I'm submitting a poem to an anthology with my publisher, Ginninderra Press. I have no idea if this poem will fit the theme of the anthology or catch the selector's eye. In short, I don't know if it's going to meet someone else's standards, fit with their vision or be worthy of inclusion.
It took me a couple of months to write the poem. And a couple of attempts with different subjects and settings. As I was writing the final version I suffered many anxieties. I found myself wanting to ask for someone else's opinion about the poem. Writing on your own is both liberating and isolating. It's the beautiful tension of being an author. You can say whatever you like but you never know if your words will reach someone else's ears and resonate with them in the way you hope.
Instead of asking for an opinion I sat with the feeling of anxiety. I got curious about it and where it came from. And the longer I let that feeling be, the more I realised it was my intuition or sixth sense or subconscious or whatever you want to call it, telling me the poem wasn't finished. Not yet. It still needed my care and attention. There were still things I needed to fix or improve. Things to change and to add. Things to remove.
And once I had done all that and satisfied my inner knowing, I didn't need to ask anyone for their opinion because I knew the poem was finished. I had said all I wanted to say in the best way possible. I was content.
And yet I still didn't send the poem in. The deadline is looming fast and the poem is still sitting on my hard drive. Because this is the hardest part. Not all the work I put into the poem. Not the grappling with my demons. No. The hardest part is in the letting go. Saying goodbye to my beautiful poem and sending it on its way. Not knowing if it will be received with open arms or impersonally rejected.
This act of letting go is one of tremendous faith and trust. Trust that whatever the outcome may be, it is the perfect outcome and I have done my best.