Friday, August 5, 2011

Our Work, Our Soul

Oops, I did it again.

Why? I don't know, really. I just did it. I was on autopilot, editing, editing, editing, and then--

Sending in more poetry to literary journals.

Last time I sent stuff in, I was rejected by each and every one of the seven journals I queried. I guess it's a testament to my determined spirit that I've taken another bet, right? I don't know. I take my poetry seriously, but not because I want to become the next poet laureate or anything like that. I take it seriously becauase the poems I write--each of them--mean something to me. I'm just like anybody else; I want affirmation and encouragement. I want people to read my work and resonate with it. I've put a little piece of me into each of the poems I've written, and that's why rejection is rough. But I also know that no matter how many magazines reject my work, my poetry is still meaningful, because I find it meaningful.

this is not my own illustrious collection of rejection slips...but those of a writer I found
on the web. Take a lookat her site, HERE.

Virginia Woolf is an inspiration to me on this particular topic, because she wrote in many an essay, as well as in one of her novels, Three Guineas, about how important it is for a woman to write her own thoughts, her own soul--not another's conception of her thoughts or another's conception of her soul. She termed the ability to write uninhibitedly "freedom from unreal loyalties."

I love that. "Freedom from unreal loyalties."

I want to get published. I really do. But I don't want to change my writing persona or my style to achieve that goal. I want to be accepted on my own merits, affirmed in my own conception of artistic expression.

So...I keep trying. 


  1. You are so right! Writing is very personal. You are opening up and allowing others to see inside every time you allow someone to read what you have penned. We all truly pour a little bit of ourselves into everything we write.

    I have never tried to become published and honestly can't imagine that kind of rejection. I can relate about the anxiety for your work to be accepted, mainly in my blog that I started. I look for that affirmation too, by checking the page viewings, looking for comments, etc. I just want to know that other people are reading and enjoying what I am producing. Because when they like it, they like the little bit of me in there too. When I see someone took the time to comment or leave feedback I start jumping up and down inside!

    I haven't been brave enough to post any of my poetry on my blog yet. Maybe you persisting in your efforts to be published have given me the courage to go for it!

  2. I feel the exact same way. I want to be published, yes. But I cannot compromise my style of writing or my ideas in the process. Our work is an art, and cannot (or should not) be changed just to be published. It loses its beauty that way.

    I keep my rejection letters posted up on a tack-board behind my desk. When I look at it, I feel a sense of sadness at being rejected, but even more than that, I feel a push to keep going, keep trying, and keep writing, if for no one else, then for myself and my own sanity.

  3. I'm glad this resonated, ladies! Anne, I personally resonate with your thoughts on blogging. I too am always eager to see who has visited the site and/or commented. I love that blogging provides an opportunity to build community and it's that community I'm striving for with this blog!

    Joyful Sparrow, I write for myself first and foremost. I have to write. It's just part of who I am. So, I totally agree with you about rejection. It's a blow, but it's never going to stop me from expressing my thoughts on paper!

  4. I am glad you write! I think it is important to share all you have from the inside out regardless of all the approval or acceptance. I love that nothing will stop you from writing!! But one day I just simply believe will be published (maybe in more ways then one you will arrive,and be published:-)... and then never stop writing all over again) so many HIGH FIVES TO YOU! Don't give up <3



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