Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Writing in Circles

This is the final piece from the list I started a month ago, "Beating Poetry Submissions into Shape." My last gasp in that post was to develop patience while your submissions are circulating. It's part of the writing cycle.

I am not a patient person. Waiting for things to happen is not my style. So once those submissions leave my hands, I have to do something. And that something is a bouquet of weedy, but sturdy things. I read--not just poetry, although that's an important part of my on-going education. I make an effort to find other writers. We read to each other, we write together, we listen to speakers. We drink lots of tea and coffee. We share news about rejections and acceptances. This is a very important part of a writer's life. Some days it is the only part. Well, that's not quite right. I journal every day. No exceptions unless I'm comatose and that doesn't happen much.

I'm mostly awake and aware of my surroundings because being healthy and active is part of this whole writing show. Yes, there have been great writers--Keats comes immediately to mind--who have written in the throes of illness, but that too is not my style. While I wait for editors to respond I walk the dog, clean my kitchen, go out to lunch, do all those things that other people do. Stephen King says in his book On Writing to put your desk in a corner and remember that it is not the center of your life. And quite frankly, if you don't have a full life, you limit your ability to write. Because everything you put on the page comes out of your patient love for the world, even when you're mad as hell. You're here, you're alive. Live and let the editors do the same. It all goes around and around.

No comments: