Thursday, July 10, 2008
Lately, I've been paying attention to the fact that when I'm on the computer in the morning and researching venues to send my work to, I get a very businessy mind that is hard to shake. I get like this anxiety and a sort of crunchy feeling inside after I've been at it a while. I guess sending my work out gets a little ouchy sometimes. Trying to figure out where to send work and who will accept it leaves me a little empty. There's trendy, experimental, voicy kind of magazines (read contemporary) and then there's the more traditional mags. There's on-line shorter types of magazines that seem to want edgy flash pieces that sometimes read like poetry rather than story. And there's contests to consider. Whew! So I have to figure out what category my work falls into; then I have to decide whether to read a little of the stuff on the website, if it's offered. I have to decide if I personally like the name of the magazine. I also have to decide whether to buy an advance copy or order one when I submit, or simply to submit blind. (I don't recommend doing too much of that last one.) There really is no such thing as a clearly blind submission. When I'm submitting, I look at, again, the title, the editors, the blog--if they have one, sample selections (Yeah to those mags that do have these) and as often as I can, the magazine itself. I get the magazine by entering a contest that gives you a sample copy. I send for a sample copy if I like all of the above, or if the editor has given me a rejection with a nice note. Or I subscribe, if I really like the stuff I've seen inside. I especially subscribe to magazines that publish my work. If a magazine seems to fit my personal profile of writing, I subscribe to that mag. I actually don't subscribe to many magazines lately, but I like reading magazines more than books. So, I guess this is a blog about subscribing to magazines and about publication. Where I was really headed was to write about how to get out of business head and write stories. Yesterday I went swimming at the public swim pool for a while, read a little Lydia Davis, and then felt the urge to write, so I pulled out my journal and wrote a few pages. Voila, writing block broken. I urge you to get away from your computer and publishing. Go read, exercise, then write. These are not new ideas. Read Jane Anne Staw's book Unblocked. That'll help. Reread The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.