Whilst this year’s NaPoWriMo is underway and I’m keeping up with the draft poem a day target so far, I thought I’d look back at last year’s poems.
I did manage the 30 poems within the month target. These were 30 draft poems, some in rougher shape than others. I took the more polished drafts and worked on these first, reading them aloud, editing them and rewriting until they were publishable. Then I looked at the remainder.
There are five that I have no intention whatsoever of publishing. These are simply too personal and I don’t think I want to put them in the public domain. I don’t see this as a problem because I don’t intend to publish every single poem I write.
Of the remaining 25 drafts, there are 4 that will probably not go any further than being drafts. These is either because the subject is too similar to poems I’ve already written or that I don’t feel the poems are strong enough to be stand alone poems. In effect, these were practice poems I wrote to try out an idea or to see if an idea would become a poem. This doesn’t make these poems failures. A failed poem is one I never tried to write. Even published poets need to rehearse poetic ideas and give a new idea a try out. Experience tells you whether a practice poem could become good enough to become a published poem or whether it’s better to keep it in a notebook. It still may be the case that I’ll come back to the idea at a later date with a fresh pair of eyes and see a different approach or with a second theme that can be weaved into the original draft to create a stronger poem.
April 2013 left me with 21 draft poems that are capable of being published poems. These are the ones I have been spending more time on, editing and rewriting. This is not a bad return. Of these 3 have been accepted and published, “Flooded by Communication” (The Interpreter’s House), “The small hours have become my friends”, “Creating a Scene” (Message in a Bottle) and a further 2 accepted for future publication, “Hotel Life”, “Letting Us In” (Aquarium by the Ocean). These are not the only poems I’ve had accepted for publication in the last 12 months.
That leaves 16 poems which are of a publishable standard and are some of these are currently with editors. Given the slow process of publishing, I’m not surprised that there have been only 5 acceptances so far. However, by April 2015, I’m confident I’ll be reporting more acceptances from poems written during NaPoWriMo 2013. It’s too early to tell yet whether 2014’s drafts will be going anywhere.
By Emma Lee