I knew from early on what kind of writer I was going to be— a novelist. Not only that, a genre novelist. No self-involved university-approved literary fiction for me! I was going to write the sort of things that could be published, and that I could be paid for.
But being a poet— not practical at all! Becoming a poet is like being the kind of person who takes out a fortune in student loans and then majors in philosophy or women’s studies. There’s no future in it. Unless you WANT to become a destitute bum.
And so about the third year of writing poetry and submitting it, I stopped the poetry focus and poured all my attention into working on novel-beginnings for novels destined never to have ends. Which wasn’t particularly practical in an economic sense, either. But being an unpublished novelist seems more practical than being a published poet.
I have continued in writing poetry, and have self-published a couple of poetry books. The first of them, a chapbook called surly petunia, I have reissued as an ebook which is free on Smashwords and 99 cents on Amazon.com (at least until someone tells Amazon.com about the lower Smashwords price.) I’ve also submitted to two poetry ‘zines last year and had an acceptance at Chiron Review.
My goals this year call for writing a new poem every day (I write mostly short poems, both free-form and using forms such as sijo, haiku and Collum lunes), putting a new chapbook or book of poems together, and participating in the weekly ‘Poetry Pantry’ blog event at Poet’s United. I’m hoping to accept my identity as a poet, if not that as a destitute bum.
I also continue my novel work. I’m coming to accept the disorganized ‘pantser’ method that is natural to me and write scenes and scene fragments in no particular order and to no plan, rather than trying to outline everything first. And I’m also incorporating poetry into my prose. In my current work-in-progress,’The Road North’, one of the two major characters is a young poet with Down’s Syndrome, and he writes poems in the short diary he’s keeping as he and his friend travel to a place of relative safety during the zombie apocalypse.
My message today to other writers is to be open to accept the type of writer you are, instead of holding out for the writer you think you should be.
This is a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop, which is the first Wednesday of every month.
Please, check out my brand-new author page at Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4813575.Nissa_Annakindt