Confession Tuesday - The Poetry Edition

I realize I haven't been around too much lately and when I have, I've posted photos of kittens. This is not good for my blog reputation. It's getting personal. It's adopted cats and small town facts. We must return to the poetry, the writing.

Today's confession will be poetry focused. There will be no photos of kittens.

To the confessional--

1) I was rejected this week by Willow Springs. They have an odd rejection that also has submission guidelines on the back. I opened it and thought they wanted me to submit, then realized they were telling me no.

2) I have been working on my mss this week. Revising it or as I like to say, "Sucking the life out of it." There is a point when you can over-revise. While I've made some very good tweaks, I've also completely messed up the first section and have had to go back. The middle section though, it's awesome.

3) I was a finalist in the last two book contests I entered. This gives me hope and also makes me feel sad at the same time.

4) Self-sabotage - In October I was anxious and full of self-doubt about my work. I had 6 manuscripts to book contests ready to go out (Alice James Books, Bear Star Press, and 4 other contests with Fall/Wtr deadlines)--they were printed out, in their envelopes with checks written, all addressed and ready to go--and I didn't submit them because at the last minute I had a huge gush of anxiety and self-doubt go through me. At the last minute I thought, "Save your money, you won't win." And I did--save my money that is. (Good one.)

Minor confessions based on Confession #4
a) 5 of the 6 mss still sit in my closet with their non-voided checks. I gave one to a friend to use a template to help her format her own manuscript.

b) Do not listen to the voice inside your head that says you are not good enough. I don't believe there's a devil, but if there is, I believe he's a poetry critic.

c)If anything keeps me down, it's my own perfectionist behaviors. It's believing something has to be absolutely perfect. Sometimes things just have to be good enough.

d) There are a thousand people who would be happy to push you down for whatever reason. Don't be the first one in your own line to do so. Mostly I think I'm the person who holds the door open for me. However, there have been times (like said time above) when I'm running to make it through and I slam it in my own face at the last minute. Don't do this; it's just not good manners.

5) I am submitting a packet of poems a week and have been since January 1st.

6) As hard as I try to keep my desk tidy because I feel I work better that way, I tend to have papers scattered everywhere. When I clean my office, I put on an old podcast of This American Life to listen to as return all the books and papers to their homes.


  1. Thanks for sharing this. The self-doubt monsters all get the best of us sometimes.

  2. Yes, thank you! Your self-doubt crazies make me feel much better about my own. If a well-published poet does these things too, well, it makes me feel a little better! Now, get those envelopes out of the closet and in the mail (before the kitty shreds could happen!).

  3. You're writing. Share it. Like you said, there's no need to rush condemnation. If editors say no it's just no to that submission, not to your ability to write. Keep writing. Keep submitting.

  4. Wow -- I love the part about pushing down in line. So true.

    I think there is more hope in sending out the manuscripts. There is more possibility. More chance. If you ever stumble upon that kind of lined-up opportunity, whip out those mss from your closet and mail them. Because you never know what's waiting outside the door. You might have struck.

  5. I love the comment about the devil as poetry critic--there's a poem beginning right there.

  6. Whatever you post, poetry or personal, I'll read.

    As one who was also rejected by Willow Springs, I feel your pain.

    We just keep doing what we do, the process is the reward. At least that's what I keep telling myself.

    The fact that you have poems out there working for you is a good thing. Keep sending out! You're an inspiration.

  7. Your post is my inspiration to write more often and improve my skills.

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  8. Kells, your writings are amazing, thanks for sharing here,,, i will surely follow your next postings
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  9. your writings are inspiring Kells, great job keep it up.....
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  10. I was a finalist in the last two book contests I entered. This gives me hope and also makes me feel sad at the same time,,, why u feel sad for this, contest is good for going ahead, you are great writer


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