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#WeekendCoffeeShare -Happy Poems Are Still Not My Thing

It’s Sunday already and so far this morning I’ve managed to procrastinate and avoid doing any sort of constructive work. To be fair there’s quite a bit that I could be getting on with. I have an exam on Thursday and another the following Tuesday, there’s a submission deadline for Barren Magazin. today that I wanted to have something written for, and I still have a number of poems that I wanted to go over and redraft. Instead of doing that though, I’ve decided to write this post and fetch myself another brew to see if I can kick my brain into some sort of functioning gear.

This week life has gone back to its normal routines. This has meant that my evenings were a little busier than usual and I didn’t get the chance to post as much to my blog as I wanted to. This year I’m trying not to get myself down about that. I know it means that I don’t get the same rate of stats on the site but I’m also aware that I have a pretty good core readership so a lot of my views are return readers. I’m not necessarily reaching more people by posting daily, the same people are just coming back more often, and I don’t want to be the person spamming my readers with post after post after post. Not posting every day also means I can be more strict with the quality of what I’m putting up on this site and really that’s what will drive readership in the long run.

Despite being busier this week I’ve managed to write some poetry that I’m really proud of. I now have twenty of the sixty poems that I wanted to put into a collection and the majority of them are pieces that haven’t been published on this blog. I did worry that I’d struggle to write the poems for this collection but I’ve found since deciding to pull it together I’ve been writing poems that have been mulling around my brain for years. It’s a little like a dam has been knocked down and I’ve managed to work out how to tell the stories I’ve been holding onto.

I’ve also discovered that happy poems are still not my forte. I’ve been writing about my grandmother breaking off her engagement at eighteen to leave Ireland, my mother sending my sister away to her mother-in-law’s during the first lambing season after my sister was born, and dealing with the death of friends. I have one poem which I am calling ‘The Token Happy Poem’ which I’ve thrown in just to make the collection seem a little less depressing.

I’ve also been jotting down lists of submission windows for poetry magazines to try and get some of my poems published during 2019. I don’t want to self-publish so I need to create a CV of publications where my work has been accepted in order to gain enough traction to and convince a published that they should take on my work. It will also give me something to update my ‘about‘ page with as at the moment the features on their are three or four years old at least. wordswag_15073188796611453091488 (1)

That’s about it for me week. If you are working on submitting pieces for publication this year I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. How are you finding it? Did you pick up any useful tips along the way? Do you mostly write poems for submission (poems based on prompts/competitions) or do you write poems and then consider submitting them afterwards? If you’re willing to share I’d love to listen.

Thanks for reading. Make sure to check out the host of this wonderful weekly blog event Eclectic Ali and the other bloggers who join in to share their stories. You can find them by clicking the badge above.

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Carol J Forrester is a writer trying to be a better one. She’s currently working on her first novel ‘Darkened Daughter’ and attempting to put together a collection of poetry in the hopes of submitting to publication in 2020. She has a 2:1 BA degree in history from Bath Spa University, enjoys judo at least twice a week, and tries to attend poetry events around the Midlands. Her flash fiction story ‘Glorious Silence’ was named as River Ram Press’ short story of the month for August 2014 and her short story ‘A Visit From The Fortune Teller’ has been showcased on the literary site Ink Pantry. Her poem ‘Sunsets’ was featured on Eyes Plus Words, and two of her poems were included in the DVerse Poets Pub Publication ‘Chiaroscuro’ which is available for purchase on amazon. More recently her poem ‘Until The Light Gets In‘ was accepted and published at The Drabble and her poem ‘Newborn’ was published by Ink Sweat & Tears. She has been lucky enough to write guest posts for sites such as Inky Tavern and Song of The Forlorn and has hosted a number of guest bloggers here on Writing and Works.

11 Comments

  1. mvwillis says

    Hello and Happy Sunday!
    Nice to hear that you’re allowing yourself permission to post less. It can be easy to get wrapped up in all the “shoulds” when long term sustainability is actually wrapped up in the “wants” and “needs” of our hearts and our lives 🙂
    I wish I had some tips for you in relation to submissions. It’s been decades since I’ve done any such thing. I hope you find some takers and are able to build your CV to your liking. Slow and steady progress will get you where you’d like to go!
    Oh! And best of luck on your exams this week!

    • Thank you. Slow and steady certainly seems to be the way. I have a few places I’m planning on submitting to a few writer friends further along the publishing path so I’ve been bending their ears for advice. I’ll have to see how it all pans out.

  2. Good luck finding a publishing home for your poems! (I wouldn’t even know where to start looking for that.) I haven’t written poetry in a while. Probably because I’m in a better place, mentally. When I was writing, most of it was pretty dark and I kept it under wraps. Honestly, I want to write more, but I have trouble knowing where to start.

    Have a great week, and good luck on the exams!

    • Just putting pen to paper is a good start. I’ve got loads of notepads filled with random sentences that I dip in and out of. Some lead to poems, others don’t. Half the fun is just playing around with words.

      • There was a time I did some of the same stuff. I’ve focused more on stories (of multiple lengths) lately, but I should probably (definitely) get back to it!

  3. Good luck with you exam this week. Great to hear that you made time to fit in some poetry writing even though schedule was busy. Great coffee post, thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for stopping by and reading. I always keep a notepad on me so I can fit poetry in when I have a spare moment so that helps with the fitting it all in.

  4. Hi Carol,
    I felt very much like we were talking over a cuppa in a cosy little cafe somewhere. Indeed, you would love Byron Bay where I’ve been for the last week. You can just inhale the creativity in the air up there, and I’m not talking about any substances being in it either. We went into town for the Saturday night markets and spoke to a few artists and there was musicians playing and this atmosphere continued as we walked up the main street via the ice cream shop and up to the beach. The whole place was so alive!!
    Do you do much in the way of live poetry readings or performances? I was quite active in my early 20s and people produced their own poetry anthologies using a photocopier back then. Mine was called: “Locked Inside An Inner Labyrinth” and I was madly compiled and stapling copies up at the airport for my mother to deliver when I flew our for a 12 month backpacking holiday through Europe. This anthology actually got me a solo reading at the Shakespeare Bookshop in Paris. At least, I think it was. I was grilled by the proprietor George Whitman. I haven’t heard of anyone else so young having their own reading there.
    I need to go through my poetry and compile the lot. I turn 50 later this year so that is not an inconsiderable effort and some of my favourite poems are some of the really dreadful cringeworthy ones my friends and I wrote about boys when I was about 16. They’re absolutely pathetic but they take me back to silly times and happy-angst laden memories.
    Hope you have a great week.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    • I’m not as active as I was regarding live poetry readings. Working in finance has meant that I can’t go to the ones early in the month but I’m hoping to get back into reading more regularly this year.
      Best of luck pulling your collection together and that’s an amazing anecdote from your past. I did self-publish a collection a while back but I’m hesitant to do so again due to my ability to always miss obvious typos. The plan for 2019 is to most focus on writing and submitting to competitions, blogs and website. The Drabble accepted one of my poems and posted it yesterday so we seem to be off to a good start.

    • Right, I’ve been mulling over what you said about your poetry pamphlet and it’s sparked an idea. I’ve got a load of short stories from ages back that don’t get any traffic anymore due to age. I’m thinking about bundling them together, doing a bit of editing, and putting them up as a free pdf (or if I can manage to work it out) a free kindle book. Does that sound like madness?

      • Carol, I’m not sure about the economic side of writing. I’ve worked in PR and marketing and used my writing and that pays well. You don’t want to devalue your work or for writing to become a free economy but that might already be the case thanks to the Internet. I am planning to do motivational speaking as a spin off from the book I’/m meant to be writing and see that as a way to make a living. Somehow, you need to get noticed and known and putting out your short stories in a pdf could be the way to go. Keep me posted.
        Best wishes,
        Rowena

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