My most recent reassessment
Ever since applying for and being offered a new job, which I will be starting in two days (on Sunday, May 8), I’ve been thinking about how to manage my blogging & poetry writing time.
Not so long ago, I publicly promised myself that I would submit a poem for publication by the end of March. However, that never happened. I’ve already confessed that I feel insecure about submitting my poems for publication (and I’ve yet to do so), but that is no longer my primary reason for not pursuing this goal.
Mostly, it’s become a matter of my feeling overwhelmed and finding it difficult to keep up with my regular WordPress writing, posting, commenting, etc.
Happenings at The Skeptic’s Kaddish
I. Daily blogging and poetry prompts
While I generally don’t post more than twice daily, I find that even this takes me no small amount of effort, as I take pride in my writing and in my poetry in particular. It’s actually amazing how long it sometimes take me to produce even three lines of verse that I am satisfied with enough to publish.
I have committed myself to responding to particular poetry prompts every day of the week, other than Friday. On some days of the week, I respond to two prompts.
Fridays are the most challenging day for me because the Jewish Sabbath (Shabbat) begins at sunset, and I have less flexibility during the day (shopping, cooking for Shabbat, etc.). Also, I take time on Fridays to write blog posts and/or poems that I schedule in advance to be published during Shabbat, while I am offline (as per Jewish tradition).
Given my new job, and my two part-time jobs, it remains to be seen whether I can keep this pace up… I think it’s possible, but I’ll have to wait and see whether or not I can maintain my fragile blogging equilibrium.
II. Poetry Partners
I launched ‘Poetry Partners’ in October ’21, and since then, I have published and responded to 81 fellow poets here at The Skeptic’s Kaddish. This initiative has been everything I expected it to be and, honestly, even more.
Generally, I’ve been trying to respond to two fellow poets every week, although there have been weeks when I responded to four or more!
Again, given the reality of my new job, I think I’ll be keeping to no more than two ‘Poetry Partners’ posts every week, at least until I feel that I’ve gotten my bearings. If necessary, I may cut this down to one ‘Poetry Partner’ per week… we’ll have to live and see!
Regardless, this is definitely a project that I am very committed to, as it reflects my personally being drawn to writing poetry – not only as an individual writer – but as an invested and involved member of the broader poetry writing community.
III. NEW: W3 Poetry Prompt
After hitting 5,000 subscribers at The Skeptic’s Kaddish, I decided to move forward with a concept that had been gestating in my mind for many months prior: The W3 Poetry Prompt, which is short for: ‘Wea’ve Written Weekly’.
This concept of this new poetry prompt grew out of my love for poetry prompts and my ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative, mentioned above, which has granted me the amazing privilege of responding to other writers’ beautiful stanzas. I’ve found no greater inspiration for my own poetry than in yours, and it occurred to me that others might want to share in this experience.
Essentially, while the W3 Poetry Prompt is hosted here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish, it isn’t my prompt per se – really, it’s our prompt. Every week, there’s a ‘Poet of the Week’ (PoW) who shares a poem they’ve written, along with one or two writing guidelines for their fellow poets to follow. And, every week, the Pow selects a new PoW for the following week to host our W3.
While I won’t personally be hosting this prompt every week, the logistics of publishing the W3 and coordinating with the PoW’s takes time; and I will have to adjust to this new commitment… in addition to adjusting to my new job.
I didn’t want to put off launching W3 any longer, even though I’m concerned with balancing all of my responsibilities.
Something (submitting my poems) had to give
And, so, I’ve come to the conclusion that I won’t be pushing myself to submit poems for publication any time soon.
I could have opted to plunge myself into submitting poems for publication instead of launching the W3 prompt, but, if I’m being honest with myself, I’m much more excited about W3 than getting my poetry published in a compilation or journal.
It’s not that I will never submit my poetry to other publications; I will. But I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s simply not an immediate priority for me, given that I have so much other stuff going on right now.
Lastly: An upcoming poetry reading!
During the Jewish Festival of Booths (Sukkot) in late September of last year, I joined ‘Poets of Babel’ for a poetry reading; and Shoshana Sarah, the host, has reached out to me again about their next, upcoming poetry reading in Jerusalem!
The theme of the poetry reading is poems inspired by Walt Whitman’s works; and I’ve already started working on my contribution, for I volunteered to read a poem at the event (which will be held on May 30).
I know what I want to write about, but weaving those ideas into a Whitman-inspired piece is a special (and welcome) challenge… And this particular unfinished poem is already jostling with others for my limited mental bandwidth!