I used to only post poems to this site that I felt were somewhat polished. While this meant that I was usually quite proud of what I posted, it kept my update frequency fairly low. In the meantime, I have been attending some open mic poetry events, mainly the one at Innisfree Poetry Bookstore and Cafe here in Boulder. I often read poems aloud that may not be quite finished, because the process of reading them seems to help me improve them.
Eventually I realized, “Why do I not post these poems to my blog?” If I can share them with a room full of strangers at an open mic, there is really no reason why I should not share them with my readers. I have made up my mind to post some of these less finished works more regularly. Sometimes I will mention the current status of the work, like I did with the last poem I posted, which is only a second draft. There will also be times I post an unfinished work as if it were finished, just to see how it fares. As always, I appreciate constructive comments of all sorts, both praises and criticisms. Please do not hesitate to leave a comment if there is anything you want to ask or mention.
It is slowly sinking in for me that a creative work is never really finished. There can come a point where an author or artist says it is finished, but in a sense that just means she is satisfied with the work she has put in up to that point, and she is ready to share it with the world. She may still return to it at a later point and update it, or even remake it altogether. Also, I am starting to understand that my efforts at revision are not always as helpful as I imagine they are. There have been plenty of times when I updated a draft that received a positive response, only to have the praise for the polished product be more muted. Sharing my work in more intermediate stages will hopefully help me to learn how to connect with my audience better by understanding what works in other heads and not just my own.
Thanks for reading! If you have a story about your own creative process and when you do or do not share your work with others, I would love to hear about it.