Sunday, 26 August 2007


I came back from Cornwall to an envelope from Iota, containing my poems and a polite, uninterested rejection letter. Rob offered to look at the poems, if they came back, so I might take him up on that. On the other hand, though, these NaPo poems, of which I was so fond, have come back enough times now for me to know that they're no good. Nothing I've written has ever been any good. Perhaps it's time now for me to put publishing down as a childhood dream rather than an ambition to pursue. Maybe I should focus my energies in the future on church and family. I believed I had a talent, something really special. Perhaps I was deluded. Perhaps I'm a very ordinary sort of girl, who should put her mind to ordinary things. Perhaps I'll just be one of the thousands reading the books and wishing, rather than one of the few writing the books.

I'm doubting my vocation too. I mean, you can't very well have a priest who's terrified of people, one who sometimes can't even sit through a service without having a panic attack. I can't see any future for myself at all of late. It's a very low sort of day for me.


Rob said...

It's not easy to get into Iota. I don't know how many poems they get. However, the editor of another magazine - slightly bigger perhaps - told me that he can print about 50 poems per issue and gets sent thousands per issue.

If you want to send me the poems, I'll take a look - my email address is at my profile. It might be that there's nothing wrong with them and you just have to try another magazine. It might be that a few minor changes could make all the difference. In some cases, it could be there's something more fundamental wrong with certain poems.

But rejection is part of a poet's life. You may as well get used to it, but I don't think you should give up.

Matt Merritt said...

Yeah, definitely don't give up. I don't even think the number of times a poem is rejected is necessarily a good pointer. There are so many factors involved that it can often be that they just take a while to find their rightful home. I think a lot of it is down to getting to know different editors' particular tastes, but that can be hit and miss, especially to start with.
Increasingly, I get suspicious if a poem is accepted first time out (not that that has happened often).

Scotty said...

Hiya Laura,

I guess rejection only really becomes an issue if one is expecting/hoping to 'make it', which is why I don't look at it from an expectation/hope point of view. To 'make it' is just a bonus to the fun of learning about, and writing, poetry, but that's just me. Truth be told? There are aspects to your poetry which, despite the age difference between us (and I've been around for a few years...), shows that your level of writing is far more advanced than mine.

Don't give up, okay?

Writing poetry and expecting to 'make it big' is like going to the pub and expecting to win a shitload of money on a slot machine - it usually won't happen but, if it does, take it as a bonus and buy yourself another bourbon or nice red.


Bandersnatchi said...

I've received rejection letters from publishers too. However I don't take it personally. There are so many variables in the publishing business that it seldom reflects on the quality of your work.
Far better to re-visit your work now after a passage of time and consider its merits and flaws and address what can be revised.
The output is not everything in the writing process. You are an artist engaged in the act of creation. The output, poems, prose, statuary or finger-painting is merely a manifestation of your process of "becoming" - YOU are the ultimate product of the artistic process. Focus not on the few lines you may produce, rather concentrate on the work of art that is your self.

You may quote me. :)


Decidedly Bookish said...

Thanks for the wise words, everyone xxx

andey said...

That related to anything? I'm out..