On Time and Publication: #ThousandPoemYear Update – Week 12

[Hi, I’m Joshua Judson. I’m writing 1000 Poems this year. To find out how and why, click HERE.]

Poems written this week: 41

Poems written so far this month: 123

Poems written so far this year: 300

 

Not being funny, but I’m absolutely bossing this challenge.

I’m very happy to report that I’ve got over the hump of worrying about every poem being a winner. This challenge is about practise. And even a bad poem is a poem. Over March, my feeling of contentment with the challenge and my fulfilment of it have sky rocketed. I think that is, in part, a self esteem thing.

Through the counselling I’ve been getting at Uni, it’s become clear that self esteem is an issue for me. It’s on of them where knowing it makes it so much easier to deal with. Also, since I’ve realised my low self esteem, it’s helped me explain away a lot of things I’m not happy with about myself: how I act in certain situations etc.

It was a few months ago that I was a bit down so I went to my local on my own – bit grim – and I went outside to the smoking area and got chatting to a guy. After a bit of the usual pleasantries, he asked what I do. I um-ed and ahh-ed about it a bit before admitting to being a student. He pushed for a real answer, ‘what you studying’. Then I finally admitted to being a poet. He went ‘That’s wicked man! Why don’t you lead with that?’

A very valid question. I think maybe I felt like it wasn’t a proper job. And, if it was, I wasn’t yet qualified to call myself poet. And you know what? FUCK that. I am a poet. That’s my job. It’s not a hobby for me. I take it and myself very seriously. And no, I’m not the best at it. But I’m good. And what’s more, I’m dedicated to being better, I’ve unlocked the competitive side of my that drives and grafts. In March, there were only two days where I didn’t write anything. I’m bossing the challenge. I’m reading, I’m learning, I’m DOING.

 

The last time I was feeling this good about myself, I got called arrogant a lot. It was when I was with the Mouthy Poets. The A word set me back a bit, and set me on a track of self doubt that turned me a bit mousey and down about things. I think I came across arrogant because when I feel good about myself, it tends t manifest as cockiness.

 

I don’t have a smooth transition for the next thing I wanna talk about so I’m just gonna jump in:

Publication has been important to be since I started writing I think. Even when I thought that Performance Poetry was going to be my bag, I always had the idea in the back of my mind that I wanted to publish.

How important all that is to me has sort of become clear to me over the past few days so I’ve put systems and goals in place to prioritise submitting to magazines and journals a priority. I’m aiming to send poems out to a minimum of five publications a month.

 

The problem with my current practise is that I’ve got poems galore, but no time in which to edit and polish said poems. So I’ve come up with a system whereby I ask willing volunteers to go through batches of the poems I’m writing this year and tell me which ones are worth going back to and editing. I’m also looking at establishing a regular system of making time for editing.

 

A final note. This Update is super late. So late, in fact, that the next one will be published tomorrow. I’m sorry for the brisk nature of this one, but I’m quite fired up for reasons I’ll no doubt cover in tomorrow’s update and I’m just banging through it to get it done to be honest. On with April!

 

Joshua Judson x

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