Well, I got my first poem rejection yesterday. And I’m totally fine with it. Would I have loved for them to say it was the best poem ever and they were excited to publish it? Of course!
But, I knew it wasn’t of that caliber. It reflected my newness at writing poetry. When I wrote it in July, I hadn’t written any poetry for over 20 years. I didn’t appreciate how poetic devices can transform thoughts into more deeply felt emotions.
Truthfully, I wasn’t ready to submit a poem anywhere. But I had to do it for myself. To get past that hurdle of showing my work to others. To not feel like a liar when I call myself a writer.
This rejection spurs me to look at that poem, and all of my poems, again to refine and improve them. Where could I have used fewer words? Different words? Less literal words? How can I paint the pictures in my poems so they touch the reader? How do I evoke a feeling rather than a scenario?
I know this is my weakness and I have to keep working at it. Which is one of the reasons I did my Experimenting with Metaphors post last week.
Yes, rejection hurts and makes us question why we’re doing what we’re doing. But I love writing poetry and the rejection keeps me from being lazy about it. I need to keep digging past the superficial and get deep into the feelings and flow of poetry.