(cue the tiny violins)….I wrote my last poem today. Things just weren’t working out. The amount of energy I was expending on them, losing sleep to get those lines out of my head, onto paper (initially – usually scrawled at 4 am by dimmed light with blurry eyes and a tired hand) and then getting them into just the right poetic order, searching for just the right stock photo, getting it onto Instagram at just the right time suggested by Insights………..only to get maybe 20 likes and generally zero comments. It just wasn’t working. It wasn’t what I wanted for my poems, those tiny pieces of huge emotions that I felt just secure enough to release to the world. It just wasn’t working.
They were all falling flat. The message was being lost. The words were unraveling. Over and over again.
And it was making me feel…..broken.
So, I wrote my last one today. It’s not my best one, but it took just as much time and care and attention as all the rest, so it’s just as important – and once I decide to publish it, I know it will suffer the same fate as all the rest. “I’m sorry little poem,” I’d often say just before posting them, “you’re going to go die a slow death on Insta now. I’m so sorry.”
But, in a way, I’m not.
I’m not sorry because I have written hundreds of those poems over the years and now I have hundreds to submit to literary magazines in a quest to get traditionally published for the first time in too many years. My poetry audience wasn’t on Instagram, but maybe there are eager eyes looking somewhere else for my work, so I’m going hunting for them now, putting my energies into finding just the right magazines, submitting at just the right times for their deadlines.
Being invisible to some eyes doesn’t necessarily mean being invisible to all the eyes out there. I know someone, somewhere will see my work – and now I can concentrate my own eyes on writing the three novels I currently have in the works.
I did start this year with a publication. A literary magazine in Indiana accepted one of my dance photos – not one of my poems – but something of mine found an audience! It’s getting published!
I’ve found my first set of eyes.