Thursday, September 28, 2006


Late summer wraps itself around Thursday like a cat
white paws resting on the pulse at my wrist.


I was happy to rediscover Kim Addonizio's blog. Thought she had given it up! Turns out she's been posting here and there. In a posting dated March 23 she writes:

Rejection letters—Get used to them. “Butch it up, Kim,” said my writer friend Lisa Glatt, once when I was whining to her on the phone. If you don’t want to be rejected, don’t send out.

Better odds of acceptance: work seriously for 7-10 years first before sending.

The logic: just because it’s rejected doesn’t mean it’s bad.
Just because it’s published doesn’t mean it’s any good.

And: The work is more important than the publication, but you may not really understand that until you are published.

Also: it is actually very easy to get published. Somewhere. By someone. Once that happens, it will not be enough. You will want to be published somewhere else, somewhere better. Then you will want books, then awards for the books, then big grants and fellowships and endowed chairs, and then eternal youth. The desire to publish is usually composed of a dash of desire to give one’s gifts, like vermouth in a double martini. The drink itself is ego and insecurity. I call this the Pinocchio Syndrome: Publish me! I’m only a wooden puppet writer! Make me a real writer!

The work is more important.


Those are good words, Kim. Kinda puts it all into perspective. Cause here's the deal - if a poet is spending a lot of time angsting over worthiness, success, and whether or not she is loveable, this is a stall on the 'self-esteem needs' of Maslow's pyramid - that's level 4. I think we need to be up around level 6 to write poetry.

and 7-10 years ... I've got 3-6 years left!

whoosh, I'm hearing the wind past my cheek, I'm climbing the pyramid.


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