It's easy to get caught up in the things that don't matter. I've been submitting my poetry to literary journals for publications and piling up rejection letters. It's disheartening to say the least.
Writing is a strange dance of hope and doubt. Every poem I write is filled with hope. I craft each one with love. Agonise over the line breaks and the exact meaning of the words. Strive to find synonyms to express what I am trying to communicate. Each time I send a new poem to a journal (or dust off an old one) I am quietly hopeful that this time, it will be good enough to be published.
When each rejection letter arrives I have to remind myself that it is the poem being rejected and not me. Which is hard when I have poured so much of myself into my poetry and it keeps getting rejected.
When the most recent rejection letter arrived I was filled with doubt. I doubted I could ever write a poem as good as the ones I read in the journals. As good as the ones written by my literary heroes. I doubted I had the ability to craft a poem that could leap and twirl across the page. I doubted I would ever be able to write the kind of poems I want to write. There's a shift that happens in my favourite poems and I don't know how to execute it. It's like a magic trick I can't figure out, all I hear is the magician's patter and I'm blind to the sleight of hand.
All of this was swirling around in my head. And then I jumped on my bike and rode here with my daughters. And suddenly, being accepted into a literary journal didn't matter so much anymore. Not when there is this.