Remember that poem I was so excited about that my writers’ group wasn’t so excited about?
Guess what was just accepted for publication?
I want to feel vindicated. I knew that format worked best for the idea I was trying to present. The group didn’t like it, in particular, they didn’t like the format. It wasn’t like my usual style of breaking up text to evoke the mood or the meaning. This format was a paragraph. Just like this one, in fact.
The reason I used that format: it worked best with the subject and the mood I was trying to convey. I tried rewriting it in my “usual” format. The group didn’t like that, either. They said it just wasn’t as good as my other poems.
And yet this one is about to be published.
Do I feel vindicated? Yes and no. Yes because I was certain in my approach. I knew what I wanted to do and why. The format had to be that way because the subject demanded it. I felt then, as I do now, that I was right to do it that way. Apparently, a publisher believes that, too.
But now I’m confused. I trust my group. They’re the smartest, most talented editors I know. Yet they missed this one. Or maybe I hit on that one editor who saw what I was attempting. I don’t doubt my group. I doubt that I’ve given them enough variety in format to keep myself from being almost typecast into one way of presenting my ideas. I blame myself for that.
Perhaps this is another example of accessibility being a bad thing. The poem is accessible. The format, I think, elevates it to a less-accessible place. Maybe they were reacting to that. Or maybe I’m just damn lucky someone else actually liked it.
Poets, have you ever had a situation in which what you’ve written doesn’t pass muster with your writing crew, but gets accepted? How did you react? What do you attribute to that?