Still Around, Still Writing, Still Figuring This Whole Thing Out

This photo has nothing to do with this post other than it makes me happy and I’m trying to stay positive in life and with goals!

Personally, politically, and being-kind-culturally this just isn’t the nicest of years. All of the insanity (both that which I’m involved in and that which the news keeps telling me about) has slowed me down, not just in writing but in keeping up with all the aspects of this crazy thing we call life. I’m learning that keeping the end goal in sight is more important than hard-and-fast deadlines (at least the self-imposed ones) and that self-forgiveness is a pretty important thing.

* No more blog schedules around here. I’ll aim to post at least once a month whenever possible, and that will usually be possible, but if I disappear for a month or two I probably won’t be posting apologies. It’s just me feeling super guilty that I’ve ‘messed up’ another self-imposed goal and those begin to eat me up more than help me when I do that.

I hope I have regular readers of this blog, but I’m the first to say I don’t really know how to market this blog to readers, especially while I don’t feel like I have much to offer yet. But here I am, floundering at the blogging thing all the same! I feel like many of my posts are probably uninteresting and I want to improve on that front. I will always keep trying to do better here so we’ll see how it all works out on the long plan, right?

* I have kept up with writing. Not quite as much as I would like, but way more than I have done in the previous years. I’m happy with this! Room for improvement does not mean improvement has not already occurred.

I signed up for both rounds of Camp NaNo this year, setting goals of 1,000 minutes for April and 2,000 minutes for July, trying to prep myself for giving 3,000 minutes (or 50 hours) a go for NaNo proper in November. I didn’t hit either goal, but my July session improved over my April session and that’s great! I’m still going to try to make 50 hours work out in November, just to keep pushing myself.

I only finished one poem in July because words be tricky sometimes, ya’ll. I put in close to 18 hours of writing and on the surface it feels like I don’t have anything to show for it, but I know the kind of foundation I laid on many pieces that will hopefully make finishing poems in the coming months easier so that’s what I’m focusing on. (And the one I did finish is a piece I have wanted to write for years and finally found the right words and mindset to make it work out! I’m proud of the end result.)

* I also have kept up with submitting my work regularly this year! The rejections keep flowing in, but I’ll keep on submitting.

Poetry collections are difficult things I am learning, especially the deeper one gets into writing one. The more I write, the more the themes develop, which is wonderful! But also the more I need to work harder to continue with those themes and write less sporadically. A little less “Ooo SQUIRREL!” though I am still occasionally indulging those moments.

Now I’m mostly working on learning how to keep writing on the same themes, but have new things to say. Have new things to say, but keep them to a cohesive whole. Keep a cohesive whole by not writing in a dozen different styles of poetry that clang together like dropped pots and pans if grouped in the same collection. I suppose these were all things I knew in theory, but never considered all that deeply until the first stages of putting them into practice. Folks, this is what learning is!

While learning the practicalities I am also hitting my first serious stage of struggling with wondering if anyone out there can connect to my words or would want to connect to my words or if I’m saying anything at all worthwhile. Not just is my ability enough, but am enough? The steady flow of rejections probably isn’t helping with this, especially since I feel like I’m beginning to create some of my best work (thus far). But even ignoring that, as I have been reading several poetry collections this year and reading reviews I just feel that gaping chasm of worry opening wider as I wonder if what I have to offer even has a point. It may not, but I’m writing it anyway. Because I feel like I have to put this project on paper. And only then can I hope that someone out there finds value in the stories and images I have to give.

How has your summer been treating you? Up to anything creative as we are digging deep into the second half of the year?

*Photo by user LoggaWiggler at Pixabay, creative commons usage


8 thoughts on “Still Around, Still Writing, Still Figuring This Whole Thing Out

  1. I have another pet friend who set herself a goal this year of getting at least 50 rejections. Making that her goal puts a positive spin on it by making every rejection a win, because it means she had the courage to send it out, and it also motivates her to keep submitting no matter what. I kinda love that.

    Anyway, at the risk of sounding hokey, there is only one Lissa in the entire universe with a unique voice and perspective that nobody else has or will ever have. These are gifts you have to give to the world, and yes, there are people who will be touched deeply by your writing who need what you have to give. Your writing is worthwhile and it serves a purpose. Don’t ever doubt that. 💖

      • Pet poets! That could be a thing. haha

        Thank you for your encouragement. I think we all have those low points, no matter how successful or just starting out we may be. “Why do MY words matter?” The key is just what you said, remembering that no one else views the world or creates worlds in quite the same way you do, so if you don’t write it down it will never exist in quite the same way!

    • Thank you so much for the encouragement! I think one of my struggles in the poetry world is seeing that the stuff I’m writing is not usually what’s published. It’s all too easy to feel like that means it isn’t good enough, when maybe it just means that what I’m writing isn’t oversaturated yet and there really is a place for it! Besides, my head would eventually explode if I didn’t bleed in poetry from time to time, regardless of anyone reading it.

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