I recently attended a workshop offered by the Denver Writing Project on submitting your work to literary journals. I enjoyed the discussion and appreciated the helpful handouts. One interesting thing we did was make a list of good and bad reasons for wanting to get published. Here it is — I added three more good reasons:
To help others
To be revolutionary or subversive
To be part of the “larger conversation”
To know that you are not alone and let others know they’re not alone
To give something of yourself — something of value — to the world
For the joy of seeing your work become the thing you love: a book
To get rich
For fame and universal love
To please someone else
Food for thought, yes?
The one gold nugget I took from the workshop:
It’s quite pointless to submit to the slush pile — the goal should be to bypass it. How? By seizing opportunities to meet editors and publishers (attending conferences, etc.), by participating in writing contests, and by submitting your work to journals and publishing houses that are just starting out.
I plan to continue to try to bypass the slush pile, but I also plan to continue to self-publish online. Life is too short to do otherwise. I wish to create art and share it with the world; to be part of the “larger conversation;” to connect with like-minded/like-hearted human beings. I’ll just keep doing it any way I can. It’s about doing what I love, so it’s all good.
“Love the writing, love the writing, love the writing… the rest will follow.” Jane Yolen