I enjoy getting rejections of my writing and do lots (like now which inspires this bluster). Well, maybe not enjoy it, but I feel satisfied. It’s all part of my grand scheme is how I see it, and it doesn’t take long to bounce back. On the contrary, it becomes time here to get my head around what I’m doing.
Other than the actual writing. In the three almost years since seriously dedicating myself to this craft and its trappings, I’ve done well enough, appearing regularly in small independent journals, anthologies and e-zines (is that still a word?). A chapbook by a small fry who’s now defunct, which happens. And rejected by the best of them! Recently I attended the Virginia Festival of the Book and heard firsthand from some in the “establishment” literary community, those I affectionately call “the MFA and those who love them crowd”, on the current state of publishing. Collectively they didn’t seem to wanna get, or acknowledge, or legitimize, the full scope of what’s happening in the indie world. And I’m talking the very indie world, where people read for free- the “no pay market”.
That oughta make sense though, right?
I mean with their pedigree. I wouldn’t expect a person who’s gone a more conventional route (in more ways than one) to understand. And of course I’d never imply that anyone hasn’t worked for what they got. I know it’s work. But are you a “writer” if you don’t get paid? I can’t help be a writer the way I roll but then again, I’m known for opinions that go against the grain. A debate about who or what is a writer is banal, isn’t it? Anyway, the jokes cracked by the festival panel and the laughter and the nodding of heads in the audience about “some blogger from Cleveland” and how “everyone thinks they’re a writer” and “now you can be an editor”, etc show a disconnect and unawareness of the proliferation of writing with integrity in many good places. Personally, I haven’t bought a $28.00 hard cover book from a big publishing house for years (sorry). My time’s spent reading blogs of interest and independent journals and mags. And there’s lots. When I feel the need for an actual book, I get it from the library (sorry). That’s practical and yes I love my library! I’m glad to say my time spent in the virtual space has given me a handful of favorite writers that you’ve never heard of, that I enjoy and am vested in. And many I’ll never read again.
It’s embarrassing! (All About Anika: This blog is where I daily will reveal my deepest feelings and thoughts and random stream-of-consciousness for the world and yes universe).
Not that you asked.
The editor of one such small press who’s published a handful of my stories says, “I’ve run across very disparaging comments about non-paying markets, in the line of “Why don’t you get your worthless shit off the internet and stop wasting people’s time?” I remind myself that the press has some fabulous writers, and that we’ve been around for nearly 12 years now … but still, no one wants to be told their baby is ugly.”
So yeh, I’m almost three years in and here we are. I can’t help but feel not too shabby (not that you asked), though I haven’t yammered about my writing trajectory lately nor come to you with any crisis of conscience. Aren’t you lucky? I’ve done that as good as clockwork in the past and quite critically too, but what’s new to say? Other than my biggest challenge now is deciding where it’s best to spend my time. But my persistent notion that I’m an outsider, hardscrabble, and just plain independent makes me wonder- am I writing my own piece of fiction here, casting myself as the junk yard dog?
It’s a hard life for an iconoclast.
I glean so much. And have to remind myself that sometimes in life “they’re just not that into you.”