I was reading what Annie Finch (the director of my program) had to say about the state of American poetry in The Huffington Post and I was especially struck by this quote below, which is probably applicable to all kinds of creative art and every genre of writing. (Emphases are my own doing):
Poetic fashions change surprisingly fast, so don’t spend too much energy on them. Read everything aloud to yourself, get to know your poetic ear, and trust your own judgment. You will recognize the muse’s presence, not in thoughts or images, but when a voice whispers inside you and your body knows it is true. Carry a pad of paper with you everywhere and sleep with it by your bed. Learn all you can, read all you can, grow all you can, and always remember the muse comes first. Poetry is a sacred service, and your country needs you. So only do what feels right. Don’t waste poetic words. Revise.