Goals are a good thing for poets. They help give focus to a person's work and a sense of accomplishment when the goals are met. As an athlete (in my younger days), I learned successful goal setting includes tasks that are big and small, as well as short-term and long-term. For instance, a short-term goal might be to write the first draft of a poem today; a long-term goal might be to get a collection of poetry published by a poetry press.
Here are my 2008 Resolutions:
* Spend more time on revision of poems. While I've been getting better, developing patience in the revision process is still something that demands my attention.
* Submit poems more efficiently. I just need to improve the turnaround time between when my material is rejected and when I send it back out. Sometimes, I have this tendency to "abandon" work after just one rejection, so less of that in 2008.
* Subscribe to a few poetry journals. As you may have noticed in my previous post, finding poetry journals on the magazine racks can be hit or miss in my neck of the woods. I plan to get past this hurdle by subscribing to a few. (Any recommendations are welcome below, though I'll use my own judgment on whether to subscribe or not.)
* Read more books of poetry. While reading individual poems online and in journals is great, reading a whole collection by one author often transports me into a world created by the poet, whether that world is a collection of certain images and ideas or just a unique world of language.
* Read more books about poetry. In 2007, I read a few great books about the craft of poetry, and I plan to continue this habit in 2008.
* Enter chapbook competitions. If I were truly ambitious, I guess I would say something more along the lines of, "Win chapbook competitions." But yeah, I've entered these in the past, and it's enough to just put together a submission.
Okay, that looks like a good list of goals for 2008. If you'd like to share yours (and have a place to check on your progress later this year), feel free to leave your goals in the comments.
Otherwise, have a safe, happy and productive 2008!