Yesterday, delving in the depths of my rucksack, I found a piece of paper with a poem on. With some horror I realised it was the final, final version of the poem I had sent in to the competition the day before. That meant that the poem I had in fact submitted was still an earlier draft. Damn, now my chances of being spotted by an eagle-eyed literary agent really were blown out the water.
So, how come I didn’t notice that I wasn’t looking at the right version of the poem as I typed it out in the format the competition needed?
I had drafted, revised, titivated and polished the poem during a 5 hour journey up and down the country to visit my Dad (hello Dad!). I got off the train with a stiff back from poring over my notebook, and a sense of satisfaction that the poem was as good as I could make it.
When I pulled the sheaf of drafts out of my bag I simply didn’t notice that the most up-to-date version of the poem in my hands wasn’t the final one. I read it through, thought “yes, this is good enough” and pressed send.
Having found the final version buried at the bottom of my bag, I dashed to the computer to compare it with my competition entry. You know what? It had a few word changes, but they just made the poem slightly different, but not better.
It shows that ‘good enough’ can be good enough. And spending hours tweaking and re-tweaking a few words rather than enjoying the beauty of the Peak District passing by the train window isn’t always time well-spent.