Learning as I go

Perseverance. Persistence. It seems like every writing blog or magazine article I’ve read this month has mentioned that writers need these characteristics. I don’t know that I have much of either right now. I feel as if my 2016 has had a rocky start.

I’m back at university this semester for a poetry workshop. There are days when I believe I’m in way over my head. I’m taking the class to strengthen my writing, to learn how to create metaphors and to use precise language. I enjoy the required reading because I am broadening my knowledge of contemporary poetry. We learn from seeing how others have mastered the craft.

But there are days when I think I made the wrong choice. I read my classmates’ poems and think, how will I ever write like that? I listen to the professor’s comments and realize that I may not write the kind of poetry he values. I didn’t take this class to become a professional poet but I would like to write decent poetry.

I’m kicking myself because the poem I’ve turned in for workshop is not one of my better efforts. Of course when I wrote it, I thought it wasn’t half-bad (perhaps even half-good). But now I want to tear it up before the workshop critique. Of course, I can’t do that so I keep telling myself, it’s just a first draft.

My bad mood is partly due to the two rejection letters that arrived in my in-box today within hours of each other. Normally, I’m okay with rejections because they arrive singly, days or weeks or months apart–but two in the same afternoon seems like a bad joke.  Intellectually, I know that it’s not personal, that journals receive hundreds of submissions, that I need to move on to the next submission. Still, sometimes I wonder if it’s worth the effort.

All those blogs and articles have a message for me: be persistent and persevere. Keep writing. It’s never as bad as you think.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to send out some more submissions.

Image courtesy of thaikrit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of thaikrit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This entry was posted in back to school, creative writing, learning, random, writer's block, writer's excuses, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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