Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Not Big on Multi-Tasking &/or One Year Blogging Anniversaries

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.


Aurora Cordasco said...

Non ti puo sbarazzarsi di me tanto facilmente, sai!

Nick said...

E io ci sto!

Brian Campbell said...

I share your ambivalence about blogging, Nick, and I'm sure a lot of us do. I enjoy it, but it and all the ancilliary activities connected to it can be VERY time consuming (my partner has accused me of being ADDICTED more than once). Thus I've declared a time out... to put my time if not my money where my mouth is: writing poetry, sending it off, etc. And I'm enjoying it. I intend to have more time outs in the future.

Nick said...


Sounds like a plan! Best of luck with your poetry & subs. By the way I'm looking for a real-time poetry workshop in the Montreal region. Do you know of any?

Brian Campbell said...

The Quebec Writer's Federation gives workshops. ( Quality of course depends on who's running them and who's in them. By all accounts it varies quite a lot. I suppose I struck it lucky, because about a year and a half ago I attended one run by Susan Gillis -- and it was excellent. A core group of us continues to meet on a monthly basis to critique each other's work. I'd invite you to join, but after several months' hiatus, we just got together again. The group dynamic is as good as ever, but perhaps needs to be on a more solid footing before we let in "outsiders". In other words, I would have to pass it by the others, first. This does not mean that we are adverse to the idea. It would probably be a good idea if we met personally, you and I -- which I'm not averse to doing regardless! (Just email me … I think it would be cool to blow back a few beers and discuss poetry, life, and “occasions for writing”.)

If you're not a member of the QWF, I'd strongly suggest you do so, as their newsletters are a good source of info. on publishing opportunities as well as local literary events.

Nick said...


Thanks for the invite into your workshop! I'm honored. E-mail forthcoming.