i get discouraged too easily. i applied (very sloppily and hastily) to three schools for a Ph.D. in English with Creative Writing dissertation right after i graduated from boise state with my mfa, and was rejected by all three. at the time i was crushed and CONVINCED those rejections meant i wasn't going to be successful as a poet & writer - despite the fact that my applications were sort of thrown together and i wasn't very well prepared. instead of realizing that i just needed to really THINK about why i wanted to go into a doctoral program (since then, i've officially discovered that i probably DON'T want a Ph.D. not in that, anyway), i beat myself up. and i've been at a standstill ever since.
i take rejection too harshly. sending out my poetry for publication is always a nail-biting experience. i mean, i KNOW i won't be accepted by every press, but ... like ... i still WANT to! who wants to be rejected, right? but i let that slow me down, and i think the reason they slow me down is because i don't submit my work to ANYWHERE NEAR enough presses, mags, etc. don't give myself a chance to get in the groove and keep going.
oh yeah, and i had a kid and got a job and stuff. i don't regret having my daughter, as she is the coolest person on the face of the earth, but motherhood (especially SINGLE motherhood) is time-consuming ... draining. eleni sikelianos recently asked me on via facebook chat if i'd been keeping up with my reading since i graduated. i asked her if dora the explorer "say it two ways" books counted. i guess you get the picture.
anyway, blah to all the excuses. i need to submit my work more places and stop being such a wuss. (i'm also thinking of applying for a SECOND mfa in poetry. leave a comment on this blog telling me your thoughts on that idea.)
sooo, here's my new mission. i've decided to work my way through the online AND print publication links listed by a really great online literary journal called failbetter. i'd been skimming through the list, researching and reading some of the journals and even submitting a couple of places. then i decided it would make the most sense to just submit to ALL of them that still exist and that would accept my work right now. gives me something to focus on, a task to complete, and some sort of structure to my creative endeavors. i guess you could say i'm trying to toughen up and live by the samuel beckett quote from which failbetter got their name: "ever tried? ever failed? no matter. try again. fail again. fail better."
i'll blog every few days with a list of the places i've submitted my work.
wish me luck, 'k? gonna need it ...