Sunday, March 22, 2015

eight of nine

Since the post at the end of January I have received notification from all of ONE of the NINE magazines to which I sent work. That's just shy of eight weeks so far for eight of them. Huh. Based on the old days when I was sending work out regularly I expected to have heard from, oh, three or even five by now.

The single response was the sad but popular "these don't meet our needs."

One should not really count the days like this. The goal of the professional is to keep work circulating, to put poems out there without fretting over the fate of any particular batch. You hear when you hear, or you make up a cut-off date and figure any batch that's been out past that date is effectively rejected and you move on.

So I'm not a professional? Yeah, no.

Sending out work for me is emotionally fraught and it's not easy to face that kind of inner turmoil. The world is the world, of course, and goes on about its business without taking an individual's feelings into account. No editor should be worrying about my feelings; they should be doing what they do as best they can, putting in an interesting order work they think of value.

I won't make any money out of this. That's not what's going to happen, not even if I suddenly start getting a zillion acceptances. And the people who make magazines are barely getting by so they can't afford to pay contributors anything, except rarely. It's not about the money.

What is it about? Being part of the conversation? If current literature is a conversation, both with readers and with other writers, then, yes, I want my voice a thread in the weave. I read my contemporaries and it seems to me my work is not out of place. Even if it were, or when it is, I would still want to be noticed. That's ego, isn't it? Yes. But if you think what you say is worthless, you hold your tongue.