I began work on a new subject early and pecked away at it throughout the day. Little by little it began to take shape and late in the afternoon I sat back and read it with satisfaction. It made me smile.
But it wasn’t supposed to make me smile.
Then it hit me. I’d spent the day writing a humorous poem about my subject. How did that happen after all these weeks? At some point I’d lost control and allowed the writing to take over. So now I pay the penalty. I have a poem I can’t use for the collection, I lost a day’s work, and today I get to start over.
The name of the game is Focus. An inconsistent collection isn’t appealing and no editor is going to be happy receiving it. Too often we fall in love with an idea and try to force it into the body of work because WE like it, but ignoring the need to produce a group of same-spirit poems isn’t going to produce an acceptable manuscript. Each piece has to contribute to the whole. I may include my little variant in the manuscript when I submit it, in case I’m judging too harshly, but not without an alternate that I think fits better.
If you need me today, I’ll be here in the penalty box, doing it again.