“Write Your Way Out”

…is what Boston Erin said to me as we were walking back to her car after lunch yesterday. A fine children’s lit novelist in her own right, she read my poetry manuscript as its first reader/editor and made some excellent suggestions. But isn’t that why we write—to make things better, to improve our lives, to “write our way out” of the old and into the new?

Too bad poets, writers, and teachers don’t get the recognition our society affords athletes and rock stars. Wouldn’t be great to have your first book accepted right off the bat because the masses have heard of you and are clamoring for more, like the NBA draft?

I’d be lying if I said, “I don’t need recognition or validation by my peers.” I don’t write in a vacuum. I write, primarily, because I need to see my life before my eyes. Sometimes it gets so lost in toys and bills and long commutes, which is time away from home that I’ll never get back. But I also put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, so that one day I can support myself as a writer (and become U.S. Poet Laureate!). I just think being a writer is one of the greatest vocations in the whole wide world!

Last night, I made revisions to my poems and sent them off to the next round of trusted souls for their opinions. Then in December, I will shove my baby out into to world to sink or swim.


Anonymous said…
I'm honored to be a source of inspiration, P-mom. One thing I find so difficult and yet rewarding about the writing life is that it IS such a solitary endeavor. No one is making us do this, no one is waiting for what we have to say; it's up to us to share our work with the world. Your passion brings people to your art. How awesome is that?

And wait til the world sees your collection... you'll be the first Poet Laureate picked by popular demand!
Writer Bug said…
What a thoughtful post and comment. It is interesting how the desire to write is such an internal force, and writing itself is so solitary, but we need external validation to feel OK about doing it (to some extent or another).

Best of luck with your book January! I am not a good poetry critiquer, but let me know if I can help in any way! (And email me if you didn't get my Christmas party evite. I think it might've gone into some people's junk email boxes.)
Kristine said…
You've got guts lady!
Leap and the net will appear...
I admire you.
Anonymous said…
Hi, January! I love this concept of writing your way out. And I am so happy for you that you have a workable manuscript and that you're not only brave enough to let a few friends look at it but that you're going to send it out. For real! Congrats!

I have two unrelated things for you:

First, after I finish my Nano stuff this month, I'm going to copy something you've done, if that's OK. I'm going to add to my sidebar a tally of writing things I've done each month, like your tally of poems you've written. Let me know if that's OK (I'll totally do it in your honor and tell everyone so!)

Second, jillypoet and I have been friends in real life for a few years and we are actually able to get together once in a while. OK, once in a great while, but it's so worth it. At a writing session we'd designated to work on Nano stuff, we were fantasizing about getting together with you and some other bloggers in our region. Nothing fancy. Just a day trip somewhere or an afternoon. Jill and I are in Upstate New York, just a stone's throw from the Massachusetts border. We could meet somewhere in the middle. I'm putting this up in your comments instead of in a private email in case someone else in the area is interested. Of course, it would have to be months away, but just wanted to plant the seeds.
Repeater said…
Finally checked out your site after seeing all your comments on bug's. I just adore your peice here "about me". Beautiful.
January said…
Erin: You rock my world.

Bug: Thanks for the offer--I may take you up on it very soon. And I think we may be at your party but I have to check Mr. PoetMom's availability.

Kristine: the feeling is mutual. Your art is amazing.

Carolee: What's mine is yours!

And yes, I'd love to get together with you, Jillypoet and other area bloggers. We'll definitely have to do something very soon.

Repeater: Thanks for stopping by. Can't wait to check out your blog.
Emily said…
Good luck, good luck, good luck to you. I am looking forward to your time as poet laureate.
Catherine said…
I think that blogging is the writing I do to see my life before my eyes. Poetry does that, but it also lets me imagine my way into other lives.
Best of luck with the book
paris parfait said…
Hooray for you, January! I so admire your persistence - and I'm convinced you're going to be Poet L. one day! You are an inspiration, the way you juggle so many things and still carve out time to write (and write beautifully).

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