5 Steps to Creating a Poetry Action Plan

If you’re interested in creating a Poetry Action Plan (PAP) for yourself, here are a few suggestions. Note: it should be flexible enough to morph and change as your life changes.

  1. Define your goals. What is most important to you as a writer? Is it practicing your craft? Do you want to read your work in public? Is this the year you finally complete your manuscript? Whatever it is, name it, claim it, and put it at the top of your list.

  2. Be realistic about what can you achieve. Having a focus is essential. Pick four or five goals and stick to them.

  3. Track your progress. It’s one thing to make goals, and another to keep them. List items you can quantify so you can gain momentum as you reach your next goal (ex. submit to 25 journals, write two poems a month, etc.).

  4. Prepare for setbacks BUT be open to opportunities wherever they appear. Small acts, such as jotting down a word or phrase or mailing one submission to a publication, will keep you moving forward through times of uncertainty.

  5. This is your starting point for creating a PAP. I encourage you to modify your goals throughout the year.


tess said…
Do you have any organizational tips for writers who write in various notebooks, can't find anything, can't send anything out because they know they have multiple drafts and can't find the one they feel was the right one? I love your poetry action plan -- it's global; but do you have a micro plan for working? For writers with ADD....
One thing that does work for me is that I write a children's poetry blog and publish the poems right there, that way I can find them. The software organizes my work; otherwise the poems would be lost in notebooks, on bits of paper, in the trash, etc.
Any thoughts on this and sending work out? Routines?
Julie T. Ewald said…
What a great idea! Thanks for sharing step by step.

I'll post a link to this later at www.thepencilsharpener.com. Not only will this be good for me, I'm sure this will help a lot of my readers too!

Thanks again for (another) fantastic post!
Jim K. said…
I good jog before 2011..
am doing it. Basic goals, so it's
I might need sub-goals to help
with support activities.

I organize poems as wordpad/.txt
in chrono directories, with little
tags (I can search for later)
written in...style, submitted-to,
etc.. Then google docs for the
.pdf or .doc output.
Tracking different revisions
is really hard. I would have
each (paste the poem, tags just
after, edit the paste into the next
version) ...IF I was trying to
track...phew. (hard no matter what)
January said…
Hi Tess.

One thing I suggest is using a number system for your drafts. So if you save them as word documents, for example, save by poem title, version #, then date.
Example: "Rainy Day Poem 1.O 123110.
I tend not to save too many revisions. If I don't get to it within a week I usually toss it. And I don't say too many electronic versions so I don't confuse version numbers.

Tess, I don't have a patented system for sending out, I save drafts of my letters in a word file and sort by date.

Buy for you, I think you need to find a simple system and stay on top of it. Good luck!

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