Prompt, yes. Publishing, no[t yet].

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!

Last year, I was very excited to discover ‘Poets of Babel’, a group of local poets in Jerusalem.

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!

35 thoughts on “Prompt, yes. Publishing, no[t yet].”

  1. Lots of exciting news! It’s always difficult to find the balance with everything happening in life; I’m glad you are comfortable with your plans about what you want to focus on and what needs to be left on the sideline for now. The W3 poetry prompt sounds pretty cool!

  2. David, I wish you every success in your new job. Family and your new job will be priorities. Even though you are “Superman,” getting overcommited could take the joy out of life. Enjoy everything you do! We will always savor your poetry! ❤

  3. Best of luck with your new job! In time, things will fall into place and you’ll know your priorities. It’s good to know I am not the only one that takes a long time to write a poem. Sometimes, the words flow easily, and other times, not so much. Whatever you do, be sure to enjoy the journey along the way.

  4. “I know what I want to write about”

    That sentence is the most powerful, and most endearing one I have ever read, here or anywhere else.

    Good luck, my friend. Both with the job and your poetry endeavours.

  5. You are a juggler of roles as well as words – and, of course, we have to allow some things to fall from time to time. Wishing you the very best in your new job and at your poetry reading (I hope you will be sharing your Walt Whitman inspired poem on your blog too).

  6. David!!! Are we living parallel lives? Hahahaha…… I’m so happy that you’re able to pack so much in your 24hrs. As for me, I can’t get through the day without To – do lists. I’ve also noticed that two years of the pandemic, shifted my life style and priorities. I’m trying to strike a balance now with the “back to the grind” reality.

    I’ve also learnt not to be at a P.C for long durations. I chop up the time between writing, work and chores. That seems to work in favour of my sanity.

    As for your poems, you MUST get them published. When? How? That’s upto you.

    Keep spreading happy vibes and good-luck with your new job!

    Love always, Harshi

  7. I always say I’m going to submit more, but it’s a huge commitment. I can’t believe you do as much as you already do. Whatever works, I say. We’ll be here. (K l

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