First of the month, end of the year…almost

Back in July I wrote a post about the first six months of the year and my resolutions for the second half of 2012 which were to:

  • Read widely, read critically, read for pleasure.
  • Continue to write daily and submit regularly to competitions and for publication.
  • Continue to gain experience as a tutor and workshop facilitator in different settings.
  • Attend more writing workshops as a participant.
  • Do more readings.
  • Write my blog regularly.

I’ve made good on most of these although I haven’t done ANY readings.  At this point I just want to attend more readings.  What stops me is having to arrange childcare – not that I’m complaining but that is the reality as they are all in the evening or some distance from where I live.

I’ve started attending writing workshops in Swindon once a month

(most on Saturdays or Sundays, day time, so this suits me perfectly) and they’ve been wonderful.  I’ve taught a Creative Writing (Poetry and Short Stories) for one term at our local college of Adult Education and that’s gone well. I’ve also run a writing workshop at Trowbridge Library which I loved and which received fantastic feedback.  And I’m back to run more writing classes in Trowbridge Museum in January, and more workshops in other Wiltshire Libraries in February and March – so quite busy and adding to my experience on the teaching/workshop facilitating front.

I’m a bit cagey about my submissions.

I don’t really talk about what I’m writing or where I’m submitting to anyone at all, even my husband.  It’s probably the way that I cope with rejections – I really don’t enjoy people’s sympathy when I fail, I prefer to deal with it by myself.  But I will admit to submitting some flash fictions recently and I’m gathering poems – about 12 – to submit to various magazines.  Believe me, if anything is successful, I’ll let you know, dear reader!

I’ve subscribed to a lot of magazines recently,

among the new ones, Ambit, Under the Radar (like this a LOT), Magma and Envoi (also seems excellent, haven’t read it properly yet).  I already subscribe to The Rialto, Cake, Poetry Review and Iota and I was subscribing to Smiths Knoll until they decided to call it a day.  I’m not sure I can afford to keep up all these subscriptions in 2013 but it’s been a good way of reading a range of writing, mainly poetry.  Of course, the other way that I’ve been able to read more is by taking the ten week ModPo course that I’ve written about in previous posts.  Very generously, all the materials will remain online until next September, so I will make time to revisit the poetry at a more leisurely pace.

Book-wise I found a vastly reduced (in price) copy of Ted Hughes’ Letters

which is mesmerising and perfect for dipping in and out of.  It’s fascinating to read about his daily life, his thoughts about his work, details of his submissions, his rejections and his successes.  One of the things that struck me was how he was able to earn some money from poetry, and how the struggle to earn money affected him and drove him to write more and increase his productivity.  I’ve also discovered the work of American poet, Marie Howe, and ordered two of her collections and I’ve loved reading three pamphlets, The Bond by Maitreyabandhu, If We Could Speak Like Wolves, by Kim Moore and Breathing Through Our Bones by Julie Mellor.  I’ve just bought Gopagilla by Roy Marshall because I felt so happy reading his poem, Instant Karma, recently posted on my poetry blog.

I have no teaching commitments for the whole of December

and there are three weeks until my children break up from school so I’m determined to put in some serious writing hours in the coming weeks.  Perhaps that would be an appropriate moment to sign off (and disconnect the internet).  And perhaps I will try to attend at least one poetry reading before the end of the year – there is still time!

9 thoughts on “First of the month, end of the year…almost”

  1. You leave me standing in your comprehensive poetry reading! I keep up subscriptions to many but not all you list: it really does inform, doesn’t it? Good luck with the next three weeks writing, and may the next six months bring even more fun and satisfaction.


  2. Thanks Isabel! Now that I’m part of a regular writing group, I’m hoping we’ll share magazines more to keep our costs down. Stationery, subscriptions and books take up most of my income. Wishing your writing projects well, also.


  3. You seem to be doing a lot!I love Ted Hughes letters and it makes me wish peopld still hand wrote them as th handwriting tells you about the person too.


  4. What a great idea, I must make some resolutions for 2013 (maybe 6 months at a time is a good idea, it sounds more do-able). You’re very good to subscribe to so many magazines, I’ve found I’ve chopped and changed on this, tend to subscribe to one for a year and drop it in favour of another. Sharing amongst poet friends is good practice too, must do more of that. Good luck in finding more time to write, must be hard when there’s childcare to consider.


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