I gauge my efficiency by the status of my inbox. At work, if I go two successive weeks without reducing the length of un-responded to emails my inbox to less than 1 screen (about 40 messages), then I know I'm slipping. I'm a little less compulsive at home, there it's "no more than one new page" (about 50 messages).
After an hour this morning I've cut the home account back to 200 unprocessed emails. Ugh. Faring much better at work, because the hierarchy is always 1/2 Family, 2/1 Work, 3 Health, 4 Community, 5 Art. But the problems not (usually) that I don't read these emails, it's that I keep thinking I'm going to do something with them.
Are we all like that? I receive 3 poems in my inbox every day: YDP, AAP (until they go exclusively to the iPhone, anyway) and TWA. I've long ago stopped being able to visit PD every morning - it's more of a monthly catch up with me now. But with many of the poems, I find that there's something keeping me from dispositioning it. Something I want to share, or imitate, or research, or - Forgive me, Lord - try to do better than it was done in the poem I just read.
I think this has been exacerbated for me this year with the focus on the chapbook, rather than on new writing: two rounds of reordering an rewriting, doing some local readings from the book to get the feel of how it hang together, etc. Heck, just deciding to and weeding through options to self publish was a lost month.
And could someone have warned me the urge to rewrite poems once you see the book laid out as as an actual book would be overwhelming? Anyway....
Now that I'm coming out the end of the book process (my goal was available by Father's Day - it'll be close....), the new poems are coming again, and the urge to keep piles of papers all around me (virtually and physically) seems to be going away. Which is nice.
Recent goodnesses: Attended Diane Lockward's annual festival at the West Caldwell Public Library; couldn't stay for it all, but what I saw was great as always - picked up a couple new books (Weil, Gwyn) and current journal issues.
Visited Connecticut for the first public airing of the poems from the anthology Crush (about romantic crushes in all their forms...) upcoming from Hanover Press. The official launch is in June, but I wanted to become acquainted with the work in whose company I find myself. I think this will be a terrific book, and I'm very pleased to be included.
At least that's the plan.