Tag Archive | poetry journal

Submissions and a Collection: A Poetry Headache

I last mentioned where I was at in writing my first poetry collection about five months ago with this post. I’m still very much in the early stages. Where do the early stages end, anyway? I figure there will just come a point when I look around me and go, “Yeah, I’m in this one deep.” I’m not quite there yet.

(I’m laughing at the me that once said “I’ll make sure to spend at least a year on this so as not to rush it.” Oh you sweet, summer child.)

I’ve been doing a lot of reading this summer, which means not as much writing. After trying to juggle both for several years and failing at getting much read OR written I finally figured out that the best possible thing I can do is work hard on writing for a month or two, then switch to spending all that time on reading for a month or two. It keeps me from getting burned out on the blank page, it helps refill my brain when I’m starting to feel emptied of ideas, and it means that I get to more thoroughly enjoy reading and writing when not doing them together at the same rate. This is, at least, the system that works best for me. (For now.)

The time I have given to writing this summer has been productive… technically. Meaning I know it has been productive. I have the notes and pages that tell me this. But when it comes to finished content? Very, very little.

Nothing wants to wrap up for me. There’s a particular piece I’ve been working at rather hard that I finished back in July. Sort of. It reads in finished style, but the rhyme and meter is all wrong for not only what is in my head but also how the collection has begun to develop. It doesn’t fit. So I put it away for 2 months, let my mind clear some, and have been at it again this last week only to find Continue reading

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Down the Submission Rabbit Hole

I made two promises to myself this year after taking the vast majority of last year “off” from creative pursuits due to a host of reasons, including poor health and feeling totally burnt-out and lost.

The first is to finish at least one poem (all edits done, not just a complete draft) every month. So far I have not done this. But I didn’t decide on this goal until halfway through January and I did do work, but much of it was to gear myself and my life up again to being more conducive to having the time and mindspace to write. I know this doesn’t sound like an impressive goal compared to so many poets out there, but its purpose is to create consistency in my creative life. I would like to finish 30-40 things this year, but realistically I am aiming for just one a month.

The second promise was to stop shelling out money to contests and start answering open submissions instead. (There are a small handful of contests I do still enter, but we’ll save that for another post.) Continue reading