I did it. I broke one of my own rules. Time and again, I have preached about following the guidelines when looking for a place to send a story, poem, or article. It only makes sense to do the things the editor has asked for. If you don't, she'll toss the submission faster than a good running back moves down a football field.
Last night, I checked out a few possible places to send an essay, and while doing so, I found one that takes poetry. My poem about visiting Monet's garden in Giverny, France seemed a good fit in all but one way. They specified that shorter poems are more likely to be accepted due to space constraints in their publication. A suggestion of 18 lines came next.
My poem was considerably longer, but it definitely fit the other specifications. So, what to do? I mulled it over for a full 30 seconds and decided I had nothing to lose by sending it. If the editor looked at subject matter and appeal first, maybe it would pass. And if it didn't, I'd move on to another market.
I filled out the submission form, and clicked Submit, but as soon as I did, I started to feel guilty about breaking my own rule. That was last night, but this morning, there seems to be no sign of guilt. What I did hurt no one, unless perhaps myself.
Rules are good to have, but they can be bent once in awhile.