In terms of creativity and industry things haven’t worked out that well. In other ways it has been a pleasant and relaxing day. This qualifies it as a tick in the “good day” column of the celestial ledger, and I am now bringing it to a close with a smile on my face.
Normally I like to approach a deadline with plenty of material already written and refined. My deadline is 31st January which is tomorrow (for the next 22 minutes, when it will become “today”.
Fortunately, last time I had a rejection all the ten haiku had been written a few days before submission so I was able to look at them again and make improvements (I know I ought to give time for them to mature, but it always seems like I don’t have enough). I’m hoping that one will be acceptable this time round.
Submitting to editors is an art and not a science. What works with one editor doesn’t necessarily work with another and many of my poems have been accepted after two or three rejections. The best example I have is my haibun about Philip Larkin. I’ll add it at the bottom of post if I can find it. That haibun went out four times and came back four times. I tinkered a little each time to tighten it up, but didn’t change it too much. The fourth time it came back I sent it out again the next day and had it accepted in two days. Which goes to show that you can never tell what is around the corner. I have seen interviews where established writers have sent out poems a lot more than that. I don’t have that sort of confidence. After three or four failures I usually retire them.
However, I’ve been trawling through them today, looking for pieces that are good enough to send out. I’ve found three, polished them, and sent them out and am now looking for three more. After that I just need to write ten tanka in the next 23 hours and I’m laughing.
There are several more deadlines that I decided to ignore. One journal has been rejecting me constantly since a change of editor, for instance, and another is fond of heavy-handed editing. I’m going to give them a miss this month and catch them next time they come round.
In fact, I’d better get back to work – ten tanka won’t write themselves.
Later, far too much later on a work night, I have all three of the next batch of haibun assembled, and I realised I forgot the Larkin piece. I will search it out tomorrow.