April was a month full of the celebration of poetry, which was enlightening and exhilarating, but for me as a poet, it was a month weighed down by rejections. March was the same. I haven’t had anything accepted for publication since February and the constant rejections are beginning to pluck at my barely opaque confidence.
I am not sure why the rejections are hitting me so hard right now. It could be the sheer volume of them or perhaps the nagging fear that all writers experience, of being a fraud or no good. I wish I could say that being published doesn’t matter, but it has become something that I look to in order to gauge the quality and relevance of my writing. Right or wrong, it feels inevitable to me.
There have been some incredibly good things that have happened in the past month, with regard to my poetry specifically, but the rejections are tarnishing those good things, or I am allowing them to. I can’t seem to get out from under the weight of defeat. I don’t feel motivated to write. All the words feel wrong, trite or inconsequential. It feels pointless and it is making me feel sad.
I am not looking for validation. I know that the validation can only truly come from within me. I need to step back and try to gain some perspective. Perhaps I need to step back from writing altogether for a while, or maybe just step back from submitting my work and try to focus solely on the writing. I don’t know. All I know is that it feels bad. Every day I have to pick myself up from feelings of defeat and it is getting harder and harder to do.
Maybe I need to get out of the house, go hiking. Maybe I need a juice cleanse or a therapist. Maybe I need to take up mahjong. What I do know is that I need to get some distance and try to look at all of this with different eyes. The eyes I have just aren’t working. I suppose they never really have.