On Friday, I made the poor decision of looking up contests I could send my book to. I looked up people’s books I liked, checked out the contests they won, checked out that contest’s other books, and then started looking up fees, deadlines, etc.
Once I started looking at the fee aspect, I didn’t want to write or edit anymore. All my desire just seized up. Really, fear stepped in. How am I going to pay all those fees? What happens if I do and it loses all the contests anyway? What happens if all this work now means I just end up re-editing it next year and the next…?
Oh, fear. It’s hard enough being a poet when there are bunches of us and so everything is incredibly competitive, but load on some fear of being selected and work being for naught in there too…
I had the pleasure of meeting Dan Albergotti at the Southern Festival of Books. His second book, Millenial Teeth, won the Crab Orchard Review Open Poetry Competition. He told me, “Persistence is omnipotent.”
firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.
having unlimited power; able to do anything.
Basically, if I keep at it, things will work out. That obviously worked for him, so it’s possible it could work for me.
Right now, the manuscript is at 54 pages, and I really think it should be at 60. It may not be possible to do currently since I can write until the cows come home, but are the poems going to be good enough to put in the manuscript? We will see.
I’m also finding that my current work now all has a similar vein, so I’m wondering if it wouldn’t suit me better to give up on this manuscript and start working toward another one instead or do another chapbook.
Persistence is omnipotent…persistence is omnipotent….