This week I’ve been nagging people to read what I’ve written. It’s a terrifying thing. I’ve found it harder with poetry than short fiction, mainly because I’m giving more of myself away…..and there is the danger that everything is viewed as autobiographical . This element makes me sound much more interesting than I am.
I’ve slowly grown my circle of readers for poetry, starting with one very trusted friend a year ago (thank you Gill!), and gradually asking more people to read and feedback. It’s like cooking a fabulous birthday cake, or special dinner and hoping to goodness no one declares it the most disgusting thing they have ever tasted (I take cooking almost as seriously as writing).
Why do it? It shatters my ego more than it flatters it. Quite simply , I need to know if there is any value in what I write. Is it clear? Does it speak to people who may not know me inside out? Have people gained something from spending their time reading it? Feedback has been good (I have some kind friends), and best of all a few poems have stood out as the ones with the most impact. This shows me which ones I should consider for competition entry, which styles work, and also which ones really should be binned.
Tomorrow (and as much of the rest of the week I can steal), is going to be dedicated to developing short story ideas for a couple of big competitions coming up in March. I’ve got a few more poetry competitions to research too. Motivation is being maximised…..especially for the cat.