Sometimes poets who are my students are surprised to hear that I (like plenty of other well-published poets I know!) can have trouble sending things out. I’ve been procrastinating on the next group of offerings for several months, weeks, and now hours. So I thought I’d share this experience here in case it is reassuring. . . . And yes, I am trying to be gentle with myself about it. For example, I just realized that not only does the technological thing present a huge obstacle still (I am not very comfortable with Submittable, after so many years where I was so busy that I just didn’t bother to send out at all and just published at places where I was invited, so I really delayed getting comfortable with the online thing) and not only are the logistics still tricky as heck (for example, I feel poems look so different and their flaws show up so much better on the physical page so I want to print things out even if they’ll be submitted online only–but then I feel I need to devise something useful that makes sense to do with the copies) but also, even more importantly, on an emotional level, it remains HARD to put oneself out there with fresh and different work no matter how much one has been published! So there! And I’m going to do it anyway! As if in confirmation, this was my Daily Flame from the wonderful Lissa Rankin today:
When you admit you want it, you open yourself up to disappointment.
When you express a desire, you have something to lose.
When you say it out loud, you make it real— and everyone will know if you don’t get it.
But what’s the alternative? Stuffing your desire down? Lying to yourself? Giving up on dreams? Getting cancer?
Take the risk. Listen to me when I whisper what I want. Trust that I know what’s best and won’t let you down. Then surrender attachment to any particular outcome.
Full of desire,
Your Inner Pilot Light