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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Feel The Fear ...

Everyone's afraid of something. I've always felt confident about writing articles and I know that one day I will finish my novel. Yet despite writing lots of poems, I'd never shared them with anyone. Part of the reason was that I could still remember the voice of my snooty English teacher. She tended to play favourites, and I was definitely in the OUT crowd. But when she repeatedly slated the poems I wrote as assignments, I decided never to show them to anyone, a promise I kept for about 20 years. But then something changed. And it wasn't the poems, it was me.

A few years ago I had a friend and fellow writer staying at my house. She's someone I've known for years, whose opinion I respect. We did a kind of 'I'll show you mine if you show me yours' thing. I read some of her poems and she read some of mine. She thought they were good, and that gave me the courage to show them to a few family members.

Fast forward to 2006 and I still had done nothing with my store of 50 poems. (The only exception were a couple that were inspired by particular people. In those cases I showed them the poems before putting them away). I looked at them again and decided to risk submitting some of them to a couple of poetry mags. I heard nothing - still haven't. Then one day, I needed something for my blog urgently and I published one of my poems. A couple of days later, I got an invitation to join Todays-Woman.net (a writing group). I was elated, signed up and posted a couple of poems, to which I got a great response. Encouraged by that, I posted Gratitude here (97 reads and counting).

So when Katryn published a call for submissions to RITRO, I decided to go for it. It was hard to let my babies go, but to date, I've submitted three poems and all three have been accepted. I'll post a link when they're up.

My point is that if you want to get your work published, you'll have to show it to someone other than the cat and dog. So why don't you have a look at all your unpublished work, pick one thing you're really happy with and send it off somewhere. What have you got to lose?

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