Wednesday (Reprise)

As I’m becoming more successful as a poet I have decided I need to start using bigger words, so there’s no more (Part 2) for me.

Although, there are signs that all is not well in the land of art and poetry.

First of all we have imposter syndrome. This is the nagging feeling at the back of your mind that things aren’t quite right and you are going to get found out. It’s all very well getting a few bits published, but what happens if someone asks you a question using a Japanese word you don’t understand?

This could easily happen because apart from sayonara, banzai and sushi I don’t tend to recognise many Japanese words. I know there are words to do with punctuation, the seasons and a sense of loss, which are all used in writing haibun, but I couldn’t actually tell you which was which if you asked me.

The main problem is that I don’t actually know how I do it. I just sit down with a pen and paper (it has to be a pen and paper, I can’t generally manage to do it on the computer). This is one of those strange things – I can blog on the computer and I can do articles on the computer, but haibun, haiku and poems need pen and paper.  Not only that but a fountain pen is better than a biro. I’m not sure why, that’s just how it is.

I think part of it is that the computer gives me more ability to correct things, which leads to me correcting more than I actually write.

Second – I’ve just had my fastest ever rejection. One of my submissions has been out for six weeks. If they run true to form the magazine will be in touch soon with a gentle rejection. I’m expecting that.

What I wasn’t expecting was one of the others from yesterday to reject me inside 24 hours. You can’t complain about the speed of editors these days – three submissions yesterday and I already have one acceptance and one rejection.

The difference is that the acceptance sparks up the worries about being found to be a fraud. The swift rejection tends to reinforce this. Not only did they not like it, but there was so little merit in it that they had to get it off the premises as soon as possible before it turned any other submissions bad.

If I’d sent it in on the last few days of the submission window I could have said that it came back so quickly because they were full. But when you send it in on the first day and get it back on the second day of the submission window you can feel fairly certain that they didn’t like it.

I suppose you can’t expect too much, as the next acceptance will be my 13th Japanese style poem to be accepted. If it ever is. Assuming that I can’t bring the mood down with imposter syndrome I may as well use superstition.


21 thoughts on “Wednesday (Reprise)

  1. Laurie Graves

    I suspect many writers feel like imposters from time to time. This is certainly true for me. But writing is what I do. It gives my life spark. I suspect the same is true for you, or else you wouldn’t be writing. Besides, how much of an imposter can you be if editors like your writing enough to publish it? Especially when in all likelihood they are flooded with poetry.

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      Good question, he said, thinking of an answer…

      The blog is like chatting with friends and success and failure don’t really come into it.

      I’m much more interested in success (though I can’t really define it) with the poetry and it’s the fear of lack of success that drives the fear of being found out.

      Does that make sense, or should I go to bed and write a better answer in the morning?

      1. LA

        Totally makes sense. I guess I bought I was a decent essayist, but I just read a book of essays that are so good it makes me doubt myself? Does that make sense?

      2. quercuscommunity Post author

        It makes sense. But you’re a blogger, which means you interact with people and pose questions and make us think. Essayists just shut themselves away and polish their prose. They also have more time.

        Don’t run yourself down. 🙂

      3. LA

        Hmmmm…..I hadn’t thought (or bought if you don’t carefully look at what you’re writing) of it like that

      4. quercuscommunity Post author

        I thought I’d ignore the typo. People who live in glass houses etc… Better to be a top class blogger like LA, I say, than an essayist in an ivory tower.

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