Being retired, I place a good deal of time and effort into submitting my poems out into the world to get them published. In 2016 8.42% of my poems written in 2016 got published. This is a smidgen better than 1 poem in 12 that I write. I find myself wondering how this compares to other poets.
The process I use to write is write a large number of poems, edit, give them voice to a friend or at an open mic, edit again and submit. I do not pour over the poems worried about each comma or whether I should use “have not” instead “haven’t” and so on. I expect that those of you who spend a lot of time crafting each poem get a larger percentage of the total poems you write published.
I realize that as poets you probably do not care for statistics and do not calculate such things as publication percentages. I developed into a stat-boy from my days of playing baseball and following baseball and reading the Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. (Go Cubbies!!! I did expect the universe to come to an end the day they won the world series.) It might be interesting to know on which day of the week that I write a poem has the greatest number of successes in getting published. I would be amused to learn if poems I wrote on Thursday had a 3x better chance of getting published or poems I wrote on days I ate Tuna Salad had a 50% chance of getting published, but determined that level of stat keeping is not worth the effort.
My percentage of published poems out of the total written may go up slightly because there are still some 2016 submissions out there awaiting editor responses.
Something I noticed about my submitting habit over my 24 years writing and submitting is that poems I write in December often do not get submitted even once. This is so because at the beginning of each calendar year I start a new binder for storing poems and the old binder receives good intentions, but little actual attention for submitting as it sits on a shelf.
Have a glorious Saturday.