I just finished an entry for a big fancy schmancy poetry award.

It took a couple of weeks to get the entry together. It was not an altogether enjoyable experience, being pushed up against my work so closely…mostly what I could see was the work’s inadequacies. But it’s done now and it sits in its benevolent white A4 envelope, ready for me to post off in the morning. Whew.

Now I wait, probably for months.

The way these things go, you only hear something if you win…otherwise, one day you are casually blog-surfing or reading literary periodicals in the library and WHAM! there is a little article about the winner of the very competition you were waiting to hear that you’d won. Ouch.

It’s the writer’s lot. You have to get used to rejection, to not placing in competitions, to a lot of people being very ambivalent or worse, disdainful, of your work.

When I get a rejection letter, I usually feel how Magnus looks in the photo above.

I’ve worked out a way to cope with it, though. I call it my “one day sulk policy”.

It goes like this – on the day that I get the rejection letter, or find out I didn’t win the fancy competition or whatever…I let myself sulk all I want. I can bitch to my friends, I’m allowed to be melodramatic and self-pitying and I can wail and stomp and be completely childish and petty. Believe me – I go for it. Right down to the hair-tugging and existential angst: “what’s the damn point of anything, anywaaaaay!” sob sob sob…

And then, the next morning. I have get over it.

I have to wake up, open google and look for the next thing to send poems off to.

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