Contemplative Jenn is spinning the web of a new history
I hypothesize that getting published is a lot like finding a mate. Not that I’ve spent much time in the unenviable position of having to mount an active search. I have been committed for as long as I can remember, and when I have not I have been far too happy being alone to go and foul my solitude by looking for company. But I digress. The process of getting one’s work into print, like finding a mate, involves playing the field, looking for the match between one’s work (or one’s self) and the right “home” (or that key “other”). Unless one is very lucky, or in the fates’ abnormally good graces, one must meet and vet any number of potential homes, mates, suitors, and meet failure or mismatch or rejection face to face, in order to ultimately find that match. Through the process, the journey, one learns various lessons, hones one’s criteria, and gets better at the process. In love as in publishing, one may need endure a good deal of heartache and failure to ultimately find success.
A wise new 43T friend imparted some wisdom this morning about the value of sharing one’s work with the world. I don’t think he meant sharing in a professionally sanctioned sense, like journals or zines, as much as in a larger, personal sense, but the lesson was not lost on me in terms of its application to this goal: our creative work cannot change the world, or even make a difference beyond one’s self, if it is not shared. I think I will heed his advice with regard to 43T or some other non-commercial realms, too. But to a similar end in my aspiring “professional” writing life, I plan on getting my work out there, sending out the work that is ready, and readying the work that is not. So as a subgoal to this one, I will send out one piece a month, for starters, with all the concommitant revision necessary to make that happen. This is a mildly frighterning prospect for me, so be forewarned, i may return in three or four months’ time with my head in my hands, bemoaning rejection, but hopefully embracing it as a means to a desired end. There is an addage: “It’s OK to fail; It’s not OK not to try.” Wish me luck.