I once edited a literary magazine. It was a small production so my staff and I couldn't afford to be too choosy about which submissions we would accept. Because our magazine considered submissions from all literary genres; we did have to be somewhat discriminating. Anyone who has ever worked on staff for a college literary publication knows all that post entails: occassionally striking gold with some refreshing, unexpected submission, but more often than not, slogging through manuscript after manuscript of overwritten, cliche. . . crap.
Poetry is definately the greatest culprit for crap contribution in the annals of rejected college submissions. Some of my college chums and I have a running joke about our most hated poetic theme: dead babies. There are a surprising amount of dead baby poems submitted to college literary magazines for some unknown reason. (Though I must defend Elizabeth Bishop whose "First Death in Nova Scotia," I am quite fond of. There are, as we know, always exceptions). Dead babies aside, our second most hated poetic theme was writing about writing (which actually William Carlos Williams pulled off with aplomb; also an exception, but hey, it's William Carlos Williams, so are we surprised?)
So even though I know I am breaking my own rules, I am going to blog about blogging because I ate hotwings last night (a big mistake) and, as a result, am not sleeping. Instead, I am obsessing which is something I am prone to do in the wee hours. So like all new bloggers, I ask, "Where is everybody?" "Is anyone actually reading this?"
Admittedly, I perused several popular blogs during my nocturnal foray on the internet. I discovered that some of them are better than mine. Some are not. Some are, as Tracy, my blogging consultant, pointed out nothing better than really bad reality television. So I ask myself, is there a place for me in blogging? Can I build a fan base beyond my own friends and family? (and by the way Mom, could you please disguise your name with something like Annie Dillard or Edward Gorey or Carolyn Keen so people don't know that I have to recruit family members to leave comments?) Anyway, whether there is or not, I have staked my claim on this little slice of cyberspace and, like all squatters, I am not going anywhere without putting up a good fight. Ignore me if you will. See if I care.
Having voiced my blog insecurities, I now realize why people HATE reading poems about writer's block and I now present the final quesion "publish or delete?" "publish or delete?"
2 months ago