There’s one journal I want so bad. We all have that one. Maybe it’s the first journal we remember falling in love with, or a journal that has an editor we admire, or the cover art is gorgeous….but we all could probably think of The One.
I have five rejections from my journal. And after each rejection I have to wait another 6 months for the next reading period. I tell myself I will use those 6 months to write more. Revise more. Edit. Read. Learn the journal better.
And I sort of do this.
But mainly I wait. I wait for them to announce the theme of the next issue. The theme is always just one word such as Eccentric, Foreign, Fear. And I wait for that one word.
I have a love/hate relationship with Theme issues and especially with the way I write for a theme. Ideally the theme of the next issue is released and I have pre-existing poetry that fits the theme (or can be easily revised to fit). But more often than not I see the theme and instantly start scrambling to create poems that fit. Fury? Yeah? I can write about that. Fury. Like, wind? Sure give me a minute.
On the one hand, it’s really helpful to have something motivate me. The one-word-theme always pushes me to generate. It pushes me to think of that one word in different contexts and from different angles. By seeing that single word I immediately feel excited about creating new work that might reflect that one word.
The problem is I end up submitting work that is brand new; I submit work written just for that theme issue. It’s rough and often rushed. It’s no wonder I’m collecting rejections from them.
I think I’ve come up with a solution. I will create themes for myself. For each month. I want to come up with a calendar, where each month has a different one-word theme. I’m not entirely sure I will stay as motivated without the journal (The One) sitting on the other end waiting to see my work, but I hope it will at least get me thinking.