Tuesday, October 26

Subconscious Tests

Posted by Shelly Holder

 A quick note before the regular post: This is Agonies' THREE HUNDREDTH post!! Thanks everyone that have stuck with me since the beginning, and thanks to all the new readers that continue to help me grow and reach new audiences! It's been a great experience, and I can't wait to see where we go in the future!

Want to know something weird and completely illogical?

I just had three poems rejected and I'm super super excited!

Wait WHAT?!?!?!?!! you all scream back at me. But it's true. Here, let me explain.

A while back, I was depressed because I had a huge string of acceptances. Wait, WHAT?!? you say again. But there were too many, too fast, and from publications that I couldn't trust on quality control. My first ever experience with "publishing" was back when I was sixteen and got caught up in the famous poetry.com racket (see website for full story), so the easy acceptances scared me. In my head, my resume started to resemble a listing of vanity presses, not actual accomplishments. And I wasn't sure how to break the trend.

This weekend, I sent out a HUGE number of pieces to various publications (almost thirty different works!) and so far I have received five form rejections, two rewrite requests, and this morning's lovely gift of two personal rejections of "doesn't work for me" and "banal"

But again, I'm super excited. Because frankly the one poem IS clunky, and the other IS banal.

I think that I subconsciously choose poems that under a more lenient editor would have squeaked by into publication. The words are pretty enough but there's no real polish. And the fact that they got rejected means that my poems that HAVE been published with this group, really do mean something. To the editors, and now, to myself. I am able to feel more pride in my resume because the publication didn't care that I had published with them previously, and rejected my works anyways. There was none of the "return customer" strategies about this last submission. They hated my poems, and they told me, frankly and boldly without hesitation. 

I needed to hear that I was a bad poet, to remind myself that I AM a good poet with a bad draft.

As weird and illogical as that may sound.

Write Now:
What I'm listening to: ticking of the clock, morning stirring sounds, trash bags rustling and wheels turning
What I want most: to be able to cook soon