Sunday, August 30, 2009

Good News Email and Notes Regarding This Post

Justin Evans over at Hobble Creek Review accepted a poem for future publication. Yay! If you haven't heard of this online journal yet, it is devoted to poems with a sense of place. Lots and lots of lovely work there. Thanks, Justin.

As I started to write this post, I was haunted by something I read recently on another poet's blog. Honestly, I can't even remember which blog it was, but the poet said something along the lines of this: "I don't usually post about acceptances..." In a vague way, I felt some criticism against those who do post about their acceptances on their blogs. (This could have been completely in my own mind, by the way.) I got that unnervy feeling of "Oh no, am I not supposed to be doing this?" So, I've been mulling it over. Here's where I am today.

Yes, I do like to celebrate my accomplishments, especially because the publishing side of the writing life can be so deflating. However, I post about my acceptances for more than just self-congratulatory reasons.

As an author with a book published by a small, independent press, much of the PR/Marketing of my work falls on me. I knew this would be the case no matter where my book landed, as this is even becoming common with larger presses. Whether we like to acknowledge it or not, if we want an audience, we must engage in the business of poetry. So, I post my publications to contribute in some small way to the continued marketing of my work.

I also post for the sake of the journals themselves. Whenever anyone tries to tell me that poetry is dead, I gasp. Do you know how many journals there are out there? It's an immense number. Every month I discover presses and journals that were unknown to me until I read of another author's publications. I like the idea of helping spread the word about journals I admire, especially when many of them have shrinking PR budgets or no PR budgets at all.

I may yet change my mind about this topic, but for now, I'll continue to let you all in on any good news that comes my way.


Michelle said...

Hi, Sandy.

I'm glad you post announcements of your acceptances. If you only posted acceptances and did not also post about your frustrations, your setbacks, and your occasional rejections, it might come off as self-congratulatory. However, since you include the full picture, I appreciate being able to celebrate your victories because I know how hard you work at being a published poet. I enjoy seeing a glimpse of your writing life through your blog, especially because I lived with you when your writing life was in its infancy. Please don't stop!


Sandy Longhorn said...

Hey, Michelle. Thanks for the note and for the memories of my writing infancy. I remember that apartment well. S.

Josh said...

Thanks for commenting on my post, Sandy. Congratulations to you, too!

By the way, I really appreciated this posting, and while driving to campus this morning, I thought of dropping you an email or that I should just comment on your blog. And so I shall.

You're right about the "deflating" aspect of this writing life. And as someone without a first book, I do worry about these kind of "announcement" posts, about what they look like to some.

I guess it's all about attitude, wouldn't you say? For me, it's part self-promotion, in the little way it does, and mostly a kind participation in the community of writers. On my own blog, I'd say I promote other writers' work far more than my own. I want to know when folks are successful so I can cheer for them. It's reciprocal. It's encouraging. It's what we do.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Josh, glad the post resonated. I agree about the joys of promoting other folks' work as well. You've given something else to think about as far as posts go.