Happy Friday to all readers,writers, authors and critics! I know you’re out there and gosh, where would creatives be if we didn’t have you to make us better, instead of bitter, when it comes to honing our craft?
Today, guest author and poet Joy Dekok, will share insights on the ins and outs of writing poetry, including how poets feel about sending their gems out into a critical/opinionated world. Plus, Joy shares a poem with us!
We write poetry and hide it – because it’s too personal or too political or too religious and we just don’t talk about those things. Which is peculiar since I was raised in the sixties and seventies and everyone, including the adults in my life, were talking about everything that was once taboo. And today, almost anything is acceptable.
Maybe with the exception of our poetry. The words that form in our souls.
Sometimes we hide the poetry so deep we forget it’s there – in our souls longing for release. Others of us might say we like to read poetry, or we might whisper to someone that we even write a little bit of it, but call ourselves poets? No way. And share it? Never. Publish it? Are you kidding me? We feel an anger driven fear when anyone mentions it certain they just do not get it.
But I do.
Sharing our poetry in pubic is like holding out our heart in one hand and our soul in the other. To the world. Where we might be rejected, ridiculed, or reviled.
I get that.
In the cacophony of this world, so full of war, hate, and chaos, what if your words have the power to help or heal even one heart? What if your words not only matter, what if they were given to you to make a difference?
Idealistic? Yes. Because sometimes people need us to reach beyond the practical to the passionate. That’s what poets do. It’s part of our calling.
Like many poets, I struggle with sharing my poetry. So much so, that I did what we do – I wrote a poem about it. As I wrote it I was sure I wouldn’t share it. Then I did. Because even though is long and different, it matters. So do yours.
I wish I could but I just can’t.
Or maybe it’s more like I just shant!
Publish my poetry – are you kidding me?
Putting it out there for others to read?
Give the world a glimpse into my heart?
Let them criticize my soul’s art?
Besides, nobody’s publishing poetry these days
It’s an endless, relentless rejection maze.
Why should I put myself out there?
Do you really think anyone else will care?
What would my words look like on the printed page,
My faith, my dreams and even my rage?
Although I live and walk in the Light,
My poems reveal my heart’s darkest nights.
Would anyone read something written by me?
I think that I’ll just let it be.
Unpublished is the way to go,
I’ll avoid this public talent show.
Tucked in a file drawer where no one can see
Is the best place my poem can be.
Help someone else I heard you say,
So why don’t you blaze the way?
You burned up your words a long time ago,
And left a pile of ashes and a bit of after-glow.
Oh – you’ve written more since then?
Have you shared them? Where and When?
This sounds so easy for you.
So what do you think I should do?
It’s not up to you to decide?
Then I think I prefer to stay and hide.
Do you believe my poems really matter?
Unkindness might cause my heart to shatter.
I’m not sure that I can take the chance,
My words might sing but can they dance?
I know I won’t know until I try,
But the effort might cause the words to die.
Again I hear you say the choice is mine,
And that either way I’ll be just fine.
You want me to listen to my inner voice –
I’m a poet Joy – I have no other choice.
That voice speaks to me day and night,
Delivering words I’m compelled to write.
But publish them might be too much,
I might not even have the real touch.
I’m not sure I can afford the cost –
I’m not ready to let my words get tossed,
You know the ways of publication,
I won’t be able to stand the humiliation,
I know rejection waits for me
I cannot do that – don’t you see?
These words are the breath of my soul,
Publishing has never been the goal.
And yet I have to agree with you –
I want to write and be read too.
How will I balance these opposing thoughts?
And what will be the final cost?
I feel a transition moving in,
And don’t know exactly how to begin.
Are you ever so scared your soul seems to shake?
This is a risk I’m not sure I can take. . .
The risk I mean is the one where
I hide my poems and refuse to share.
Where I keep the words in a hidden place
and refuse to give them a public space.
There’s one more thing I have to know
Before I release my words for show. . .
Will you share this poem with anyone?
Writing like you’re me must have been fun.
Sharing your poetry is setting beauty free to invade the hearts and minds of those who read it. What will you do with yours?
Joy started writing as a little girl. She carries a large purse so she can take her journal and an assortment of pens with her in case a moment to jot comes along.
Joy and her husband live on thirty-five acres of woods and field in Minnesota between Rochester and Pine Island. She’s been married to Jon for thirty-plus years. They enjoy their many nieces and nephews. Their dogs, Sophie and Tucker, keep them company when they explore the land riding their John Deere Gator or while watching the many birds that visit their feeders. Joy enjoys time with her family, holding hands with her husband, lunch with friends, hot coffee, reading, bird watching, personal Bible study, and amateur photography.
She has nine books in print and including her first general audience (suspense) novel (the first in The Northern Lights Series) featuring main character, Olivia Morgan.
Faith is a vital part of Joy’s life. When she was sixteen, Joy asked God to find her and He did. Although most of her books fit the Christian market, Between the Lies is where Joy proves she is a Christian who writes rather than a Christian writer.
What a treat:) Did you guys enjoy this post and extra something for poetry lovers? Please share your thoughts.
8 thoughts on “A Poet on Publishing by Joy Dekok”
Joy, I love this piece, and this line: “Do you believe my poems really matter?
Unkindness might cause my heart to shatter” was written for me. NO-the entire poem was written for me! I sit on a memoir, finished for several years, so much easier to weed through “one more time” and move commas and periods around . . .All for the reasons you so eloquently state! Writing memoir is like writing poetry I suppose, exposing truth. Thank you so much for this!
Thank you, Mandy! And I agree – memoir writing is like writing poetry. And yours matters – a great deal!
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Welcome Mandy. I agree with your assessment of Joy’s poem.It speaks to me as well. I’m writing more poetry these days as an avoidance of sorts, because I haven’t brought myself back to working on my memoir in progress. I encourage you to get your memoir out there once and for all. Your truths inspires another.
Thank you, Clara! I am in the process right now of submitting it–hoping I’ll be mentally prepared for rejection. Fear is what keeps us from moving forward–but it’s time . . . poetry is something I plan to spend some time learning more about.
And Mandy – if the rejection comes – which it might not. There are other ways to share your story – a blog, or even self publishing. The most important thing isn’t how it gets out there, but that it does! I congratulate and applaud you for moving ahead.
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Thank you, Joy. I agree. Since I started blogging, I feel the story is getting out there, so if the book gets published that’ll just be an additional plus.
Thank you for sharing this post, Clara! It’s a honor!
No, Joy, thank you! All creatives in whatever genre can relate to your insights on publishing and the fear of sending our babies (work) out into a critical world at large!