Sunday, 1 June 2014

So I've catalogued...now I've analyised my collection

Project complete - Files full of poems
I've finally finished sorting all my poetry and filed it all away. I now have two A4 files with a mixture of published and unpublished poems. I have thought about putting all the published ones in a separate file but right now I can't face any more!

This was a very enlightening exercise and several things came to light. I devised a crude analysis sheet and spent the evening finding the answers. Here are some things I found:


  • The first poem I had published was in 1996, however when I was much younger I had a poem published in True Romances magazine (I used love those - strange how your taste changes as you grow older!). Somewhere I have the cutting.
  • I have had approximately fifty-seven poems published. If that sounds a lot I have to admit that in the first few years of publication it was through a magazine I would not use now and the anthologies were vanity type but I knew no different then. The quality of my poetry then was not great but they still published them! Broken down more I'd say that at a guess the first twenty-six poems published fell into that category!
  • I have had ten competition wins, three firsts, five second and two third prizes, plus a highly commended. Of these I am most proud of the latest one - The New Writer Prose & Poetry Awards which was a second prize. Most of my wins were through minor small press competitions but none the less I was excited about them and they are confidence builders and we all have to start somewhere.
  • I've appeared in eleven anthologies, but several of those were the vanity type, but not the more recent ones. 
  • I've had six poems translated, most of which have been published previously.
  • I have been most frequently published in
    Areopagus, a Christian writer's magazine. It is a small press magazine in which I am regularly published and is a niche market. I've subscribed for many years and the Christian market gave me my first breaks.
  • The most used letter to start a title in my poetry is T (in a big way!)
  • The least letter used to start a title in my poetry is evenly spread - one each for q, u, y and z (that's got you wondering!)


What stood out most as I was going through everything was how much my writing has changed and improved, which is good to know! I look at the early stuff and am almost embarrassed. Over all these years I've often wondered whether I was wasting my time and now I know that I should keep going. It's certainly been a long haul and I still have dreams and goals. Maybe I will never realised them fully but I will keep on trying and hopefully my writing will also keep on improving.

Looking through my poems I came across quite a few, what I call 'nice poems'. They will never win me prizes but I'm not sure I want to take them apart either as I like them as they are. I also found lots of poems in the 'almost ready' stage and lots of first drafts. Seeing them on paper rather than in a compute file where I skip over them, I realise that there is lots of material to work with. This morning I was flicking through a few and began editing a couple.

I am so glad to have finally done this exercise for many reasons but mainly to see how far I have come...slowly but surely.

Now on to the next project......


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