Linda Studley

Can't Put the Pen Down…

First Steps for Editing (not a poem)

I’m only two poems away from the year’s worth of poetry and I’m not kidding myself that they are all worthy of a place in the final book. So now it’s time to start editing.

I saved all my poems in a single word document and I know that the formatting is going to be drudgery because I got into the habit of hitting ‘shift-enter’ to go to a new line so the spacing would be right on the wordpress blog. Unfortunately what that does is futz with the spacing in the word document. But that’s a fix for nearer the end – no sense in formatting a poem that ulimately won’t be in the book, right?

So the first step is to go through the document (all three hundred and Lord knows how many pages) and start cutting. I have no idea how long that will take, but I think I’ve figured out how to set the bar. A couple of times I’ve wandered back and taken a cursory look at some of the poems I’ve written over the last year and I find that on some I will read the poem and think “Hmm, that’s not half bad.” I’ll be keeping those. Most of the ones that elicit a groan will not make the final cut, guaranteed. The ones written as therapy will probably not find their way into the book either.

I want the poems in this book to be ones that can stand on their own – that have something unique to say.

I have considered calling the book “The Best of – A Poem a Day for a Year” but it felt like the emphasis was too much on the editing process (best of) and the sheer numbers (366 days in the leap year) which is not really what I want to highlight.  However, the influence of having to write something every morning can’t be completely overlooked – that imperative has helped me develop my writing skills.

I am leaning towards calling the book after one of the poems… “Falling Awake” because somehow it feels like that’s what I’ve been doing with this project – falling awake to the possibilities, the influences around me, the feelings and emotions within me. So maybe “Falling Awake  –  The Best of the ‘Poem a Day for a Year’ Project” would be appropriate.

As always I welcome any and all comments or suggestions (and if anyone knows a publisher who publishes poetry – let me know!)


The poet at the bottom of the well…

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3 thoughts on “First Steps for Editing (not a poem)

  1. Congrats on getting to the drudgery….;-)

    Wished I had known that about the formatting. I figured out, with just a little bit of digging and some very simple code, how to format my stuff using the text editor so that I can just copy and paste from word docs and it (mostly) comes out as I wanted it. If you’re interested for the future, let me know and I’ll forward the info to you.

    It has to be hard to look at all your children and pick favorites. I’ve done it with photos but not poems as such….I don’t envy you. I like the title as well.

    • So far, good feedback on the title. 🙂
      Actually I don’t really mind the formatting process – it is what it is – and it’s kind of like getting the ‘kids’ dressed up to have their pictures taken – you do the best you can but there’s no knowing how many mud puddles they’re going to have to pass on the way there! Although I guess I do think of my work as ‘my children’ the simple fact is the some kids are destined for college and some are destined for McDonalds (you want fries with that?). You love ’em just the same.
      Always interested in info pertaining to blogging, formatting etc… I’d love to see the info!

  2. Falling Awake.. I like that …

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