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?