In deciding what to send to journals, I make 3 piles of my index cards (each card contains the title of a poem I've written and hasn't been published yet).
The first pile contains my favorite poems, the ones I feel strongest about, the A-list poems. These are poems I feel are well-crafted and are ready to go into the world.
The second pile is my B-list poems. I like these poems a lot, but intuitively, I sense more could be done with these.
The third pile is my Good God, Don't Send These Out pile. These are poems that at one time I thought were complete, but aren't. This will become my To Revise pile that I will keep near my desk to work on during my writing time.
* * *
Once I have the poems in three piles, I make smaller piles of the A-list poems 3-5 poems each. These will be what I submit today. This is the easiest part of submitting, I organize my favorite poems together and send them out to my favorite journals.
Once that is done, I have to deal with my B-list poems. One by one I pull them up on my computer to see if my intuition was correct that they are not finished and need some work. If it's something minor, I try to work on it them. If it's something more serious, they are set on the top of my Good God pile until later.
I will probably only have a couple submissions from this pile as I tend to be really picky about what I send out.
After this, I have a large glass of wine and go to bed.
I'm kidding. I usually feel okay after this, but need a walk outside just to get out of the house.
So there it is, how I submit, how I decide what to revise, and how I keep from embarrassing myself with bad poems.
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