Monday, December 18, 2006

Two weeks left... the year. Two weeks. It's hard to fathom.

I've racked up more acceptances/publications this year than in any year past, which is nice. I had more writing breakthroughs last year, though, and the writing feels far more important than the publishing -- so my sense of accomplishment isn't quite as strong as it was this time last year. (Though I do suspect it's no coincidence to have writing breakthroughs one year and publication the next!) I hope that 2007 will be another strong writing year, whatever happens -- or doesn't -- with publication.

I've got some plans for next year -- some thoughts on how I can work to push my writing to the next level, push to a larger place. I want to think about my body of work, about what I might be doing (or trying to do -- or might start trying to do) that is larger than any individual poem.

Man, that sounds pretentious, huh? It makes more sense inside my head. Trust me on that.

And you -- what plans do you have for the next year? How will you push on to the next level? What can you do that you haven't done before? How will you continue to challenge yourself and your art?


Anonymous said...

2006 was a miracle year for me.

My 2006 re-cap:

I have begun a series of poems in which the central image is "The White Horse," a personal symbol which has "reared up" (pun intended) in my work-- in both prose and poetry. I want to write more in the series of White Horse poems and collect them for a small chapbook. I have four pieces so far. One prose piece is fairly long so I might have enough for a chapbook now, but the White Horse is still galloping, so I have more work to do.

I also have about sixteen poems that are already collected (I self-published them as a chapbook in 2006) that I want to revise and send out to a small press which will hopefully publish them as a chapbook.

I have about ten poems that are thematically linked which are collected under the file name "Orphans of the dark and rain" which I hope to add to and organize into a manuscript. My page is titled "Orphans of the dark and rain" and alludes to these poems.

Lyle Daggett said...

In 1984 I started working on a long series of poems, more or less a connected narrative that grew out of traveling on the west coast for a few days with a poet friend. (I'd never seen -- in person, so to speak -- the ocean before, or redwood trees, or mountains, and suddenly for several days they were right outside the window.)

I've been working on the series of poems ever since, and I'm far enough along at this point that there's just a chance that I might be able to finish the monster during the coming year. (I'm not holding myself to that -- when I started work on the poems in 1984, I was guessing it might be roughly a two-year project, and so far I've been working on them for 22 years...)

On a slightly smaller scale, sometime probably in the spring I'll be sending a short poetry book manuscript to a publisher who has expressed initial interest -- could be news somewhere down the road.

Sounds like you've had a great creative year, Anne. Keep at it.

Diane K. Martin said...

Anne, I just wanted to say that your plans don't sound pretentious -- they sound portentious. Is that a word? Should be.

And congrats on your good year.

Montgomery Maxton said...

i think i'll move to nyc and see what that does to my poetry...

Jessie Carty said...

I'm still hoping to get into the MFA program I applied for. **crosses fingers**

I know what you mean, Anne, about trying to look at the greater scheme of things.

I just recently put together a collection and submitted to a chapbook contest. It was very fulfilling to try and actually put my work in a group. Gave me a whole new perspective.

Anonymous said...

Anne, I believe in personal divinity -- that each of us has a literal divine spark, a tiny bit of holiness inside us. And I believe that art, music, poetry, prose, dance, drumming and all those good things let the little magical flame sparkle. So the desire to feel talented and special, and the need to have this specialness appreciated seems very appropriate to me.

I am not sure how the above applies to Ogden Nash, Cnia Pets, "Ernest Goes to Camp," or my own novel about grungy homesteaders in 1908 Nebraska, but I still believe in the general principle. . .

Matthew Thorburn said...

Anne, I'm with Diane -- that doesn't sound pretentious. I think it's important to have a plan for the year, in terms of writing. Not that you have to stick to it, if it doesn't work or needs to be altered, of course, but good to have something to kick things off.

I'm thinking half-seriously about trying again something I did in 2004 -- writing a poem a day all year. My friend Jay Leeming challenged me to do this, though lots of other people have done it too. (David Lehman published two books of poem-a-day poems.) It sounded crazy then (and does again now) but was a wonderful experience -- no more of that "I should be writing more" feeling, for one thing. And it actually led to quite a bit of worthwhile stuff, which took lots of revising, but the beginnings were there for me to go back to. In fact I'm still going back to some of that material and working with it.

Anonymous said...

doesn't sound pretentious to me

Radish King said...

I'm going to quit writing for good. It's bad for me. And for everyone else. Bad, I tell you, BAD!!!!

Anne said...

Thanks, all. I love the image of all these people scattered all over the place, but all working on our various projects. The level of commitment to the work that I "hear" in many of the blogs I read really helps keep me going sometimes.

Lyle, if you finish that series in '07, you should throw one hell of a party! (Um, how will you know it's finished though? Hmmmmm.)

Matthew, I've done "a poem a day" for a month at a stretch; can't imagine doing it for a year! (Unless I won the lottery and quit my job. Then, maybe.) But the month was really good for me in many ways. I hope you do try it -- reading about it would be inspiring for sure.

Rebecca: Sure. And I'm giving up chocolate.

Pamela said...

What I want to accomplish this spring:

(1) Learn the butterfly stroke.
(2) Take down the Christmas tree by Easter.
(3) Break my previous record for speed typing.
(4) Finish my jewelry projects.
(5) Give up chocolate for longer than, say, overnight.
(6) Oh, and use my superpowers only for good.

That's the plan.

Happy Holidays, Anne!