Things are stuttering along. It is, as before, a zig-zag course towards improvement and today, after submitting my first piece for some time, I am once again wondering why I bother writing.
I’m clear on magazine articles. I don’t do many of them, but I do it for the money.
Poetry is different. I’ve been sent one or two free copies of magazines and have had two certificates, but the rewards of writing poetry are mainly spiritual.
At the moment, I’m thinking of stopping submitting so much. I can dress this up as spiritual renewal or an issue of quality over quantity, but in truth, I’m just getting a bit fed up with some of the editors I have to deal with.
Most of them are brilliant (though even the brilliant ones often turn me down – nobody is perfect) with a positive attitude, open minds and helpful comments.
Others are a bit on the academic side and a touch prescriptive. I won’t get too specific, as they all work hard to produce the magazines we rely on, and I don’t want to criticise anyone personally. However, one or two seem to get their preferences mixed up with the “rules” of writing Japanese poetry forms. Even the various societies, with their panels of experts, don’t produce rules, just guides. These also often edit what I consider to be my voice. I write as I speak, and if I want to use an expression from the midlands of the UK, I don’t see why it needs to be ironed out by an American with an academic background in English.
Meanwhile, there is the group of editors who want to be excited by my submissions. I write about my life. It’s not exciting. I’m unlikely to display the qualities required by these editors.
I have limited time at the moment, and have decided to use it more wisely. One submission has gone. The other, with its manufactured false excitement and linguistic fireworks, will stay in the draft section. Eventually, as it matures, it will be used, or dismantled for use in other work.
But it won’t be sent out this week to curry favour with an editor who wants me to be something I’m not.