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And in other writing…

Not much new to report on the poetry writing front, except for a dozen or so poems in submission (“in submission”? Should it be “under submission”? I won’t say ‘Under consideration” because that suggests the darn things are actually being read by someone, and there’s no knowing if that’s the case. Anyway I think I like “in submission”.)

Now you see this is the kind of nit-picking that the writing of poetry demands, is it not? When it may take an hour to decide on whether in or under is best. This is one reason I’m enjoying writing a first draft of My Novel. I’m just motoring through, sitting back and enjoying the action, as if it were Midsummer Murders. I guess at some point I’ll have to go back and refine it a tad, which might mean pondering those kinds of SHOULD IT BE ‘GOWN’ OR KIRTLE’ HERE? questions that few readers in the end would care about, but I can’t put my wee novel in submission with anyone until I’ve polished it up I suppose. I just hope I don’t hate the whole thing and ditch it when it’s done, which is typically my poetry MO.

One thing I can’t imagine is workshopping this thing, the way I would a poem. I had to laugh at this, quoted on Mat Riches blog: ‘Workshops are a waste of time. Trojan horses of mediocrity to quote Adliterate. […] Only workshop when you have no choice.”  Mat goes on to say he’s not entirely sure who the quote is by, and also that ‘they aren’t intended here to be discussing writing workshops’ – aha, but that’s how we read it, given that Mat’s is a writer’s blog!

Workshops of any kind aren’t for everyone, it’s true. I’ve had an on-off relationship with poetry workshopping I have to admit. It’s lovely when you find yourself in a group that gels, and you don’t feel threatened or threatening. Then again, if you all become mates then it can become a bit of an echo-chamber. Sometimes though it’s also nice to have poetry mates, and never mind the feedback.

Right, back to my soon-to-be classic historical novel! I know quite a bit about historical writing, given that most of my poems in submission have been loitering on editors’ desks (or in out-trays) for so long they may as well have been written on parchment. Alack and alas!

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Robin Houghton 2021