what I want, after everything i have, you know like food, clothes, a roof above my head, love and friendship, is to be taken seriously as a professional poet. and that takes luck, lots and lots of luck, but it also takes hard work, discipline, marketing, networking, lots and lots of poetry reading and you know, actually submitting stuff.
And there are tensions and anxieties there, about wanting to be come part of the establishment, about having to pander to the rules of the establishment to get this done. Also anxieties about the fact that because my name is coded male does that give me an unfair advantage in the publishing stakes of other women? Anxieties over my class and educational privilege. but at the end of the day, there’s this thing that I’m really really good at and not using it, not utilising it seems really really wasteful.
So I’m going to take big chunks out of my life to focus on this, big chunks out of my days, after my paid job (which i don’t have yet but I’m working on that) after friendship, relationship and home maintenance, after objectively useful political activism (which incorporates feminist stuff, church stuff and voluntary work) poetry is going to be the priority.
I’m going to give myself five years, three years to get stuff published in periodicals and magazines and competitions and then the next two years to try an get a book published.
I’m also setting up a blog elsewhere with my name on it to talk about poetry on and to make connections with other people talking about poetry. I’m not going to link it here because firstly its really important that its not associated with any of my other stuff on the Internet (poets are alowed to be kind of odd but not as weird as i actually am) but also there’s only one person who reads this that I think would be remotely interested. I’m going to try and get two posts up about poetry a week there , but they will be better putt together and less personal than the ones I’ve written here
And this is also a commitment to the boring bits, to the rewriting and redrafting to the email conversations with people who are willing to critique my work, to the writing of cover letters and working to submission deadlines, to the cataloguing of what I’ve submitted where.
And a commitment to networking offline by going to readings and festivals and performing at open mic nights (this is where I hanker for Swansea, because I know shit loads of poets and publishers that live in Swansea)
And then this means I have to spent less time fucking around on line, i spend a lot of my time at home alone at the moment and I just gravitate towards the Internet, when I could be writing or reading. And the Internet kind of bores me now anyway, or the places I usually hang out anyway. no one is saying anything new
I have lots of book I haven’t read. and a lot of them are ones i feel i should read, that other people feel i should read but actually I’m going to spend the next year just reading poetry and stuff about poetry, with maybe the occasional foray into fairy tales/fairy tale theory and Adolescent literature/ad lit theory because these are the things that trigger my creative brain.
I’m still going to be writing here, but just as kickback when I have time