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  • Writer's pictureMary K Gowdy

I'm Back - And With Goals for July

Hey ya'll! I'm back and am ready to start posting again.

For those of you who don't know, I've been gone for the last five weeks on a study abroad trip in Spain! It was awesome. I definitely recommend that you try to study abroad if you still can. My language skills improved, and I got to see such beautiful places. I went to Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona, and I even went to Austria to visit a friend, which was a lot of fun. I took tons of pictures, which I'm going to compile into a video and post on YouTube for ya'll to see.

Spain was amazing, but I'm kind of excited that's it's over because I have a lot of fun things planned for the back half of the year. In the front half of the year, I couldn't wait to do those things, but I didn't want to think about them till after Spain. I needed to focus on what I had to do at that time and then enjoy Spain before working on these upcoming projects.

But Spain's over. I can finally get rolling on some of these things I've been putting off because it just hasn't been the right time. But now's the time!

I want to first review the Year Resolutions I made at the beginning of the year, and then I want to make my monthly goals for July.

I had five year resolutions:

1. Begin Friday 10 Minute Stories

I was planning on posting every Friday a short story from some 10 minute writing prompts I had done. I did it for a month and then dropped that idea when I realized most of my short stories were funny whereas my longer fiction is quite the opposite. And the short stories weren't that good anyway.

I eventually turned to making a YouTube channel and have been posting more regularly there, which is what this goal was really about.

2. Recite My Poetry At Open Mic Nights

Accomplished. I've done it twice already this year. It was pretty nerve-wracking, but it was ultimately a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to doing it more in the future.

I feel like speaking poetry and performing it is important to enjoying poetry. I want to not only share the words on the written page but also me speaking them. And I've always wanted to do something artistic with my voice--whether that be singing or reciting poetry--and I've finally found that outlet.

3. Receive 25 Rejection Letters From Literary Magazines

My total now is 9, but I've stopped submitting to literary magazines. I feel like submitting to them isn't worth it because it takes up a lot of time for very little payback. It's difficult for me to even find literary magazines that I want to submit my poetry to. My tastes are pretty choosy so I don't like what's being published most of the time. Then, it's hard for me to find literary magazines I enjoy and think will likewise enjoy my poetry.

I suspect there's a better way for getting my poetry and my name out there. I've decided to pursue those options rather than the literary magazine route. Another drawback about submitting to literary magazines is that they will not accept previously published work, and they consider anything that has been published online to be "previously published". I can't put my poetry online if I'm wanting to submit to literary magazines. It's a tough situation, so I've decided to stop submitting and promote my work online instead.

So that resolution has likewise been dropped.

4. Publish My First Poetry Chapbook

I haven't accomplished this yet, but it is happening this fall! All the poems have been written, and it even has a title: Sensuality. (the period is included in the title). It has fourteen poems. I have a few more things to do concerning it, and I cannot wait to release it. It'll be sometime in September or October.

5. Finish Revisions for Episodes 3-10 before May 25th

This was for my current novel in progress--Volume 1 in The One and the Other Series. Each volume is separated into various episodes. Originally, Volume 1 had ten episodes, but now it has only nine.

I accomplished this resolution. I finished all the edits, prepared it for beta readers, and sent it off to them before I left for Spain, which was my big goal for the first half of the year.

Those were all my year resolutions: 2 accomplished, 1 waiting to be so, and 2 have been dropped by the wayside. Oh well, that's life.

Now, here are my goals for both the month of July and the rest of the year:

1. July Goal - Write 20 poems

This is a lofty goal for me. The most I've written in a month has been 8. I have tons of ideas for poems and I really want to get cracking on them. Also, I'm beginning work on a concept for a full-length poetry book. I've been procrastinating on it because it intimidates the shit out of me. With my chapbook Sensuality., I had already written most of the poems before knowing I would publish them together. This full-length book is the first time I've had to write poems to purposefully fit a concept.

I've already written a couple so far. I'm aiming to write a poem a day, understanding that some poems will take multiple days to write and I'll probably miss a day every now and then.

2. July Goal - Finish Recordings for Sensuality.

I've wanted to record myself reciting all of the poems from this chapbook so I can release them alongside it. I started recording a few weeks ago when I was in Austria with my friend. We recorded most of the poems, and it went really well. Way better than I thought it was going to turn out. I'm very surprised and excited. I can't wait to share it with people, but there's a few poems we didn't get to that I need to record on my own. Then, my friend--Thaddeus Cochrane--will produce them, and I can release them with the chapbook this fall. Keep on your toes. That is coming soon.

3. July Goal - Post Regularly on YouTube

This is both a month and the rest of the year resolution. I want YouTube to be a platform where I can reach out to people and share my art through. Hopefully, I can get into a schedule soon.

4. Year Goal - Write 35 Poems

Last year, I wrote 27, and I want to surpass that this year. I hardly wrote any poems during the first half of the year. I think I wrote like 4. If I write 20 poems in July, I hope to catch up and then continue writing so I can pass last year. I have tons of ideas for poems that I want to finally get down to writing.

5. Year Goal - Recite at More Open Mic Nights

I want to do this a lot more in the fall. Then, I hope that I can also use this to promote my chapbook. I think it'll be a lot of fun.

6. Year Goal - Finish Beta Reading Stage and Begin the Final Rounds of Revisions for Volume 1 of The One and the Other

I'm hoping to complete the beta reading stage sometime in the early fall, and afterwards, I'll analyze the data. I want to start the final edits before the end of the year but I don't know if I'll be able to finish them by then. I don't know how much I'll have to edit or how long it'll take because I've never done this type of thing before. I won't know till I receive my feedback. While it's being beta read, I'm focusing more on poetry.

Those are all my goals for July and the rest of the year! I'm really excited and can't wait to share all of these things with you. I hope you're as excited as I am! Stay tuned. We'll keep in touch. Thanks for reading!

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