Okay, so I’ve just uploaded a bunch of poems from my little book, which is usually carefully secreted away and buried beneath a myriad of items so that, should someone accidentally come across it, they won’t notice it and therefore (one hopes) won’t look in it. Because it is so desperately private to me. Yet, for the past few days I have happily and excitedly been adding poems to my site for the world to see … and I have questioned myself about this all day.
I received my first comment to a post last night, plus a click on the like button, and both (especially the comment) were enough to significantly boost my self esteem – and more so my confidence – about my poetry. I now have a hint about what people’s perception of my poetry is, albeit the faintest hint, but it is a welcome flare in the night sky nonetheless. But dare I show my book to a friend so they can tell me what they think? Absolutely not! Not yet at least …
I have also pondered whether I’ve made a mistake in focussing on my writing (like millions of others, I am writing a book and dream of being published) rather than my poetry. Should I have at least tried to get a poem or two published before now I wonder? Yet then I remember what I have written on my main ‘Poetry’ page and my gut feeling is still the same: I don’t want my poems to be judged, not by someone with a stack of submissions on the desk in front of him anyway, a professional looking for a diamond in a coal mine. And besides … my poems are raw emotion. They are feelings on a page. Yes, I understand there are poems about flowers and trees and the wondrous events of summer (and I’m not being patronising when I say that), but because of the rollercoaster life I’ve had emotionally so many of my poems have been written in times of despair and confusion. Could I really bear the thought of submitting some of what I think are my best poems (and how do you pick anyway?) only for someone to read them amongst many, many others and most likely put them on the ‘reject’ pile or critique them negatively? Don’t get me wrong … I would be extremely grateful of a critique on my writing; I would accept that in a heartbeat … but my poetry? No. Emphatically. So the inner response to my doubts on whether I am foolish to put my poems on here after not even having a go at being published has boomeranged around my head constantly all day: I refuse to be judged, so I am doing the right thing. For me.
I have found my voice. I have experienced instant satisfaction in sharing my poetry with likeminded people who happen to stumble across my site. Having this platform – this wonderful WordPress stage – has provided me with the courage to share. The fact that my braveness is heavily underpinned by anonymity is beside the point. 😉
For me, it’s all about baby steps. 🙂
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