I’ve talked about on here how I hurriedly edited my manuscript at the end of July, sent it off to its very first book contest, and then have been waiting to hear back before figuring out what the heck to do with it.
Well, I heard back. Form rejection. Not a finalist of any kind.
While I was sad (of course), I am taking the news with a grain of salt: I only submitted it to one contest, so I can’t really view that one contest as a clear judge of the character of my book. I also knew when I sent it off that there was some work to be done on it. I think I need to reorder it more (will the re-ordering EVER end?). I think I need to cut several poems and add some more in. I think I need to increase the length, overall. I think I need a clearer focus, and I really need to think more about editing the poems in each section to really stick with one another.
That said, I’m not thinking about tackling that project just yet. I’m anticipating going back over it after I’ve saved some money, and maybe sending it out to several places next year, but with my husband and I buying a house and all, now isn’t the time to be sending it out to all four corners of the earth.
I’m also finding that my writing and editing process has really slowed down. I used to write a poem, edit it maybe a week or two later, and then send it off with a packet of older, more polished poems. I was constantly writing, editing, and submitting work. Now, I just don’t have the industry. I am still submitting, but I’m sitting with my newer work longer. I’m also choosing to take care of other responsibilities over drafting right now. In a way, it’s the most loving thing I can do for myself since I’m still adjusting to being back at work full time and all of the paperwork and stress that comes with purchasing a home and then moving into it.
I am excited at this point to be reading and editing the manuscripts of two poets. For me, it’s helpful to sit back and see how someone else in my spot (a “no book” poet) is walking the (what I’m discovering) very hard road of putting together and editing a poetry manuscript.
I’m also reading Roots of the Olive Tree by fellow University of Memphis MFA program alum, Courtney Miller Santo. I’m only on the fourth or fifth chapter, and I’m so engaged by its lyricism. She does a fantastic job of creating a magical and evocative stamp of earth. I’m blessed on this absolutely gorgeous day to have little to do but go to the grocery store and read. 🙂
Hope you all have fine weather and a good book today!