Sunday, July 25, 2021

Your Poem Editing Process

 Okay, so you’ve written a poem.  So, what’s next?  Do you immediately type it up and mail it out or upload it for submission?  Or do you take it to a writers group for feedback?  Do you print it out and frame it on your wall, or give it to someone as a gift?  Once the poem is written, what exactly do you do with it?

For me, unless I’ve written a poem for hire or I’ve written it to enter in a contest or to meet a publication deadline, I let it sit.  Yes, sit!  It sits in my notebook if it’s hand written or it sits on my computer if I typed it.  I then move on to something else.  

It may be months or even years before I get back to that particular poem again.  Yes, really!  I suppose I love to write (almost as much as I like to swim) so I write a lot.  Once I get back to the poem again, that’s when I edit it for typos, subject, line spaces, line breaks, word count, form, style and so on.  I dissect it, I suppose, at that point.  After that, I polish it up and then and only then is it ready to send out into the world if I find a place where I want to send it or a book I want to include it in.

There really is a process to writing poems.  It’s more than just jotting lines down on a napkin or memorizing verses!

How do you work up your poems?  What’s your poetry editing process?

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