Last night I went to my writers' group, and after a few of us went out for coffee. I shared with them that I had enough poems for a second manuscript, yet I haven't had the time or inclination to shape it into any working order. Admittedly, I have a lot going on right now, but I realized that I really need to get over my doubts and move forward.
So when I came home, I took out my pages and started to put them in order. Here are a few things I've noticed.
- There are three natural sections: external-facing, third-person poetry; family poems; and darker poems. I don't have the book in front of me, but the divisions made me think of Sharon Olds' The Gold Cell. Not sure yet if this is a good thing.
- I have 53 pieces, but I'll probably remove at least five to six of them because they don't seem to fit, or are too similar to others in the collection.
- At some point, I wanted to write a special section on a particular theme, such as a grouping of sonnets or something. But after reading, I think the poems tie in well together as is.
- No form poems—I feel like I should have at least one in there.
- Most are in need of heavy revision since I tend to push it off until the last possible moment.
- My poems tend to look the same on the page, short and dense. So I want to expand some and let them breathe a little.
- No title yet. Uncoupling comes to mind … maybe not.
I'd like to have Manuscript 1.0 ready but June 28—my own self-imposed goal, which is tied into a grant applications.
Feels good to take that first step.