How to accept that you are a hobby poet and cope with what comes next

Poetry by Nick Boyer.

First, search for “poetry in my area.” Find only slam poetry and then try / Poetry on Reddit. Find the prompt: Can I make money with my poetry? See several poetic ways of saying no, then find a thread about what writers do for hobbies. See poetry listed as a hobby. Think back to the last time you submitted a poem. Now think back to the last poem you published. Realize that you submit to the small journals that don’t pay because seeing that someone else has seen your writing is more than anyone deserves. Open the author copy of your self-published chapbook that you paid for, take a picture for Instagram, and keep the photo in your drafts. Think of something that no one has written before, then find a 120-year-old poem that says it better than you could have. Read Bukowski, laugh sadly, read the MFA’s article on how Bukowski was not a good poet and novelist - in the literary sense - and laugh sadly. Go to work the next morning, come home and feed your dog, then sit in the absence of activity. Try to remember what you enjoyed when you were a child. Conclude that the activity is too childish. Open your laptop, stare at the second “O” in “Google,” and try not to do what you want to. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Open them and find the flashing line. Bleed. Leave the wound open. Lace it with your spice of choice. Grit your teeth and bleed again.

Published 30th December, 2023.

Nick Boyer is an emerging poet writing in Upstate New York. His poetry has been published in Taj Mahal Review, Quillkeepers Press, Anvil Tongue, and other literary journals. His debut poetry book, We See Nothing, is available on Amazon.

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