No one really can prepare you for the submission process. Be it novels, or poetry - you have to sit there in front of your computer and send, send, send until you're fingers ache and you're certain, carpal tunnel is in your near future - which is fine, because as the rejections come, you will have all the time in the world to nurse your poor wrists back into shape. Some yoga, maybe a little meditation - ball hands into fist and roll, roll, roll them around.
I've done the book thing 3 or 4 times, but the poetry game is new to me. Most magazines have these "online" submission programs. They work with a submission company, and you enter all your information, attach the poem - and hit send. Then you are able to torture yourself daily, hell! HOURLY, if you want to. All you have to do is take a moment to skip over the the submission site and stare at the screen listing all of the poems you submitted and to where you submitted them.
"Seriously, this is crap"
"Don't make me come over there and take the computer away"
and last, but not least
It's moment's like these I'm happy I'm low on butter, because if I wasn't I'd be eating sugar cookies as I write this post...
Yet its not all jittery moments, there are others too.
Over the weekend, I was asked to read some of my poems - out loud - in public - in front of people, with pulses. (seriously.) (not lying.) (can you tell I'm freaking out, and I don't even have the details yet?) (yeah, I can too.)
But that's the point of wanting to be a writer. Writing is it's own reward, but we all want you to read what we've written and to go, "Oh, hell! Where as this author been all of my life?"
Is that, really, too much to ask?
Maybe it is... (it's not. it's really not.)
This whole process is a nail bitter at best - because being a writer is it's own paradox. You're to collect it all, and store the facts in your body, heart, brain and limbs - then you are to go home, lock yourself away from the world. You must miss movies, TV shows, outing, drinks, friends, family - until you begin to wonder why people dress in the first place, and pajamas are still "clean" enough to put back on after your shower just before bed? Two seconds after you have accepted your fate as a recluse, you finish, edit, and then have people read your work. (this isn't so bad. they're your friends) THEN... submission. THEN... people who you can't bribe with beers and cigarettes, READ your stuff.
Maybe they like it. (which they should, because you're bloody brilliant)
Maybe they hate it. (which they should, because you're the worst writer alive)
But you don't know - because everything takes 3-6 months. That's like 2.5 billion years in writer years.
So I do what I can to not let my fingers tap the keys, taking me over to this so-called "submissions" site. (it's really what it's called. I just want to be mad at it. it makes it easier)
And I do other things to distract myself - like write more and submit more. Would you believe me, that this process works the best? Well you should, because I may be adorable, but I'm no liar.
It's just those in between moments...
....the ones where the psychosis creeps through...
...I hate those moments...
But what the hell! Everest wasn't conquered in a day, or with just one try! So...I'll do the write thing. ("write" spelled wrong intentionally)
I'll write more.
I'll submit more.
I'll throw up in my mouth from time to time.
I'll carry mouth wash with me - at all times.
And I... I will survive... because as long as I know how to write, I know I'll stay alive!
Now go - go sing "I Will Survive" and have a wonderful day, and if you have something you've always wanted to submit - do it. Seriously. Worth it!