End-of-year resolutions for poets.
Think I’m a little early for resolutions? Think again. Those New Year’s Resolutions you make every year… how many of them do you actually do? I am guessing not that many really come to fruition, and here’s my theory: you need a deadline. If you’re against the clock, you’re more likely to be focussed and determined to succeed — in theory! See if I’m right — revisit your 2009 New Year’s Resolutions and see how many a) you still want to achieve (I find my ‘wants’ at one end of a year can morph into something very different by the time I get to the other), and b) you think you can get through by 31st December. If you don’t have any resolutions, try doing at least one of these…
1. Send your work to That Magazine you’ve been eyeing up. Everyone has one or two magazines that they’d really like to place their poetry in, but aren’t sure whether they’re up to it. I have a friend whose motto is: ye willnae ken until ye gan, or in other words, how do you know whether you’ll make it or not until you submit the darned poem and find out? The worst thing they can say is ‘no thanks.’ You have twenty days… so submit already.
2. Read your poetry at an event. OK, so plenty of my readers are old hands at the whole public reading thing, but I still get heaps of emails from people saying “I want to read my poetry to an audience, but I’m terrified!” Now is the time to get up there and just do it. I know of heaps of Christmas-themed poetry events happening in my local area, so it’s likely you can find one or two, too. Get thee to an open mic!
3. Enter a contest. I know there are plenty of people reading this blog who’ve never done this, either! The contest circuit is quieter at this time of the year than at other times, but there are still plenty open for entries… there’s a good list right here… just remember to read the rules/T&Cs carefully before you hit ’send’.
5. Buy a poetry collection from a small publisher — and buy it direct from the publisher! Don’t go giving Amazon all your money! Going to the small press’ own website will mean that the vast majority of your pennies go straight to them… and their fabulous poetry book gets sent straight to you!
7. Give up a crappy habit (for a while). Yep, this one comes up on just about everyone’s New Year’s Resolution list… which is why people often fail. Habits are incredibly difficult to crack — whether your habit is smoking, procrastinating or even just talking too much. So try this… give up your bad habit just until 31st December. That seems a whole lot more manageable than ‘for good,’ right? Then take it from there.
8. Write a poem. Believe it or not, there are even some people who stop by ONS who’ve never written a poem in their lives. People! Do it now! It doesn’t have to be the world’s greatest literary masterpiece… it can just be about your cat. But give it a try. You never know what might happen…
Let me know your end of year resolutions!