because probably half of them are scary disabled things, missing legs or eyes and calling out barbaric yawps. They will not be allowed to play with the other children.
Nothing so far, but I've sent off submissions to two journals (Kenyon Review and Tin House), and likely will be sending another this weekend. So I'm on track for my goal of putting together at least one submission per month.
I said I wanted to read 2-3 books a week. I've read about 12 so far, which means I'm behind. But personally I think Carl Sandburg's gigantic Complete Poems should count as about five books alone. It's good, but good lord...
Made one in January, missed one in February. Damn. I'll try to make up for it this month.
Haven't done a thing about this yet, but I think that's ok.
Documenting the Process
Yer lookin at it.