As a writer, the platform of a blog is a special space that provides what is often a lonely endeavour with a sense of community. We receive feedback fairly quickly once we’ve got our little space of the internet carved out, and cheer we get a post viewed over ten times. I have hollered out loud when another blogger has shared one of my pieces online.
I just deleted almost all of my poetry from the blog.
I am trying to get my work published. Not because I don’t think I’m getting the coverage or response I deserve – I know that often times publication in a mag doesn’t mean interaction with your readers. It’s not because I need to be told I’m a legitimate writer or that others value my work. Artists and writers are often not valued during the lifetime. So why this pursuit? What has changed?
I joined an informal writer’s group and I’m learning it’s not selfish to be seeking feedback, suggestions, editing help or serious critique of your reasons for writing on a particular topic. Part of the seeking publication process is exactly this – getting feedback, pursuing publications and challenging yourself to write not just for you any longer, but a specific need or niche. I believe I have something to say, now how do I say it so that it is intelligible to this or that publications readers?
It’s an exercise in writing. It’s an exercise in perseverance and self belief. It’s about fine tuning the tools of words, imagery, symbolism, alliteration, theme…etc. etc. I am beginning to learn that without truly focusing on the crafting of words, we are limited in our ability to use them, to play with them. Once you know how to use words, then you can play with them to make the most impact. It’s like jazz. You have to know the scales to know how to improvise with them.
Part of seeking publication is that blogging your pieces, even unfinished, can often remove the “first publication” rights that many places seek and straight out ask you not to submit it. On the other hand, some places do accept pieces that have appeared on blogs, but then stipulate that you must take it down before publication.
So what’s really happening, is I have faith in myself as a writer, and a poet (even though my handle says otherwise), and I am being proactive in removing everything that, with a few revisions, I hope to publish.