Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Writing Challenges and Completing Goals

Well, I did it.  I have submitted my poetry chapbook for review and now I wait.  I have to say that I’m new to writing challenges.  I like them.  I did the poetry PAD in April, which I’m hoping I will at least get recognized for one of my poems, and I really enjoyed it.  The November challenge I tried to do a theme with my poetry and I think it turned out well.  I’m happy with it, anyway. 
            The chapbook challenge was not something I was going to take part in.  In fact, I encouraged my brother as he is a beautiful writer and I think he would have excelled had he given it a chance.  Maybe he did.  He never did tell me. 
During the challenge I would miss a day, here and there, so all my submissions were not on time.  It was hard to think of a poem on the spot some days, and so easy to do three the next.  I just had to let my mind wander and choose the subject matter and what I came back to, over and over again, were my teenage years.  I ran with that most of the time and interspersed the days with other poems about my dog, or my job. 
After the month was over we received direction on what we needed to do to submit our work, and an actual book came together beneath my fingertips!  At first, it was a bunch of poems strewn together all willy-nilly.  I read through each and every one and crossed out what I wouldn’t be using, circling what I would.  Then I started checking grammar and spelling and asked myself questions like “Does that sound right?” and “Seriously? You’re going to leave this like that?”  I scurried to a nearby bagel shop at lunchtime and drank cocoa and ate bagels and gave myself the luxury of being with my very own creation, alone.
Imagine my surprise when I was editing my work and I found that my theme had parts – a beginning, a middle and an end.  I had no idea while I was poeming that something like that would happen!  As I put my poems in order, I could see where it was all going and the satisfaction in that moment was something I had never experienced before in my writing life.
Now, today, I am done.  With trepidation, I have forwarded it to the powers that be that will judge my precious and deem it worthy or not.  I have not shared this with one single person I know.  Being judged by strangers is a lot easier than being judged by family.  Someday, perhaps if I am validated by being published, I will be able to share, with confidence, with those I love.  Until then I will practice and work and create and become the person I dream I can be. 
At the beginning of 2015 I promised myself that I would write.  I promised I would write my novel, although that hasn’t happened yet, but I did write and I finished a project and for me that is monumental.  I can’t wait to see what next year brings, but I’m going to make my goal to get back into my book and really work on it.  I want my characters to be known.  They deserve it.  So 2016 will be my book’s year.
Thank you so much to everyone here that has encouraged me.  Thank you to the challenge generators that make us all strive to create and complete.  For once, I am proud of something.  I haven’t been able to say that for a long time.

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