Where Did All the Poems Go?

Lately, when I see that this blog has a new follower, I feel sorry for that person because I may not quite live up to whatever expectations I’ve set by my previous posting habits.

It used to be that I posted a new poem here each week pretty reliably, and sometimes even once a day, especially in April and November. My theory was that the overall goal was to keep writing, and I found it hard to do that if it wasn’t going to be seen right away, or at all. It got to the point where I couldn’t write anything and hold it back from view because then it didn’t feel real enough, so I didn’t try and stretch enough, or I didn’t write at all. I would just coast from one Tuesday to the next, with nothing in between.

That meant that my storehouse of poems that are 100% absolutely not previously published, and that I can submit to literary publications without any qualifiers about how this one was on my blog, does that count? had dwindled down to nothing.

So now I’m going quiet for a while, trying to write things and then not post them here. It’s very clunky business, but I think it’s important. In some ways, it feels riskier than putting something out there for you to like or comment on — or not. I’m having to learn again who I am when no one is listening, and I’m also having to revisit all over again that question of how much to silence the editor inside my own head, as well as an imagined future editor if I do strike some vein and end up with something worth submitting.

I think I need to do this for a while, but I’ll make sure to stop in now and then so as not to go totally silent. And my writing life has always been marked by phases and by “try this; now try that,” so it may be that the daily or weekly poems will resume sooner than I think.

November is a short month, and a dark one. I hope to see you on the other side of this election, and on the other side of this quiet phase of mine.


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