I am now deep into another submitting phase, which means I temporarily have zero interest in writing any new poems because I am so wrapped up with looking back at the ones I’ve written in recent months, and with trying to find good homes for them — and for some that previously came back rejected but that seem to deserve another chance.
When I first got restarted writing poetry, I feared this phase. Why did I no longer feel like writing? What if I never wrote again? But now I know better than to fear it — or fight it. When I try to write during a submitting phase, the lack of engagement with what I’m doing is very apparent. It is all too clear that I’m not doing what I really want to do, which is to take another flip through Poet’s Market, get some sample copies of publications I haven’t read before, and start sending things out.
Both phases have their appeal, and each has different things that make them exciting. During the submitting phase, I love reading different publications, admiring what other poets have written, and getting a sense of whether I can imagine certain of my poems in those pages, too. I love dithering around and agonizing over which poems to send to a particular publication. I love making myself so crazy that I eventually have to pull the trigger and just send it already. And then I love the time of possibility, when every day might bring an acceptance in my mailbox — virtual or actual. That I sometimes (often) get the opposite result doesn’t dampen my excitement … or at least, not by much.
Here are a few places to which I’ve already sent poems, or intend to soon:
As for writing, the only thing I’m doing, really, is following Robert Lee Brewer’s weekly prompts — because I love them, and the community that convenes at his blog on Wednesdays.
Other than that, I am reveling in not writing a single thing. Little whiffs of ideas come up from time to time, and I feel wonderfully, luxuriously lazy because I don’t try to chase them and wrestle them into words. Why? Because I’m in a submitting phase. It feels like I’m gorging on cake frosting — and like this is totally OK.
But when you eat a lot of sweet, empty stuff, eventually it gets to be too much, and then a salad tastes really good to you again. April will bring another Poem-a-Day Challenge. Until then, I’m really enjoying March. More frosting, please!