Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Day 10: Fail Early


I now have a full-time job working as an Admin/Marketing/HR/Web Designer/Teacher.  Small businesses work out that way where someone has to wear multiple hats in order to get work done.  My company sent me to a three hour marketing class.

So I go, I take good business notes, and then the teacher said this:

"Fail Early"

Why?  It's not the end of the world if you fail early since you have time to readjust.  What he didn't state was, "it's harder to fail later, what time do you have?"

I cringe when I hear people tell me that they have a story to tell, but they need this to write the story, or the world is against them so that is why the story is not going to work.

Hey, maybe it'll work out for them later in life, but that doesn't account for failing.  This blog is titled "retailmfailure" because, simply, I intend to fail -- a lot.  Not because I'm not trying to succeed, but I can't control those who says my work is worthwhile or not -- and people have different tastes.

So back on topic with process.  It's 9:00 at night, and I plan to transcribe another poem.  I have transcribed poems which I put into the tier 3 category after trying so hard to make it work.  But it won't work.  It's a failure in that angle for now -- time to try my luck again.


Monday, May 26, 2014

Day 9: When is The Best Time to Relive your Likable Failures?

So this is my actual first post on this blog about my missteps.  I'm writing here because I might as well.  There's more space here than Facebook.  So I won't be those long FB posts.

Well, here goes:


I've never thought of myself as a good writer.  I always have grammar, and spelling errors whenever I write.  I also never have any patience for the creation process.  First draft in 15 minutes or less.  I'm not really ambitious or social -- which are big detriments to a writer.

However, my strength, I feel, has been my work ethic.  I know how to organize, schedule, review, and retool.


On the left is a spreadsheet of all my poems that I made the last two days.  All of them are separated by tier 1, tier 2, and tier 3.  As stated in an earlier post:


  1. Tier 1 - Published or Recognized poems (32 Poems)
  2. Tier 2 - Not Published or recognized poems, but poems that made me feel something (106)
  3. Tier 3 - Not Published or recognized poems, I feel these poems have problems in which would take too much time one way or the other. (177)


I went through all my tier 3 poems yesterday and some of today -- all 177 of them.  Some I knew what the problems were -- others were on the fence, but ultimately I made a choice.  Here are some of the reasons why I rejected these poems.


  • Too sentimental -- The emotion in the poem is not earned.
  • Too cheeky -- too much play in the poem to the point of pointlessness.
  • Too overworked -- the most common one, the lines are overwrought, the images are forced, and the allusions are superficial.
  • Too pretentious -- the poems has a high opinion that it can't back up.
  • Too shallow -- pot shots on certain groups, people, ideas, and things just for the sake of hitting something.
  • Nothing stands out -- just a bunch of words on the page -- no real technique or language there that makes me want to come back.
  • Better off as a short story -- the narrative takes over the poem.  If narrative takes over any poem, why not make it into a short story.
I don't believe every piece I make is my baby.  My work is my work. What I send is what I send.  When I receive a rejection, the poem is rejected.  If I receive an acceptance, the poem is accepted, not me.

The reasons behind these actions are out of my control.  My work ethic is just to work to see what happens with no promise of success, and more importantly, failure.




Friday, May 23, 2014

Day 6: 97 % Failure Rate

This should be the actual Day 5.

I renewed my Duotrope subscription. I've been rejected 562 times in the past 12 months. That is all.

The green tomato says it's work time. Back to work.



Thursday, May 22, 2014

Day 5: OCR and other Woes

Welp. This is what OCR thinks of my writing. But at least my Avast is updated.



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Day 4: Day Off Work -- Might as well Work

Day off today. Work or not work. Work. Sorted one monstrosity today (8-9 hours)
Tier 1 - Poems that have been published or recognized. Doesn't mean any poem is collection worthy.
Tier 2 - Poems not published but I would like to work on -- poems made me feel something.
Tier 3 - Poems to come back to someday, but not right now, felt nothing or disliked the poems.

I don't know how much is in each folder(s). I keep asking myself why I post this information. This is really egotistical of me, but I hope someone sees this and says "I can do better than him!" and does.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Day 3: Monstrosities

So this is what I posted later:

Sorting through these monstrosities: 311 poems printed out, plus first original mss which is around 50 pages, and unknown amount of filled legal pads I still have to type out. There's overlap with the 39 poems in my mss, so around 400 poems or so to agonize over?

Self-imposed due date to get a collection together: 10-1-2014 (135 days)
Level of self-inflicted harm I want to do to myself for doing this: plucking out all my hair one strand at a time.




Monday, May 19, 2014

Day 2: The Number of Poems Equals out to. . .

So I deleted this post because I thought is was too pissy, well might as well post i here since no one is going to read it:

"Went through all of Duotrope, then New Pages, then Duotrope again. Set a budget and suggested time frame to create and/or retool a poetry mss. The plan is set. 

My head in my hands. 400+ poems to sort through (311 typed, 100 written). 31 published poems to debate internally. Would this poem be inclusive or intrusive? 60 +/- 10 pages for optimal poetry mss. 

To the person who asked about process (you know who you are), the first step is stubbing your toe in the dark while trying to find the bathroom to relieve constipation; meanwhile, the fan whirring above just disperses the lack of smell."




Sunday, May 18, 2014

Day 1: Let's Start an Impossible Mission

So I decided to transfer what I put on Facebook on blogger so I won't inundate my Facebook with annoying messages about myself.  So cut and paste time:

My plan this summer is to compile a collection of poetry and then decide whether to set it on fire or send it to contests for the 2014-2015 year. I'm pretty sure both are the same though.