Poet's Journey

What are the parts of being a poet? Not every person has the whole skill set. It’s why cooperation is good. Some have an eye for this, others for that. Off the top of my head, here are some aspects. Some may be true, who knows.

  1. [composition] having an idea or sound or rhythm and communicating it well enough so it conveys
  2. [education] knowing what has been said and how so you know what’s tired and what’s fresh and can stand on the shoulders of others and make resonances that go deeper by connection with what people already read
  3. [editing] changing what you made so it gets better by some standard, both substantially for style, control, density, and copy editing and/or proofing/honing orally with an audience
  4. [presentation] learning how to read or show the poem in a way that you don’t block the poem’s comprehension by your tics or nervousness, the mechanics of how to use your voice, a mic or the white space and fonts of a page
  5. [audience] getting the poem to someone to consume whether in print or open mic or blog
  6. [community] a) finding people whose work you feel better for knowing b) finding poets who can appreciate your poem, reciprocally or not
  7. [pitching] knowing how a poem fits with others written by yourself or by others
  8. [marketing] getting others to broadcast your poem by printing with others in magazine or anthology, by digital, radio, video or book
  9. [poetry rather than poem] putting a poem with other poems so that parts and whole is enhanced
  10. [publicizing] expanding the reach of your poems to more people by putting it out there in ways people can find whether by knowing more people, making broadsides, entering contests, applying for grants, submitting to magazines or printing and handing out books or chapbooks, or printing with someone else to strategically giving review copies, or making your name more known by arts-related connections as columnist or whatnot
  11. [self-development] cultivating observation skills, seek insights, learn, research, look for interconnections, cross-pollinate with other arts and science, experience Things Not Poetry (they exist, sorta), and distill those awarenesses
  12. [pitching out] stopping to not pursue, drop bad time investments. writing is a discipline until the point where the discipline becomes to not write. to stop a poem or automatic habit of writing if it comes from your identity or your gig instead of a discipline to do new.
  13. [publishing] purely optional but a lot of poets seem to take a run on at it either on a selection board or hook-line-and-letterpress.
  14. [exploring] learning the amount of poetry produced and discriminating possible but not sure patterns of what might enrich you by reading, listening, meeting, etc towards clarifying what it is you are already given and giving to give and receive better.
  15. [sales] learning that it is not shameful to take cash and that it is not selling yourself cheap to give poems away either. cold calling, consignments at stores, tables at festivals, the works.
  16. [partnership] collaborating with others, keeping your radar out for things of interest to friends/peers and they’re watching out for things to hear that are relevant for you as well. because the product doesn’t matter, or the process exactly but the life and people, yeah. that.

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