Resolutions, goals, and plans

I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts over the last few days with people stating their New Year’s resolutions. I admit that I am not a New Year’s resolution person. If I need to make a change, I prefer to start when the need arises.

I’m not especially wedded to January first as a date. Which reminds me that I wrote a poem about it

Some people chose to list goals rather than resolutions, but even that sounds too cut-and-dried to me.

Jay Dee, at the end of this Authors Answer post, asks what are our plans for 2016.

Plans are something I can get behind. Plans to me are more dynamic and able to be adjusted or revised as needed. Plans don’t have an expiration date.

My writing plan is to put together my first poetry collection.

Those of you who followed my saga of the Mass MoCA/Tupelo Press residency/workshop know that I had hoped returning to my home locale in its new phase of life would spawn a chapbook. Midway though the residency week, I realized that it needed to be a collection rather than a chapbook.

I have a provisional title.

A schema for organizing the sections of the collection.

And some poems that I have already written that will fit into the collection. Others are drafted but need revisions, workshopping, and more revision. Others are still barely ideas and there may be still others that become necessary to write to fill in gaps in the timeline or to balance the sections.

I am planning on marshaling my local resources, Sappho’s Circle and the Bunn Hill Poets, for help with workshopping individual poems. As I get further along in the process, I will probably afflict commandeer invite several writer-poet friends to critique a section or the whole collection. Other people are so much better at pointing out what doesn’t make sense or what is out of order than I am when I am so close to it.

I am ecstatic that our residency group, the Boiler House Poets, will have a reunion this fall. I definitely plan to enlist their help, although I’m not sure in what capacity. It will depend on where I am in the process in the fall. I may need more workshopping help, or organizational assistance, or help navigating the submission process, or may need some more art poems to balance the final section so that I would be generating new poems during the residency that would need feedback.

To me, that is part of the beauty of a plan. It can change and grow as needs dictate.

I know that many people would say that plans need to be written out with checkboxes and timelines and deadlines or things won’t get done.

I do understand that logic, but I can’t force myself – or my poetry – into that kind of straitjacket.

My life experience has featured too many unexpected events to carve any plan in stone.

Too many things can happen.

Too many things have happened.

I am confident that I will assemble this manuscript, but it doesn’t feel safe to me to say it is a 2016 goal or worse – shudder – resolution. It is a plan with roots in 2015 which will grow in 2016.

The fruit will ripen when the time is right. Whatever number gets attached to that date is not mine to say.

It’s not in the plan.
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Join us for Linda’s Just Jot It January! Find out more about it here:  http://lindaghill.com/2016/01/04/just-jot-it-january-4th-dachshund/

JJJ 2016