Saturday, November 24, 2012

22 Things I Learned from Submitting Writing

The list, care of Blake Butler, on HTML Giant.

From the piece...

6. Deletion is holy.

7. It’s not that fun to publish places you don’t read. Early on I would send to anywhere that was open, I would look at Duotrope on those days that all the mags reopened like a holiday, with slews of places to put my stuff out in, and if eventually I placed something, I would feel happy for however long it took to read the letter and say yes, and then, ok. Now what. That’s not really the point, though. The point for publishing isn’t for the pat on the back (though it can feel nice) and not even really because people are going to see your work (some will, but let’s not pretend litmags are doors to fame). What it does is give you a space to practice and refine and have a mental sandwich every now and then. Getting your nose ground in, whether the work is truly shitty or truly awesome, is vital to growth.

8. You must keep moving. The reason I was able to send out so much work was also that I was constantly writing new stuff all the time and sending that out and firing and firing. While part of my goal might have been to get something ready to go out, the real value was that it gave me an arrow in the butt to keep writing. The subsequent frustration that is practically unavoidable also, if harnessed in the right way, can lead to you “giving less of a fuck” and maybe in the process finding out what you really want to say, or how to get in the way to say it.

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