I’m doing a casual two-week online set of poetry exercises, and it’s making me even more aware than usual of my own reticence about sharing any poetry I write. I’ve previously compared my poems to a box of sex toys…kept private and shared only with very special people in very special circumstances. The more recent part of it began when I learned more about submission rules, but much of it is older.
With the exercises I’m doing, a lot of my reluctance has to do with fear of being judged only by the exercise I’ve just produced. I worry that the quick piece I just dashed off will now be the basis for someone deciding whether I am a budding “real poet” or not. It’s like showing someone my underwear drawer at a moment’s notice.
There’s some real-world validity to my desire not to be judged by a poetry exercise, because an exercise by its very nature may constrain me. I might be writing in a completely new form, or writing a light or humorous poem. Whatever the parameters are, they’re likely to take me in an odd direction. It’s understandable that I wouldn’t want these to be interpreted as representing my poetic voice.
That being said–get over yourself, Lori. Keep doing the exercises and letting your fellow students see them, stains and all.
So, I’m doing the WordPress Writing 201 course, and you’ll be seeing some protected posts for a couple of weeks. They are protected because I need to post poems. In the unlikely event that I produce something so wonderful I want to submit it, I don’t want it to be disqualified by having been on public access. I beg your indulgence, and assure you that everything else will remain public.
At long last, I’ve chosen a place to send my very first submission.
I’ve recently found a small magazine I like very much, and I’ve subscribed to it.
I’ve looked up and read its submission guidelines.
I am fully prepared to be rejected; I shall buy a frame to display that rejection letter.
It shall be a sign of this milestone in my writing.
I’d be lying if I said there is not a tiny part of me that fantasizes about being accepted.
That believes my work will fit very well on those pages.
I acknowledge this part of me, while willing it to remain of manageable size.
The guidelines say to submit up to four poems.
Now comes the fun part: Which four?
No, really. It is fun. Maddening, but fun too.
Considering poems, and combinations of poems.
Considering final tweaking I might want to do.
I hope to do more submissions soon, now that the ice will be broken.
But only four will live in my memory as being the first!