2016: Elegy

I know it’s not going to be the most popular thing to say that 2016 was a good year. I understand it wasn’t for a lot of people. I had some defeats, sure, and there was a little thing in November that rocked me to my core.

But the silver lining of the whole thing is that it’s been my most productive year, writing wise.

Personal wise, I moved to the suburbs to a house and got engaged to my long-time girlfriend Sarah. I am going on to the third year of a corporate America job working in middle management. I am living the American Dream as I understand it.

Writing wise, oh man.

I’m going to look back at 2016 and look at the year where I’ve felt the most confident about my spoken word poetry; the year where I became one of those fabled gatekeepers in my role as an assistant editor for Bartleby Snopes; and in May, a man by the name of Lee Compton took a chance and said: Yeah, I’ll publish one of your short stories.

And I became a fiction writer.

In a way it was an end, but I’m going to Semisonic it up and say that every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. Getting a story in The Airgonaut marked the end of uncertainty, an end to the questioning of whether if I was going to give up on dreams of writing fiction and sticking to writing and performing poetry. Because, it was a struggle, and don’t get me wrong, I’m still a poet, but now I’m happy to say I’m WRITER COMMA POET. By the end of 2017 I would like to have WRITER COMMA POET OXFORD COMMA AND ESSAYIST. By the end of 2018 I would like to have WRITER COMMA POET COMMA ESSAYIST OXFORD COMMA AND PLAYWRIGHT.

What I’ve done this year is set a good floor. Now I’m going to find where the ceiling is and either break through it or break my hand trying. Here are my writing goals for 2017:

1.       Get 100 rejections.

2.       Turn one of my fiction pieces into a screenplay or a play. I already have one in mind.

3.       Get traditionally published.

4.       Match and overtake the number of fiction and poetry acceptances I got this year

5.       Keep up with the vlog, and probably unmask myself.

6.       Contribute to a podcast.

In 2017, we are looking at a lot of challenges as Americans and I have to say that the best thing to do is to keep doing whatever we’re doing. If you’re an artist, keep getting creative, keep getting involved. Oppression wins when there is silence and darkness. Don’t let them. If they want to see you burn, remember you are living fire.

Your nation needs you now, more than ever.