Friday, December 4, 2009

Pride and the Fall



Yesterday, while sending out announcements about the new issue of Blackbird, I was overcome by a spate of self-doubt about the line between promoting my work and bragging. The digital world is amazing for sharing news quickly, but I am unsure of how much is too much. A kind and good friend pointed out the fact that if I didn't make such announcements, very few people would know where to find my work. She asked something along the lines of this: How is getting the word out about a new poem bragging?

Here is my reply:
Bragging? Remember, I'm a puritan/protestant/Midwestern closed-mouth. We keep these things to ourselves, darn it, lest we alert the universe to our success and the universe sends a tornado, a drought, or a plague of locusts to wipe us out!

So, I go about my life always watchful for the dreaded "fall."

Today, little danger of too-much pride, since I'm about to tackle the tower of final papers waiting in the corner for their grades.

4 comments:

Quintilian B. Nasty said...

Man, you're on to something, Sandy. You're right about this whole "puritan/protestant/Midwestern closed-mouth" mentality and how "[w]e keep these things to ourselves, darn it, lest we alert the universe to our success and the universe sends a tornado, a drought, or a plague of locusts to wipe us out!"

I grapple with the same feelings when i get something published.

Michael Martone's collection of essays, The Flatness and Other Landscapes, explores that Midwestern frame of vision with some depth and pluck. I highly recommend it.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Hey there, Q. Glad to know it isn't just me. I love Martone's work, too. Please let me know when you get an acceptance so I can help pry open the jaws of celebration.

Quintilian B. Nasty said...

Oh, it might be a while. Once my basic writing textbook gets written and then published (it's a process), I may inform people of my success and then worry about locusts.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Q. Good luck with the textbook! I'll be watching for news of a plague.