Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August Wrap Up

Today is the last day of August, and as of yesterday I've finished my 2011 August Poetry Postcard Fest project. So, I have 31 new poem crumbs, perhaps a few of them are workable into something else. Many, though, I think they're not exactly moving in the direction I want my writing to go. I feel like my go-to tack is lazy and boring. I wouldn't want to read a book of poems like that, so why am I writing them? I need a new strategy. Maybe I should try writing knock-offs of poems I admire, not for anyone else to see, but to see what I can learn from them. I miss being in a workshop. I miss that excitement and energy everyone brings every week.

As for Camp NaNoWriMo, I shifted attention to something else about the 10,000 word mark, which means unfortunately I won't meet that particular deadline. I started with a jumbled mess without direction and moved into some hint of order, though I'm not all that interested in the characters or plot I've put together. I'm thinking about November. I may want to scrap everything I've written and start over with this storyline, or maybe I'll start something new. I have definitely enjoyed writing other stories more than this one, and I have to think that ultimately I'll get the most out of a story that I enjoy writing.

I had a conversation with someone in our circle of friends on Saturday. After talking with a friend who had written and sold a couple of books, she was convinced that writing and publishing (maybe even self-publishing) a book was an easy way to fame and riches. It was late and we were in a loud place, so I wasn't really up for disputing her ideas. Most people with that attitude don't even have the patience to finish a novel, much less go to the additional work of revising it, plus sending it to agents or promoting a self-published book. If someone wants to try to write a book, I say go for it. You'll learn far more in the attempt than you ever will talking to people about it. It's pretty unlikely you'll become the next Dan Brown (her hero), but it's possible.

As the month wraps up, I'm not quite sure what I should be doing. I've been stuck reading a lot of books I'm not too crazy about. I'm not very happy with the direction my poetry writing is going, and I'm not at all motivated to submit. I feel like I've been pushing hard for a while without much to show for it. I kind of want to take a little breather, not worry about projects, maybe try to knock off some of the books I'm trying to read. I find it difficult to give up on a book I'm reading that I don't enjoy much. I end up putting it aside, telling myself I'll get back to it later, but it just sits on my shelf. The thing is, I have a huge number of unread books on my shelf right now, many of which I'd really like to be reading. I need to learn to accept just not liking a book as much as I hoped I would.

What are your goals for September? Are you finishing something up, beginning something new, or taking a breath in between?