Writing the 3rd poetry manuscript

The past year or two I’ve been working on my third manuscript–a collection of persona poems from the perspective of women from church history (it really is more exciting than that sounds!). I’ve got some of them linked HERE if you’d like to read a few.

I’m to the point where I’ve got 50ish poems in the collection–that is probably going to be most of it, but, since my last two books were fairly short, I’m aiming to write another twenty or thirty poems for this book.

For a while I was pretty unmotivated to work on this project. I have a side chapbook poem collection that has been sucking out a lot of my writing energy (but is exciting in its own way–not something that I think will become a book anytime soon, however).

Most of all, I’m disillusioned with publishing (see most of my previous posts). My books hardly sell, so what is the point?

Then I started reading PR for Poets by Jeannine Hall Gailey. I’ll post a review soon….but for now, let me just tell you: it has restored my desire to publish. Hearing that even the editor of RATTLE only sells a hundred of his books…within FIVE YEARS!….actually made me feel a lot better. I just need to find my audience! And perhaps learn to self-promote a little. But not in a yucky greasy way but in a “hey look at this!” way.

In the book she quotes Kelli Russell Agodon and she says not to put a spotlight on your work but instead the glow of a candle, or take it out in the sunlight. I love that idea. I want my work out in the sunlight.

but I am also thinking about my limitations — waiting another couple years would perhaps be better timing for promoting a book and certainly wouldn’t hurt the editing and refining.

So all this to say, the third book is chugging along, but don’t look for it on shelves any time before baby D is potty trained.


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