When I was much younger, I wrote a great deal of poetry. While I'll be the first to say that all of it was half baked teenage angst kind of nonsense, it was a valuable experience nonetheless. One of my great regrets is the fact that I simply stopped writing for a period of almost ten years. Such laziness has had it's consequences. One of those consequences has been the last few years of writing that I've done. I've spent the last few years writing about various topics in various ways, with the intention of finding my "voice" so to speak. While some of the work has been memorable much of it has been substandard.
However despite the setbacks I believe the time has come to take a different approach. I've been writing for almost three years again now and much progress has been made. So much so in fact that my plans of simply self publishing a second book crammed to the brim with poetry of varying quality (much like the first book) have come to an abrupt end. Up until this week I had planned on publishing "Portly Poet - Volume 002" after writing another 250 poems. However I've been thinking more and more that this is the wrong way to go about things.
Poetry isn't about quantity. It's about quality. Hence the number of poems is irrelevant but the impact of the poems are relevant. How does one measure the impact of a poem? Hell if know. Perhaps Mr. Keating has a better idea than I do. Too bad he's not real or I might be able to ask him :) Nonetheless, I've decided to change my approach for the second book. For starters I want it to be smaller. I'm thinking somewhere between 50 and 75 high quality poems. Secondly I'm also seriously considering adding some background information for each poem so that my readers can maybe better understand the work itself. Finally I've decided that the bulk of the material in the next book will not be published ahead of time. This was perhaps the hardest decision for me to make here. But the benefits should be obvious. If I ever want to go beyond self publishing books that a handful of people close to me buy, then I'm going to have to up the ante here. No publisher wants to publish a book of stuff that was already published for free on some blog somewhere. That's just idiotic. Exclusivity is where the value comes into play. No doubt some of you are now wondering, "Has Jay talked to some publishers?" The answer is no. Why bother? As of right now I have absolutely nothing to offer them for the very reasons I have described above.
Does that mean this blog is now dead? No, not at all. I think this blog will be the companion on the journey I am about to undertake. And don't believe for a second that poetry or tidbits of poetry won't still make it out here. They will. Part of being a writer is grappling with the irrepressible urge to share your thoughts and your feelings with others. That will not change. Those of you who know me well know that short of death, that will never change.
So thank you all for sticking with me this far into my journey of self discovery. If this is where you decided to cut loose, please know that there are no hard feelings. But for the time being, this is how it has to be.
Jay "Portly Poet" Little