Shakespeare Could Have Farmed

    I participated in a  challenge Yeah Write hosted,  31 Days to Build a Better Blog.  Since that challenge, I have sat on the sidelines in awe of Yeah Write and the brave bloggers posting each week.  I have toyed with the idea of submitting a post.  Two things have held me back. One, I write poetry and have done so since the age of 10. The second thing  has been my fears of submitting a post, even though I have written other post that are not poems. 

     What did I have to fear?  I know my writing has grown stronger over time.   It can only get better.   However,  logic flies out the window when it comes to other people reading my work.  I have been blogging since the end of 2012.  I joined a wonderful community on Google+ called Poets of G+ that year.  I wanted a place to keep my poetry in order, so My Constant Thoughts was born on Blogger.  Once getting the feel for the  blogging world, I opened up this blog.  A handful of close friends are the only people to read any of my writings until I began blogging.  The main reason behind my fear of not being good enough stems from when I fell into a poetry publishing scam when I was 19 years old. 

I’m sure many have heard of scams just like this one or even been tricked into one.  I received in the mail an invitation to submit my work to The National Library of Poetry. There were no cost. Just mail in my submission in the envelope provided.  A few months had went by when another large letter came from them.   Out of the millions to submit their work, my poem had been chosen to be published in their anthology!  Now, I was under no obligation.  However, if I wanted to obtain the anthology where my poem would be published, I need to send in a fee of $50.  For another small fee of $25, my bio would be published along with my poem. For anyone asking why I would pay $75 for my poem to be published, they answered that for me.  Publishing agencies would see my work and it could lead to having my anthology where only my poems could be read.  This was 1996, where having a large group of people read my poems seemed almost unattainable.

    I still own this $75 anthology. Once receiving it, I realized how large the book was and the poems ran together.  I cringe at the poem I submitted.  It shows my age and my naive streak. This could have been a lesson learned about researching  publishing companies. Beware of contest that seem too good to be true. At this time, I was beyond my years while dealing with the death of my grandfather and aunt.  Still, I was a child and naive when it came to putting all my energy into a writing career.  I continued to write for my benefit but I decided I needed to work a 9 to 5 and not chase after a dream. 

     I have stacks of journals where I continued to write poems and other life events.  I still carry one in my purse.  Writing is my passion.  I’m thankful for the blogging world.  Thanks to wonderful, constructive help, I have stepped outside my comfort zone of only writing poetry.  Now, it feels right to me to expand my writing and to conquer my fear of submitting to Yeah  Write.  Where would the world be if Shakespeare had become a farmer after his first play was laughed at? 



5 responses

  1. Donetta, I love that you are so committed. You are braver than I am – I’ve only posted to yeah write once (the regular blog challenge), and that’s ’cause the other editors made me. 🙂 Even knowing how supportive they are, I’m a little nervous to submit anything that’s not fiction.

    1. Thank you for dropping by. It’s wonderful to have a supportive community to share your writing with. I always have a lot of trouble with fiction. I’m not sure why. I actually prefer to be open about myself or any topic than try to make something up. I’m not sure that’s a good quality. I’ve been practicing on the short flash fictions.

      1. I think it’s great that you’re stretching yourself. I tend towards fiction, because I find it much easier to make stuff up than to talk about myself. I have a hard time believing I have anything interesting to say. 🙂 Once I get more comfortable around here, maybe I’ll try my hand at a personal essay. I should stretch myself too!

  2. I wonder if I’m in that same anthology or if I was suckered by a different publisher.

    1. I hate to hear you were suckered into it as well. All through high school the teachers really pushed us on what we wanted to be doing with our lives in 10 years. Writer was always on my list. I think I was so excited to get ‘published’ that I ignored the warning signs. This will be my 20 year anniversary coming up in July, and I suppose I do write, just not ‘published’ the correct way. 🙂

%d bloggers like this: