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To Poet or Not to Poet

Updated: Dec 20, 2021

That was a crappy title, I know. It really didn't get my point across, it sounds awful, its a bad play off the Hamlet quote. But I have no better title to replace it with and so this is the title I am to use.

"To poet or not to poet" that is the question. (excuse the absolutely horrific grammar)

A few days ago I got another letter from another poetry place. I'll spare you the boring details that these companies seem to not be able to avoid putting into their letters (seriously, they wanted to congratulate me for being entered into the competition) but in short, they wanted to publish my poem. My friend, who happened to be with me at the time, turned and congratulated me, saying something along the lines of "that's so exciting!"

It really was exciting... the first time I got that letter. And while it is an extreme honor to get letters like this now and it makes me so proud of my work, I don't get that same rush I did the first time I got an email from the Poetry Institute of Canada telling me I'd, well I'd kind of stupidly entered my poem into a Canadian poetry contest, but they wanted to publish my poem anyway.

I don't get that rush of excitement anymore. But there is one thing that comes with each of those letters, with each email from poetry contests telling me they liked my poetry and each email from agents telling me my book is simply not right for them. It makes me ask the question. Is novel writing really the way to go or should I be focusing on my poetry?

It has been a dream of mine since I was twelve to publish a novel. That dream has been a work in progress for many years as I have gone from idea to idea trashing the ones I don't like and trying to discover what type of writing, what type of story will work for me. And finally, in the last few years, the Once Upon a Tome Series has taken shape in my head, blossoming into an idea that I've fallen in love with and have come to believe others might just fall in love with as well.

But as my poetry is beginning to soar well above my novel, it makes me wonder if maybe those "others" who will enjoy it might just be my family and friends. As I work to decide what type of writing is best for me, I have to come to terms with the fact that to succeed in a world where everyone can write and put in that effort, my writing has to stand out and be something people and agents will want to read.

I am excited to take the next step in discovering what writing, and how much writing my life might hold for me. I wonder... will you take that journey with me?

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