About a year ago this week, I started blogging. Before then I hardly knew what a blog was. I first encountered the word on an on-line poetry workshop. Of course it immediately piqued my curiosity. After finding out that the poet in question, whom I admire blogged, I thought that I’d give it a whirl. What I found was a community of like-minded poets that on the whole gave each other support.
It seems logical that after a year of blogging, I thought that I’d take stock of what I have accomplished in the interim. I am surprised to have had any readership at all let alone my site meter hitting five figures within the last few months. I’m not sure what this tells me but I think that all in all the experience has been a positive one:
1-I have met some interesting people on-line, who also happen to be fine poets and I have enjoyed reading and learning about their work.
2-I have become aware of poetry with a grittier edge than one encounters in workshops.
3-I have become better informed about current poetic trends.
4-I have received feedback on my poetry.
5-My poetry has received more attention from a wider group of people than I ever thought imaginable.
6-I have learnt about a thriving poetry scene in the form of live readings/symposiums both locally and nationally.
However, there have been some questions raised. The blogging experience has not been beneficial or at best ineffective as follows:
1-I have found that my poetry has not improved during this period.
2-I have found myself with less time to write poetry as a result.
3-I have, for whatever reason, been less inspired to write poetry.
4-I have had less time to critique poetry, which I enjoy tremendously.
5-I seem to be sending out less poetry submissions.
6-Those subs that I do send out seem to be less well-conceived.
7-I have not as yet gotten a chapbook manuscript together at the ready for submission
8-I still don’t know where I would send it, even if I did.
In the course of the last year of blogging I have received several e-mails intimating that I should be more forthcoming about my personal life. You will have noticed if you have dropped in from time to time that I do not like to talk about what I do outside of the sphere of poetry.
1-I have (in the past) traveled extensively but lead a more sedate life at present.
2-I am M.W.C. and loving it.
3-My wife (Aurora) had a thyroidectomy to remove a lump in December 2005.
4-Thank, God, that she’s finally been given a clean bill of health.
5-My recurrent back problem which stems from a herniated disc operation some years ago recently reared its ugly head.
6-I am presently in physiotherapy to alleviate the pain & strengthen the leg that has been affected.
7-My children (two girls) Carmen & Elizabeth never cease to amaze me.
8-I wear the “Poet” hat only intermittently (as frequently as time allows) & am jealous of those of you who can spend inordinate amounts of time on poetics.
9-I’d love to enroll in a part-time Creative Writing program. (Low-Residency MFA Program) but cannot.
10-I have no strong emotional disposition (one way or another) towards etiquette (social or otherwise), but I do not agree with the assertion that appeared in a comment on another blog (which I have paraphrased here) that: ‘etiquette is employed by unstable persons in order to blend in.’
And so this is where I stand at this point in time. I enjoy writing this blog but am not sure at times, if it is in my best interest to do so. What I do know is that it is poetry that has gotten me here. It is poetry that matters to me in all of this.