Mid-year Review

Back in January, I wrote a post about goals I’d like to complete in 2012, and after receiving some fantastic news on Friday, I decided to look back over them to see where I’m at with them.

Here they are:

#1: Get one of my fiction stories accepted for publication.

#2: Get published in one of the journals my heart leaps for joy over. 

#3: Get paid for one of my publications.

#4: Be accepted into Bread Loaf.

#5: Keep up my writing ritual.

Goals I’ve met:

  • On Friday, I got an acceptance e-mail from Third Coast for my poem “Hurricane Andrew” (draft notes here). I had made the decision this year to submit to journals even when I felt like they were too “above” me, so I had submitted to Third Coast, even though I had not even a speck of hope of being published in it. After my publication in [PANK]I had already met goal #2, but with this most recent acceptance, I can’t even explain the gleeful daze I’ve been wandering around in.
  • While I haven’t written a poem every week as I hoped I would, I haven’t completely forsaken it. I was glad to look through my entries on here and discover that now, 34 weeks into the year, after a surgery, finishing up requirements in order to be able to graduate, and a month of very little writing in Spain, I’ve drafted 19 poems. Not bad.

Goals I’ve not met:

  • I didn’t get into Bread Loaf. I did get a “nice” rejection, encouraging me to apply again next year, but no-go.
  • I haven’t gotten one of my fiction stories accepted for publication. Yet. Today, with renewed vigor, I sat down and revised a story I had been meaning to get to, and then sent it off to six journals.
  • I haven’t gotten paid for a publication yet either, so I submitted my fiction to some journals that do offer payment, and I’ll be researching some poetry journals I can submit to as well.

While I’d like to say that I’m so grounded that getting an acceptance or rejection wouldn’t have any effect on me, that’s just not the case. On my best days, I can log a rejection and move on. On my worst ones, I have to read a rejection two or three times and then check Rejection Wiki to make sure it’s “form” instead of “encouraging”. I walk around pouting and thinking strongly of reasons why I should give up writing forever and ever and ever. Right now, I’m going to try to hang onto my happy writing moments for as long as possible to buoy me past the not-so-happy ones (Perfect example! I just got a form rejection! Logged. Moving on.).

How are your writing goals going for 2012?

8 thoughts on “Mid-year Review

  1. i have one of those same goals– to submit to magazines i think are above me–i’ve been surprised at places that have said Yes this year! acceptances are definitely less than when i sent to more “mid-level” magazines but i am more excited when i do get an acceptances nowadays. it was really my only goal since i have a new baby–next year i think i’m going to work toward getting my manuscript published and maybe try to get accepted into something like breadloaf. congrats on the third coast acceptance! that is a journal worth being gleeful about no doubt!

      1. i have someone i’ve worked with for a long time, but she’s very maybe overly familiar with my work–i would love a fresh pair of eyes if you have time!

  2. Congratulations on being accepted at Third Coast! I hope your happy moment lasts until the next one.

    Now I have a question for you about one of your goals. Why is it important to be paid for one of your publications?

    I ask because I’ve been going over this in my head a bit too. I think it’s pretty much impossible for most people to make a living from poetry. I envy fiction writers for that reason, and sometimes wonder why I keep at poetry instead of trying fiction. Obviously, I don’t write poetry for the money!

    I’ve decided I don’t care whether journals pay me, especially since it would be such a small amount anyway. For me, it’s about the recognition. I’m just curious what the pay represents to you. I’m used to being paid for copywriting, so maybe it would thrill me to get paid for something entirely creative that benefits no one except the reader’s mind (I hope). Hmm.

    1. I definitely harbor no delusions that one day someone’s going to pay me the big bucks to write poetry. When I set the goal to “get paid,” it was really just to see if I could. Very few journals today pay their contributors money (usually it’s contributor copies and subscriptions). Most of the journals that do pay money are pretty prestigious or are more profitable for other reasons. Really, it’s one of those goals that keeps me submitting and to journals I might not submit to (they’re “too” prestigious, etc. etc.). Getting paid, even just $5, feels like it might make the whole job of submitting a little more professional. Who knows, really? Hopefully it’ll happen sometime so I can tell you what it feels like!

      1. I hope you meet that goal and know what it feels like.

        Maybe publications don’t offer that $5 pay because they’re afraid it would be insulting. Better to pay nothing?

        Poets should get some kind of tax break.

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