Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

41CoSsxg1qL._SX310_BO1,204,203,200_How’s the first official work week of 2016 treating you, my fellow practicing writers?

So far, so good for me.

For Starters

Yes, I know we’re only five days in, but so far, I’ve stuck to my new year’s intention (a word I prefer to “resolution”) to draft one new poem every day. (Haiku counts.) I’m getting up a tad earlier to try to get these poems done before I dig into the rest of the day.

I admit that last year commenced with a similar intention—which petered out around April/May. But while it lasted, it was great—I wrote A LOT of poems, a few of which, after revision, have been published or accepted for publication in 2016. (Example: “Beautiful Enough.”)

Any success here I credit to prompts. Seriously: I could not even contemplate writing a poem a day if I didn’t have all kinds of prompts bookmarked or otherwise filed away. This week, I’ve also been consulting The Daily Poet: Day-by-Day Prompts for Your Writing Practice, by Kelli Russell Agodon and Martha Silano. I bought a copy for my Kindle some weeks (months?) ago, when there was a Kindle special. But I saved the book for use in 2016.

Speaking of Poetry (and Kelli Russell Agodon)

UnknownThanks to Ellen Wade Beals, I caught a tweet advising of the January 3 #poetparty on Twitter. And Sunday at 9pm (Eastern), while much of the rest of the country was watching the beginning of the end of Downton Abbey, I was online, partying away (poetically, that is)!

You can read through the tweets to get a sense of what happens in the #poetparty. (Among other things, I re-connected with Kelli Russell Agodon there!) I’m hoping to log on next month, on February 7, when the #poetparty re-convenes.

The Accountability Project

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me whining there about the writing project that I’ve recently dubbed “The Albatross” (yes, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” made a lasting impression on me). My whining isn’t limited to Twitter; I’ve shared it sufficiently elsewhere such that one of my writing friends (who isn’t on Twitter) and I are now “accountability partners.”

And it’s working: I’ve already met the word count that I’m supposed to be able to report as accomplished by Friday. Long may this continue!

So that’s what’s new with me and my writing. What about you?

15 thoughts on “Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

  1. West says:

    Finally linked up with you on Twitter. Your lists are such a help to me. One of MY goals is to submit my work an average of once a day this year. That may sound incredible, but I have about 10 unpublished pieces that need a home, and you (and your lists) will certainly help me accomplish this goal. Thank you for all that you do to support other writers.

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Hi, West–that’s a terrific goal. We are now connected on Twitter, so I’ll look forward to following your progress. And thanks for the very kind comment.

  2. Erwin K. Roberts says:

    Last year seemed pretty tame with only the release of one of my published stories in audio-book form. Then late December rolled around.

    On the 19th Airship-27 let me know that the very first story of mine they published was also released as an audio-book.

    On the 23rd Both Airship-27 and Mechanoid Press announced the release of books containing my stories. On the 28th I turned in my last story due for the year. Suddenly not so bad a year.

    A word, if I may, (read: plug) about the A-27 release “Legends of New Pulp Fiction.” Last summer the New Pulp community found out that one of our own, Tommy Hancock of Pro Se Productions, had serious health problems. Within days A-27 publisher Ron Fortier announced the Legends anthology as a benefit to help with Tommy’s medical expenses.

    “Legends of New Pulp Fiction” is a big brick of a book nearly 800 pages long. The book contains over sixty 4000 to 6000 word stories, each with an illustration. Just about any genre you can think of is represented. Even romance.

    The book is on Amazon in both print and Kindle formats. A seven dollar PDF version is here:
    http://robmdavis.com/Airship27Hangar/index.airshipHangar.html Just scroll down a bit.

    I’m proud to have been a part of this project. All profits directly benefit an all around good guy who has also published my work. If you are curious about what New Pulp Fiction might be, Legends will ‘splain it to you. {/end plug}

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Oh, my. That’s quite a report. I can tell that it means so much to you to be part of the project.

  3. Leah Hughes says:

    Dude, one draft a day is a hearty goal! How can you keep your head in the space — by starting first thing? Admirable, my friend.

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Well, I mean some of them are REALLY terrible and probably don’t even merit the label of “draft.” The ones that are only MODERATELY terrible advance to revision status. Which I guess is what I was doing from springtime on. It might make sense to switch to a draft-per-weekday and conserve the weekend for revisions along the way. That way, I might actually write all year (and get more of the “better” poems written).

  4. I had to click over and read “Beautiful Enough.” Loved it! If that’s what you’re cranking out as part of your project, I’m hoping you make it all the way through this year!

    I also just got an “accountability partner” for writing. She contacted me the day after I did that year in review exercise that Annette Gendler created and then you hooked us all up with. I got a lot done last year, but I didn’t meet several major goals, and so I feel a bit let down. Hopefully, this new partner situation will help me meet them.

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Thanks, Becca! So you probably noticed that I owe that one to prompt. How I love prompts!

      I’m sorry that you feel a bit let down about your year–obviously, from where I sit, you continued to accomplish SO MUCH. I’ll look forward to hearing more about how your own accountability partnership goes. Keep me posted!

  5. Kim Fujioka says:

    I read your poem ! Nice!
    I have the prompt book you cite. Yes, it’s helpful!
    My goal is to work on my poems daily and produce one per week.
    Actually I’ve been doing that for the past month.
    Hopefully I can keep it up.
    I have other writing projects and deadlines.

    I would like to find another poet to give feedback. Any ideas? My friends who read my work aren’t poets.

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Sorry, Kim, but I don’t have ideas. Look for an online critique group, perhaps? Good luck, and thanks for the kind words on the poem.

  6. Just thought I’d mention that Collin Kelley https://twitter.com/collinkelley is one of the hosts of #poetparty It’s been a valuable Twitter interaction; I made some acquaintances. So thanks to him and TY too!

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Indeed! But your retweet was what brought me to Sunday’s “event”!

  7. My intentions at the end of the year feel off to the wayside after a few life changes…and so I never got around to making firm new year goals. However, like you I do have a writing accountability partner. We talk every Monday morning and I love it. This post has inspired me to sit down and make goals that I can report into her about. Thank you.

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      That’s wonderful, Julia. Thanks so much for the comment.

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