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Writing Goals

18 March 2010

I stopped making New Year’s resolutions years ago, but I am using this new year as a time to consider my writing ambitions and set a few goals for myself. Rather than goals with deadlines, they are continuous goals, that I hope I reach throughout the year.

1. Read my poems aloud before I submit them.

Time and again I have heard/read/been given this advice from other writers, yet only once can I remember actually doing it. Why? Fear of my own voice, I guess. It’s time I faced that fear and read aloud to myself. It’s the best way to hear mistakes, breaks in rhythm, inconsistencies, and other problems in my work before I consider a piece finished.

2. Memorize poems.

This includes others’ work as well as my own. What better way to become familiar with the nuances of language and poetry than to memorize a work of art? I am beginning with Elizabeth Bishop’s One Art, the first poem that ever moved me.

3. Write bad poems.

Maybe the most important goal, I am allowing myself to write bad poetry. I won’t get hung up on that word that’s not perfect, the three-line poem that goes nowhere, the terribly drab description of my bedroom on a Friday morning. I will let myself just write, even if it is nonsensical train-of-thought writing that will not become anything more than ink on paper. I will let poems be, in their own state, finished poems.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 19 March 2010 00:05

    Number three, I think, is really important.


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