A New Day – 52 – Love, Dedication, & NaPo(Wri)Mo
Check out this link to poets.org for information on National Poetry Month events and ways to celebrate poetry!
April is National Poetry Month, or National Poetry Writing Month if you prefer (though they’re not necessarily one and the same). The challenge out there for poets and writers is to write a poem a day for the next month. Wow! That requires a love of the craft and dedication to it. It’s also a great opportunity to tap into your creative side and meet any poetry writing quotas you might have, like I do. So far this year I’m behind in my poetry writing but April is the perfect time to turn this around. This is also a great time to highlight my poetry book, That Which Lives Within, published last August. So I’m going to be putting it on sale again for the month of April starting Friday the 4th. The e-book will be available for $0.99 & the print book for $7.00! Come get a copy at this great discount! I know I’ve said I’ll get the shopping cart up on my site for a while but don’t worry National Poetry Month is the month it’s going to happen. Then you can pick up a copy directly from me, but until then the print book is available on Amazon & the e-book on Amazon & Barnes & Noble. Check out my review section to hear what some people are thinking of my book so far. Please share your thoughts on your own copy after you pick one up at these discounted prices and get a chance to read it.
I think Spring is a great time for self-discovery and reflection of all sorts like the journey I take you on in That Which Lives Within. During the spring we spring clean, we plan our yard and landscaping projects, we walk more and set our fitness goals higher, and heck we even smile more. I think a lot of us feel stronger in spring because we feel renewed and reinvigorated after having survived the winter, especially this winter. But this renewal we feel, these goals we set do require us to be dedicated and loyal, they require effort on our part, just as our responsibilities and children and pets do, as do our crafts and hobbies too. To write a book you have to be dedicated to the individual pieces of work as well as the process. You have to love what you do even if you don’t love every part of it (pretty sure you don’t like cleaning the litter box or scooping soggy poo out of your yard either but you love your pets, bet changing diapers isn’t all that awesome). If you want to lose weight this spring, you have to love yourself and you have to be dedicated to your new efforts and routine changes. Of course this goes for every goal, from beginning to end.
Today’s pictures for my project 365 are perfect to welcome National Poetry Month because they show the love of my dog. I started to pet her head ever so lightly and she just thought it was the best. I snapped a pic as fast I could while I could! Dogs need love. They need food, water, and exercise too. Sometimes we have to put a lot of effort into their needs: training, grooming (if your dog has long hair), medical needs, yard poo clean ups (oh I remember cleaning up the yard as a kid after winter or a hard rain…ugh, terrible, soggy, gross…), cleaning up after them, exercise (depending on the needs and age of the dog), etc. Other times all it takes is the smallest action to make them happy, like rubbing their ears or just petting them ever so softly on their head. After a run together I like to crouch down where she’s laying and thank her speaking gently and petting her softly, such a sentimental moment. As a whole all of these things sustain them, just the way the bigger and little things sustain us. And, as I keep saying, the same actually does go for writing. You don’t always have to sit down and write 6,000 words in one go, or complete a story in one sitting, or create the bestest most beauteous poem of all time. No, sometimes your work just needs a little pet, a few kind words and show of appreciation to show your dedication. You don’t always have to set time aside for it, let it be spontaneous, let it be short, let it be genuine. Sure, you gotta walk the dog every day even when you don’t want to; sometimes you just gotta get your butt in that chair and make it happen. But if that’s all you ever do than your work is going to miss out on some quality time. So spend time with your work, quality time, love it, be dedicated and loyal, tend to it.
I write because I love it. I come back to a story or a poem, a project or marketing because I’m dedicated. These are just a few of the things it takes to accomplish what you set out to do. As writers we’re always finding new ways to stay committed to our craft and our projects. It might be a conference you register for or a workshop, a retreat you plan on attending, or for example in my case to start off the month I entered the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. As with most things – including collecting/keeping/growing Orchids – the more dedicated you are, the more you want to achieve/accomplish, the more is required of you. If you do agility with your dog than you’ve got to do a lot more than basic training and walking, obviously. If you want to “collect” Orchids, and different kinds, you’re going to have to “tend” to them. So if you want to be “an author” you’re going to do more than just write. Writing a book meant being more critical of my work, combing through the poems I chose for the line-up (even then some things snuck by me), reading more poetry by other writers, and being more engaged with the writing community among so many other things.
You have to put yourself aside when people leave reviews for you. You have to see your cover in terms of how it relates to your content and how appealing it is, not just whether or not YOU like it and your mom thinks it’s really neat. Writing a book and publishing it meant for me that I couldn’t just stay cooped up with my writing in a corner somewhere. I had to come out of my shell and read and write more. I had to connect with other writers and look for other poets I like. When you publish your work you become part of a much bigger community. I’m an author now with readers and potential readers, and critics too! I have to sell my self in a sense, not just my work; you really become a bit of a public figure. The book doesn’t work for you, you work for it; you put it together, paid to publish it, and now you have to market it. It’s kind of like, “If you build it they will come…”, yeah only kind of in that you have to put the effort in to create but if you write it, they won’t necessarily come unless you’re already established! I think it’s more so if you write it they must SEE it. And that’s one of the biggest challenges. I love my dog but not everyone would want to care for her, she sat at the rescue for 4-6 months before I adopted her. Just because I love my work, my craft, doesn’t mean everyone else will. I am its advocate. Ha, want another analogy? Well if you’re trying to lose weight this spring you’re body’s not going to exercise without you (your mind) and your appetite sure isn’t going to hold itself back; that’s ALL YOU BUDDY!
So April showers bring May flowers yeah? Shower your craft this April, your hobby, your dedication, your goals and look for the flowers in May!
Cheers everybody and do keep me posted with how your garden of progress grows! (You know I’m going to be keeping you posted.) And tell everyone who likes poetry my books on sale! 😀
Things to look for this month:
I won’t post all the poems I write as then that cancels out my ability to submit them for publication but I will share some.
Interviews with other poets (and writers)
Highlights and information about some poets I’ve come to favor
Possibly events pertaining to NaPoWriMo I MAY attend
and who knows, you’ll just have to wait and see.