Building the Collection

Just the other day, I got an e-mail from one of the journals that I sent poems to for publication. They told me they are going to publish my work (both poems) and I’m overjoyed about it. These poems are two of my strongest Instagram poems but they have been edited and refined. I fixed the line cutting and reviewed some of the wordings and then added a few more lines on the one piece because it needed to be fleshed out just a little bit more.

I really have enough poems for two more poetry collections but I don’t want to release them just like that. Remnants is still out in the market and has been there since July and it should have time to build its readership first. I’m working on that slowly. I’m not much of a marketer and I seem to be having a hard time getting people to read it or review it in the online retailers. I’m getting there. Hopefully, it will just hit its stride at some point.

But to just arbitrarily release another collection of poems just because I have enough poems seems like a futile exercise in frustration. I need to be smarter about this. And this whole submission to journals is giving me an idea. I’m going to build this collection really, really slowly. Just get the pieces published wherever and slowly get the thumbs up from the establishment per poem and then compile and curate them later on for the collection.

I could join competitions but I’m not much a believer in competitions for poetry. It’s too subjective and it really all depends on the aesthetics of the judges and with so many different styles, it just seems unfair to pit poet against poet and say “this collection is better than that” when one could be a romantic poet and the other could be a beat poet and the best of its style/genre but the judges all lean a certain way.

I think I lean towards more the romantic style with lofty concepts and ideas and a good grasp of organic unity but I’m not particular about word choices and the smallest elements which some poets are really good at.

But this seems like a good place to build the next collection. Just send it out and get it read and work on the existing ones first while writing new ones in its stead and just see where it all goes.

Anyway, I’m still building my fiction collection. After the No Filter run, I promised my mother I was going to the province, back to Bacolod, for a month just to be with her and my Dad so they can fatten me up and that I should take a rest. I plan to do a lot of writing there. Away from the distractions.

Hopefully, the fiction collection would be ready by next year. It’s a lot of time for Remnants to have just settled and maybe, even the fiction collection does well, it will help Remnants find a larger readership. It can happen.

So, I’m building these collections one piece at a time. I’ll get there. One day, I’ll be able to live off just on my books. Hopefully, that day will arrive soon. I really just want to live on the work I get to do creatively. Corporate work is great but after twenty years, I’m tired. It’s time for me to write my stories, in my voice.

It’s what I wanted since I was fourteen. It’s time to give that fourteen year old version of me what he’s always wanted.

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