Right now I am reading Jeffrey Skinner's book, The 6.5 Practices of Moderately Successful Poets and I am struck by some advice he gives early on in the book.
He states among other things: Give Yourself Goals. Have a plan. I will edit a manuscript by this date.
That last thing there is strange because I actually gave myself a goal to have written and be finished with a manuscript by the end of 2012. I had given myself this deadline in order to capitalize on my energy and desire to write a manuscript detailing a lot of the stories I had heard about my home town while growing up, and many more on top of that.
Wait. That's not the strange part. The strange part is that I ended up writing a book which was entirely different than the one I imagined. My original idea was to explore the narrative poem, with small, lyric poems to be placed intermittently throughout the book. What ended up happening is a book of lyric poetry with narrative elements in a good deal of the poems.
As it turned out, the harder I squeezed my brain to wrap itself around the task of writing these narrative poems, the more I slipped into the groove of writing lyric poems. I was, in effect, writing a book behind my own back. In the end I have a manuscript which will be ready to submit by January, 2013. I can hardly wait to start gathering my stack of rejection slips and for that one special acceptance note.
More news soon on the publishing front, I am certain. Trust me, it's good news.