I like the idea of calling myself a poet. In reality, though, it’s much harder for me to call myself a poet than it is to call myself a writer. Obviously, I’m a writer because I write. I’m writing right now, stringing together words into this paragraph.
I have a much harder time feeling like I’m poet-ing. I like stringing words together, creating images, and playing with form and sound. I don’t necessarily feel like that makes me a poet, though – I haven’t produced any finished pieces I liked in a while, for one thing. I can string words together all day, but a poem with minimal effort just isn’t a poem the way a short story with minimal effort feels like a story. A bad story, but a story nonetheless – whereas a half-finished poem is just word salad.
I’m looking forward to NaPoWriMo this year, if only because it should get me back on the metaphorical horse. I can tell myself about the magic of first drafts all day long, but it doesn’t mean much if I’m not actually producing drafts.
Looking back at last year, I produced some stuff I can still stand to read. That’s not always true for me. Maybe I should put together another poetry zine; it might make me feel like I’ve got something to show for it, and let me move on to the next thing.