I’m getting back into the groove of regular posting here, and I want to stick to the loose format I came up with before, so on Wednesdays I’ll be posting insights into my writing process and tips for other writers.
When I post my poetry, the final product you read falls into two categories: brand spanking new or well aged. Sometimes a fresh poem just feels so right that I’m ready to put it out there for the world to see the moment my pen leaves the page. (Yes, most of my poetry starts out hand written. But that’s for another Wednesday.) There’s not really any rhyme or reason to it, and I can’t quantify the reasoning for which poems I share right away versus those I keep back. Much of how I handle poetry is instinctive.
The poems I keep back can go through several rounds of editing and revision before they make their way onto my blog. Sometimes the original is very personal and I change some aspects to create some space between myself and a difficult topic. Sometimes when I revisit a poem, I’m in a different mood and I read it in a different light. Suddenly the words just don’t fit right. So, I scratch and I scribble until I find the right words that fit the right way with the right mood. It’s quite a process, and a given poem might go through several rounds of aging before it’s fit for public consumption.
Sometimes, no matter how much I age a poem, it’s just bad. Like, really bad. I don’t trash poems, but there are a few on the “Do not post, EVER” list. They stay in my journal as a learning experience. They still have value to me, but they do not belong in the light of day. Or the light of the internet. Or anywhere other than that journal. I don’t quite have it locked away in a vault, but sometimes it is tucked under my mattress.