Poetry Action Plan 2014

For the last few years, I’ve used a Poetry Action Plan (PAP) to structure my writing goals. I have built previous plans based on the following steps:

·                     Define my goals
·                     Be realistic about what can be achieved  
·                     Track my progress
·                     Prepare for setbacks BUT be open to opportunities 

How did I do? In 2013, my goals were to:

Write a Poem a Week
I wrote 79 poems. Would eke out #80 if I wasn’t so tired. So I’ll save it for the New Year.

Publish Poems in 12 Publications 
Honesty, I haven’t kept count. But I did publish in some impressive journals such as Ploughshares and Rattle.

Complete Manuscript #3
Well, I have more poems now than I know what to do with. I wanted to create an arc that ties the past to the present, but my poems are in the draft stage. Not there yet.

Attend a Weeklong Workshop
The two writing weeks in late July/early August blew the other goals right out of the water.

For 2014, I’m putting together my PAP based on the following:

·                     Be in the moment
·                     Have a vision
·                     Try harder, fail harder
·                     Ditch what's not working

Less quantitative, more qualitative.

So, my 2014 poetry goals:

Be Present
This goal is almost too squishy to be a real goal. I want to keep pushing myself as an artist through daily (or almost daily) observations, my gratitude journal, and this blog. Again, this doesn’t feel like a real goal, and yet it’s the key to everything.

Focus on Misery Islands
The long wait is almost over. Misery should be out in September. Time to figure out exactly what I can do for book #2 that’s different from book #1.

Complete Manuscript #3
After I revise, I’m hoping I can cobble out a new collection. Maybe two.  

Complete the Juno Project
These poems are waiting on me to write them. This could be m’script #4

What’s not on this list? Write a certain number of poems, go to a writers’ retreat, apply for grants, etc. Been there, done that. I’m really focused on staying motivated and intentional about my writing. I've also cut out what’s not working (i.e. publish in X-number of journals).

I hope some of this helps you think about what you want for your writing in the New Year. Remember, your plan is flexible and can change as your life changes. Mine did.

Good luck, and Happy New Year!!


Thomas D said…
Happy New Year, January Gill O'Neil! Looking forward to Misery Islands!

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