Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I started off the day with a rejection letter, and I'm glad to say I'm feeling indifferent about receiving it. Of course that might be because the journal rejected me for inclusion in a thematic issue for which I hadn't submitted. Oy.

The vast majority of literary journals make my head ache. I wish I could love them, but I just can't. I do feel fortunate at this point of my so-called career: because I now have a book trail, I don't need to publish in journals to prove to anyone that I'm a "real writer," whatever that means, so I've been sending fewer and fewer poems into the aether and limiting essay submission to journals that have already shown an interest in my writing. On the whole this has been good for both my writing and my self-confidence. Anxiety about publication darkens the creation of work; so when I read about friends who, say, focus on submitting work every single day, I feel sad. I understand why they have this compulsion, but I also understand that it damages the solitude of writing--the necessity of sitting quietly among the words, of letting them amass, instead of perpetually requiring oneself to hawk them.

There's an ambiguous line between a longing to communicate and a longing to be noticed. I daresay none of us negotiates this line as well as we might.

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