Welcome from Amy D. Unsworth

Language, Literature, Learning & Life.

Patience & Publishing


Yes, I've heard this a zillion times. It's hard though. People all around are publishing, in the good journals, chapbooks, even books. I am wishy-washy on the submissions game. I have times when I send out a lot of work (oh, say last fall when I spent hours creating a submissions system and sent out quite a few packets) and then other times when I have just 3 or 4 packets out.

I noticed Steve Mueske mentioned his "lotto tickets still out" and that's just it. Sending out a manuscript really does feel like playing the lotto. I played this fall for the first time and I still have a few "still out" but I haven't put as many submissions packets in the mail. I think I would feel better about it if I had sent out more submissions to quality journals & skipped the manuscript. But it seemed like a good idea at the time. I hope the small presses do appreciate the donations.

Does it matter? Should I be more motivated to submit? When I'm in the mood where I hear time's winged chariot, I get annoyed because I haven't been submitting. But for the last few months I haven't felt motivated to get the work out. Writing alone is enough. There will be time, later.



Dick Jones said...

Precisely my feeling...

Glenn Ingersoll said...

Hey Amy! Nice to see you bloggin'!

The whole marketing thing takes a separate energy. Some people seem to have it. Then there are those of us who have it every other year for 10 days.

I get the bang out of the writing. Yes, I love to see a piece published, but the process of getting it there drains me. The writing doesn't drain me. It gives me juice. Not, it seems, for marketing, but juice nonetheless.

David Vincenti said...

I think I've seen a trend in our communities to deemphasize publishing and devote that energy to performing. Do you think that the desire to be in print and the desire to be on stage are fundamentally the same? Both are validations of the writing, but they seem to be to be serving different parts of the ego. But I do believe what I think I remember Mark Doty saying (paraphrased here): Sure, you write for yourself. But you wouldn't spend the time to make the language perfect if you didn't hope someone would read it. Which, of course, only happens if you market the work somehow.

Amy Unsworth said...

Hello all, and thanks for stopping by.

Thanks for all the marketing you're doing for "Hogtown Creek" I was going to mention it on your blog but alas! you have commenting turned off.
"Ten days every other year" for the gusto for submitting seems about right!

Perhaps; both are satisfying in different ways. I'm not going to lie to you and say that I'm not concerned about publishing. I plan on doing my best to get my work in front of editors.(I've pushed "pause" not "stop.")

I think what has happened is that I am in an environment for the first time where I have readers around me to give me feedback. Not very many mind you, but enough that I have a better sense of if the poems are working or not. I'm also drop-dead busy with critical work & teaching so there's less time for the paperwork.

I have also felt recently that I really need to do more research on what different journals are looking for so that I am not wasting my stamp and the editor's time.

And of course Doty's right, I think all poets are looking for the elusive audience.