Well, today’s the day. Online Poetry workshop with Bare Fiction magazine.
I’m scared. I have given a poem to people to read. Not friends who will be kind (mostly), or my mom who would be delighted if I wrote a variation on three blind mice, but real people who have nothing to lose if they pull my poem to pieces.
And that’s the key. It’s the poem not me that is being criticised. Whilst what I write comes from my heart and head, it is not the sole distillation of who I am. And I can’t believe it’s take me this long but I’ve finally got it. Criticism is the only way I will continue to get better. It’s as though I’m setting a little boat out to sea.
Those who know me in real life will know that I have little confidence and the most fragile cup of self-esteem, despite outward appearances. Confidence is not given, it is learned and learned and learned by being strict with myself and asking myself to step back and look at the reality. Did that person really say that? Is it possible that I’m letting my own insecurities colour how I interpret the actions of others ? And might that interpretation be wrong ? It’s easy to slip into the habit of blaming everyone else for not being sensitive/insightful/wearing the right colour shoes, but I’ve finally reached a point of taking responsibility for my own feelings. My instinct is to cut off from the after the first indication of negativity. If I do that I’ll never grow. This is my favourite thing in my world, and there is nothing that makes me feel more “right” than writing. Except perhaps that hazy festival feeling, but that’s a bit tricky to achieve on a chilly Monday afternoon.
I’m a bit unsure how it will all work, and I’m hoping that the feedback I’ve written up for the other poets is useful. I’m getting quite brave in my old age. If nothing else I feel privileged to be part of this, and have enjoyed the opportunity to read some amazing new work. Time to rest up for a few hours so that my brain is functioning well for this evening. I’ll do another post later in the week to let you know how it went.
Find out more about Bare Fiction here