Do Poets Make Poetry Goals?

It’s that time of year—when we look back and wonder if we did anything positive with our poetry and then create goals for the new year.

Or maybe we just think about doing it because we’ve really never done it before.


I do wonder if it’s even important to be intentional about poetry because writing poetry isn’t scientific or calculating. Writing poetic goals isn’t like writing business goals or educational goals because most of us don’t earn degrees in poetry or earn a living writing it. We write it because poetry oozes from our veins. It’s how we think. It’s how we express ourselves. It’s how we connect.

But, still. I want to do a little bit of a retrospective rehash even though I went through a poetic slump this year. Some of it was because I’m focusing on my new editing business and the novel that just never seems to be finished. Some of it is because lately when I write something,  it seems plastic and forced.

So, I’m stepping back and looking at the big picture of 2014. I’ll lament the losses and celebrate the victories. Then I’m opening the curtain on 2015 and stepping forward.

I searched for some sort of assessment list for poetry but didn’t find anything, so I’ve pieced together a preliminary list.

Reflection questions—

  1. Did I write the poems I wanted to write?
  2. Did I submit to the literary journals I wanted to?
  3. Was I accepted?
  4. Did I learn about a new form?
  5. Did any of my poems win any awards?
  6. Was I intent on submitting to anthologies?
  7. Did I learn anything new about poetry this year?
  8. Did I grow as a poet?
  9. Did I write every day?

(Remorseful answers—)

  1. No. Lament
  2. No. Lament
  3. Yes. Happy dance
  4. Yes. Happy dance
  5. Um. Kind of.
  6. No. Lament
  7. Yes. Happy dance
  8. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.
  9. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.

Renovation questions—

  1. Where did I go wrong?
  2. Where did I go right?
  3. Should I change course?
  4. Should I change voice?
  5. Should I submit more? Less?
  6. What is my blueprint for the next year?
  7. Should I participate in any submission marathons?
  8. Should I host one?
  9. What can I do to grow?
  10. Where can I go to learn?
  11. Who will I chose to be my mentor this year?
  12. Should I write a chapbook?
  13. Am I discouraged? Encouraged?
  14. Should I take a break?

Rejuvenation questions—

  1. What poetry can I read to inspire me?
  2. What else might motivate me?
  3. Who can I motivate?
  4. How can poetry change my life?
  5. How can my life change poetry?
  6. What can I do to be more intentional and mindful?
  7. Do I still enjoy poetry or is it a chore?
  8. How can I get ready to paint my world with poetry?

new-years-eve-574259_1280aWhat have I left off my list? What about you? Will you be assessing your poetic life when the New Year’s ball drops?

Happy New Year to you all!


12 thoughts on “Do Poets Make Poetry Goals?

  1. Great questions J. So good, I’m going to use some as anchors for blog posts this year. Here’s to more happy dancing.

Speak to me of thoughts unspoken.

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