I'm struggling with the disappointment of not getting outside recognition and not selling more books and… and…
In some ways I feel like this year is a test. I'm being asked to, or forced to, examine and own my motivations for writing. In some cases, I need to nudge myself toward some adjustments. (I find it's always easier to adjust when I can own and understand where I'm coming from in the first place.)
I'm not getting acceptances, so that's a low. But if I look at the high points during the year, they were the writing—the two manuscript projects that just swept me along. My task now, my challenge, is to focus on the writing and the craft and—most important to me—the deepening and the release, and to let go, let go, let go of all the longings for acceptance, recognition, validation.
It makes so much sense when I say it or write it down, but I find that doing it on a day-to-day, ongoing basis is much harder. I slip in and out. As I said, it's a test—like a fitness test, more muscles (metaphorical) that I need to exercise.
I'm pretty sure I've asked this before, but because I am slipping in and out, I'll ask again: How do you find encouragement or validation? How do you measure "success" (on your own, in your writing community)? How do you keep in the top of your mind the real why you write poetry? How do you keep on keepin' on?