1. Write poems.
  2. Write more poems.
  3. Revise poems.
  4. Rip up poems.
  5. Write more poems.
  6. Put poems together in a kind of arc. Maybe.
  7. Write more poems.
  8. Shuffle the order of the poems.
  9. Decide there isn’t an arc in a chapbook
  10. Pull poems out.
  11. Replace poems.
  12. Write more poems.
  13. Despair.
  14. Gather latest collection – send to one of the many chapbook contests.
  15. Breathlessly.
  16. Imagine your face when you hear your poems won the top prize and will be published.
  17. Look at your face for the first rejection.
  18. Second rejection.
  19. Up through the tenth rejection.
  20. As a friendly poet – “What’s going on? Why doesn’t anybody love my heart and soul?”
  21. Take advice “You need the right press. The right editor. Try these.”
  22. Examine the website of each recommended press.
  23. Chose the name you like the best, because you don’t understand how else to pick.
  24. Send chapbook in.
  25. Wait.
  26. Write poems.
  27. More Poems.
  28. Tell someone you’re a poet and don’t flinch when they ask if you’ve made any money.
  29. Stand in utter joy when that press, you picked for their joyful name, accepts your piece.
  30. Realize payment is author copies.
  31. Realize your words will be sold and read by strangers.
  32. Understand you made art.
  33. Write more poems.

Lesson – Never stop writing. Make art.

Tasslyn Magnusson received her MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults at Hamline University in Saint Paul, MN. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in Broad River Review, Room Magazine, The Mom Egg Review, The Raw Art Review: A Journal of Storm and Urge, and Red Weather Online. Her chapbook, “defining,” from dancing girl press is expected in Winter/Spring 2019. She lives in Prescott, WI with her husband and two kids and two dogs.