Thursday, February 02, 2012

Is I Is Or Is I Ain't?

The last few days I've been thinking about writing and exactly what it is I want to get out of it. As I'm slowly poking my toes into the writing world I'm reading a lot by other writers about goals. They all seem to have long-term goals - where they want to be in 5 years, which journals they want to be published in, the completion, editing and marketing of their current book. This, among other things, makes me feel like a fake because I really don't set goals or, rather, I set short term ones. Short as in one day I'll say I think I'll submit a piece or two to blah-blah journal because I like to read it myself and hey, why not send something in and see what happens. I really don't plot out in advance where I want to submit work and I don't tailor my work to a specific journal or editor. I just write when I feel like it (which certainly isn't every day - another thing lots of writers seem to do) and I submit if I think it might be interesting to readers. I often wonder if I really have the right to call myself a writer.

Maybe the difference between myself and others who write is I don't see myself making a living at it and I don't have a hunger for recognition. Oh sure, I'm thrilled when I see my words in print somewhere but I know almost anyone who reads my work won't remember my name after a cursory skimming of my bio. And that's ok. If someone gets even a momentary spark of pleasure or consternation from something I've written, it's good enough for me. Writing is my hobby, something I enjoy. It's not my life - it's only a part of my life.

I don't write a whole lot on this blog. Originally I did but, over the years, I found I didn't have the need to talk as much and it kind of morphed into photography and brief bits of fluff. I have Zouxzoux for posting my writing and that's pretty much exclusively what I do there. It's funny. I have such different readerships for all my blogs - people who read this (all 3 of you!) don't read Zouxzoux and people who read Zouxzoux don't come here. Same thing for NOLAFemmes. Totally different readers.Totally different blogs too, I guess.

So the last few days I've been thinking about writing mainly, I think, because I knew February 1 was the day my work was being featured on Metazen ezine, an ezine I particularly like so I've been excited about it since I got the acceptance email. Part of my excitement was that the editor, Predator and Editors Award winner Christopher Allen, said that although they publish very little poetry, my work "held onto him and wouldn't let go". OK, I'm not gonna lie about it, that totally wowed me.

Plus, my work is also featured in this month's lit journal The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature for the third time. I like this journal so much because it features poetry, prose and fiction about the South or influenced by the South. I like that this zine has a distinct identity and celebrates it instead of trying to be all things to all writers/readers. The same is true of Dew On the Kudzu where a little bit of fiction I wrote will be published on February 16, my third publication there.

 February is shaping up to be a very good month so far. I have one more journal I'm waiting to hear from but I won't mention which in case I jinx it. I'm not sure my writing "fits" their genre but, again, I figure why not try? Whether I am a writer or whether anyone else thinks I am or not really may not matter at all. The truth is, it makes me feel good and isn't that what it's all about anyway?


Martin (starwatcher521) said...

I totally agree with your last two sentences.

Glenn Meche said...

Just what is a writer? Or a painter or a sculptor, for that matter? They are people who make something out of words or pigments or stone. The worth is in the work, not the five-year-plan or any such blather as that. (There's a word for those people: "Planners".) One writes or paints or sculpts because a stranger comes along and knocks on your door and asks that you tell his story or paint her portrait. Your reward for that act of hospitality is a sense of joy—and the pride of putting something there that wasn't there before.

TravelingMermaid said...

Y'all are awesome, thank you.
@Glenn, LOVE this:
"Your reward for that act of hospitality is a sense of joy—and the pride of putting something there that wasn't there before."
Perfectly said!

Sooz T. said...

That IS perfectly said, and something that has been on my mind a lot too, lately! Greetings, by the way - I've been reading and enjoying your writing for some time now, and am finally feeling UnShy enough to comment. Couldn't pass this one up though, since it mirrors the interior of my own thoughts to some extent. That, and I wanted to hop in and shout out as one of your more-than-3 readers out here, and got a chuckle out of the fact that I read all three spaces that you mentioned. Awesome. ;D Anyway, wanted to say hello, finally. Keep on writin'!
Sincerely, Sooz

TravelingMermaid said...

I'm so glad you came out, Sooz! It tickles me when I learn about a reader that I had no idea existed. I'm so glad to have found your blog now, too, and look forward to reading more. Keep in touch, sister of the word. ;)

Pistolette said...

I once read, writers need praise like actors need applause. I certainly need feedback of any kind to know if I'm contributing anything of value.

Congrats on the publishings! Use the positive energy. Acclaim always fuels my next piece :)

termite said...

i'm so proud of you, sweet friend. i've always been your biggest fan. I'm in awe.


termite said...

one more thing.. you wrote, "Totally different readers.Totally different blogs too." well.. i have two blogs, same blog but different readers- one is private one is public.
for some reason i can't get some of my readers to switch over to Mighty T. (public) blog. they just refuse and continue to read & comment on The Hungry T.
sooner or later i'm going to delete one but i'm not sure if that's the right thing to do. meh.