The old me is scoffing right now.
Blogging cannot be publishing, she says. (Pay no attention to the big blue “Publish…” button in the corner of the screen.)
Publishing is slow, arduous, rife with rejection, and even isolating. Publishing as a process is the painful price we pay for any kind of recognition, for standing–no matter how tenuous–among the literary community.
Blogging, on the other hand is quick-and-dirty and easy, without the arbiters of literary merit (read: editors), upon whose opinions has been built the entire modern canon of literature–fiction short and long, poetry, memoir and etc.–worth reading.
Writers as their own editors? Old me scoffs, twice.
Right? Not right?
And so there you have the schism of my train of thought as I prepare to sit on a Literary Festival panel next month to talk about–you guessed it–publishing from the writer’s perspective.
Old me is wondering if they will offer me half a chair to sit in. Maybe I’ll sit under, rather than at, the table with published authors and the like. Really, though I kid, the question remains:
Is blogging publishing?
To old me, the me that did an MFA when online literary journals were only just becoming a thing and, certainly, story and poetry submissions, were still printed and mailed (as were the rejection slips), publishing must be painful. Remember Friday nights in a library carrel with the Writer’s Market? There was no blogging anywhere on the publishing horizon then.
Literary publishing was–and largely still is–a slow process. Submitting our pieces has gotten a little quicker and easier, but the work behind it is still slow: we read, we research, we write, we read about writing, we revise, edit, revise and edit again.
The act of becoming the writer I want to be always will be a slow and arduous–even painful–process; blogging won’t undercut that.
Old me scoffs at the idea that I am the arbiter of my own work here on this blog, something of a mini-magazine. I am my own gatekeeper. I get to say what has literary merit and doesn’t (my own writing included); I review the books I like; I interview the authors I like; I can present a Rust Belt food pie chart and wax poetic about pierogies. Plus, I’d like to think this fiction writer (me) has started to find her essayist’s voice, because she (me again) was allowed the agency and space–this very blog–to do so.
I love editors (here’s looking at you, WordPress arbiters–really, you guys are great!). I love literary journals and print journals and thank my stars several editors and I have agreed that their journals and my stories would be perfect together.
But publishing doesn’t have to be defined so narrowly. Does it, old me?
So, here I go, about to hit “Publish”–because I can–to connect with as many as 713 of you, my followers. Not too shabby an audience, admits old me.
Because I haven’t said it in a while, thank you, fellow bloggers. Thank you for sharing in this awesome, insightful, global community of readers and writers and–yes–publishers.
Did my argument sway you? (I’ll let you know if it swayed old me.) Provided I have the floor (or table) for a minute or two to extol the virtues of blogging-as-publishing, what should I add?