December Cool Down

It’s December and everything seems to be in high gear. It’s all rather exciting. I’ve not given up on posting poems—yet, as I’m still writing them. But the November frenzy of posting at least one poem daily is over. And I’m glad to let that go.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a great deal of fun. I really enjoy the challenge, and I think April and November is a pretty fair and workable spread. So, I’ll likely do it again. But, between those months, I’ll take my time to write better. And I’ll tell you what brought me to this realization.

Painful Observation

As you may already know, the second part of the November PAD Chapbook challenges requires that you submit a small selection of poems to be reviewed. The first step is what sobered me up quickly on the heals of the daily posting schedule: picking the poems to include in my submission set. Reading the poems was enough to let ooze out all my excitement.

Really I was thinking, It’s really amazing what a frenzied state of mind will accept for publishing! Some I read and just let it go that they were really bad; I just blamed it on the frenzy. Some I really liked. And there were others that just stunned me and made me doubt that I’d really clicked the publish button for them.

It will take me longer to publish, now through 31 March, but it’s what must be done. This way, I don’t look back and scare myself so badly.

Selecting the Right Poems

This month, I’m trying to work closer to a theme, which adds more stringent guidelines to the selection criteria. So, I have to pick related ones I like, that are salvageable with the least work.

Editing and Revising

Thankfully I have found several that made me really happy. Not all of them were part of the PAD poems. Still, it did motivate me to continue in hopes that I can carve a few others into an acceptable poem.

To make the editing go more smoothly, I’ve pulled out my favorite poetry mechanics books for review and inspiration. Flipping through my reference books makes me feel confident that I know what I’m doing.

Submitting My Set

If I’m lucky, I’ll be finished well ahead of time so that I can submit and relax for Christmas. I won’t make that promise to myself, just keep working toward it. This way, if it happens that I finish early, it’ll just be a pleasant surprise.

And, the early finish will not be wasted. It’ll give me time to finish tweaking my new look for this site. I want to settle on the look I want before the first of January. We’ll see what happens.

Related Article

Poetic Asides 2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Next Steps

About Shari Smothers

Welcome to Telling Stories, my creative writing space. My name is Shari Smothers. Poems help me to understand the world and to explain my world to others. They're my premier story telling tools. There's more to come, so please share with me through reading, commenting, emailing. Learn more about Shari here. And do come again!

2 thoughts on “December Cool Down

  1. Hey Shari,

    I like that you posted your writing process, it’s good to know others have some of the same struggles as I do & it’s not so lonely afterall. to be objective is a great tool to possess, but I really appreciate that you found some poems during the frenzy that you “like”, as writers we are sometimes our own worst critic, that you can cling to that, even in the chaos of November is enough for you to cool down, slow down & enjoy what you created it. great post & good luck!

  2. Hi sMichelle,
    Thanks for the feedback. There really is something very beneficial about knowing we’re not alone in our creative struggles. And you’re quite right about being our own toughest critics. Thanks for the good luck wish, I definitely need it.

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