Last night I finished the latest round of revision to my manuscript.

I took out about half the poems from the initial version and replaced them with what I believe to be stronger, more inventive poems.

A couple weeks ago, someone told me that I was writing poems that were derivative of another poet. (I believe my response was to shout back that the poet in question was all gimmick.) It caused a pretty significant crisis of confidence for me, and on Sunday night I had a little meltdown while trying to put together this latest version of the manuscript. I stared at my poems and decided, in that instant, that they were terrible and I would never get anywhere. I quit for the night about halfway through the layout process.

Last night, I decided to try again after kickboxing. I finished the layout and I think it’s cleaner, more compelling than the previous version. I pulled two poems that didn’t seem to fit the narrative of the book. I believe this version will do better than the last (which got a solid round of rejections, though one very nice note from CavanKerry Press).

I believe my poems are good poems. I believe that, despite what various internet commenters have said, they are not boring. And I believe that, despite what I was told a couple weeks ago, they are not derivative.

I am smart and I can do this.

Also, last night I learned sprawls in kickboxing, which means I can kick your ass standing up and lying down.