There are times when I declare I’m done with poetry, or more precisely with the “world of poetry.” In most cases those declarations are brought about by my intense insecurity and sense of inadequacy, especially when it comes to the quid pro quo of poetry boards. I stopped posting at Eratosphere not because I didn’t want to hear what others had to say, but because in a place where even the critiques are critiqued, I began to listen to the voices (in my own head, mind you) which kept telling me how stupid I was. There is, of course, no crime in having an incomplete education, but my brain is much like an old computer with a slow processor and a full memory. It takes a while for anything to get done :) Just the other day I was chatting with someone and couldn’t remember what nonce forms were, so I had to look it up. Again. Poet & Critic is a much smaller board and I’m not so hesitant to speak up there, though I always hold my breath after I post and wonder if I just “did it (made a fool of myself) again.” ~sigh~
So I’d pretty much decided to take a break from poetry, from the boards, and focus on other things. Then yesterday I get an email that a poem was accepted somewhere and it’s like a shot in the arm. Today I go in to the high school and have a conference with Matt’s English teacher and am asked to judge for their Poetry Out Loud competition in January. And I start to feel as if maybe I really am a poet. Silly, isn’t it? Of course I am.
A friend told me yesterday that confidence is something that is learned. She said one must “fake it until you make it” (or something like that). I’ve never been very good at faking it, but I guess if I’m going to make it as a poet I need to believe in myself and quit being so high-maintenance (ugh, HM people are such drains, why would I want to be one???). So here’s to faking it, quite the challenge for someone who doesn’t know how to be anything but real. Guess I should look at it more as a matter of taming my feelings. Time to pull out the whip and make them jump through hoops!