Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Catching up

November is over. If you're wondering how I did with my November poem-a-day challenge, well, I certainly wasn't perfect. But I do have 24 new poem attempts in my files and that is much better than I would have done had I not set a 30-day goal.

One of the reasons I missed making my goal was that I got distracted by an exciting development in my 'career' (feels weird to call it that). As I mentioned before, a novel I have been working on for some years (and wrote the bulk of in November of 2009) made it onto the list of finalists of the 2011 Word Alive Publishing Contest. It was a few weeks ago in November that I made the final decision to self-publish that book through Word Alive Press. As a result I was busy, first considering my options, and then putting together the contract documents. I found it all energizing, yet draining, so that the last thing I wanted to do at the end some days was more creative thinking.

Regarding my book-publishing journey, it's still early days. Right now my manuscript is in the hands of a concept (big picture) editor. When I hear back from her, I'll consider the changes she suggests, get the story in as good shape as I can before I pass it on to the publisher's editor. And we go on from there. In the weeks and months ahead, I'll be writing about the publishing / marketing / publicity journey of that book, along with the usual poetry fare I often write about here.

I want to leave you with a couple of quotes from an insightful article I read in Writer's Digest many years ago. I filed it away, ran across it the other day and was inspired by it all over again.

"Most of a writer's life is just work. It happens to be a kind of work that the writer finds fulfilling in the same way that a watchmaker can happily spend countless hours fiddling over tiny cogs and bits of wire. Poets also love to fiddle with a word here, a word there—small spaces for hours. And when I'm working on a poem, I'm working harder than I've ever worked at anything in my life—I'm concentrating harder. But it's enjoyable. Not something I would describe as fun—it's more like rapture, a kind of transcendent play" - Diane Ackerman, "Tight Focus in Small Places," The Writer's Digest, September 1997, p.31.

And further on she says:

"Regard the world with affectionate curiosity and then write from the heart. You have to trust that you have something important to say and that you were put on earth to "stain the willows with a glance." And that the world will not look the same once you have written about it, that you will bring new life to the world through your vision" - same article, p. 33.

3 comments:

Maureen said...

Congratulations. I will be interested to follow your writing journey. It's wonderful that you have the benefit of several editors.

Great quotes. I've read a lot of Diane Ackerman's prose and poetry. Some of her writing is marvelous.

violet said...

Thanks so much, Maureen! About editors, yes, I can benefit from the input of others for sure.

Elizabeth Young said...

Was blessed by your post and the quotes today Violet and wish you all the best on your publishing journey! Have a wonderful Christmas, Elizabeth.