Monday, January 19, 2015

Publish or Perish

First First Draft
This weekend, some of my fellow MFA classmates put on an event called First Draft. The theme was "beginnings" and the genre was creative nonfiction. Since that's technically my genre, I was asked to read at the event, which I was more than happy to do. I didn't have anything specifically about beginnings, so I decided to write something new. I worked on it during the days leading up to the event and I was polishing up until it was time to leave the house. It isn't perfect, but I got a lot of satisfaction out of birthing something and sending it out into the world, within a reasonable time frame.

I think I have written before about the missing link for me when it comes to writing; I tend to sit on pieces rather than finding a home for them somewhere. I'm not sure why I have this tendency, but I think it comes from fear; nothing is ever really ready for publication. But is anything ever really finished?

My professor just finished a middle grade novel and she says she's holding on to it for a while before sending it to her editor so she can continue tweaking it to perfection. She believes in revisiting and revising, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

On the other hand, I have a different professor who has the opposite mentality. He says, Write it and send it out! Now, don't get me wrong. He's still focused on quality. But he is also adamant about getting your stuff out there.

Everyone falls on different sides of the fence when it comes to this question: to publish or not to publish. Some say it can hurt you to have something published in the wrong journal. Others say you shouldn't send out work until you're absolutely sure that it's golden. Others operate on the principle that the more publications, the better. Honestly, I'm befuddled. Who knows what the best move is. All I know is that I really want to get my writing out into the world (beyond this blog), without committing some kind of writerly faux pas...
I think I'm going to institute a new policy; from here on out, Friday will be my official submission day! On this day, I will take the time to research journals and send out at least TWO PIECES. I also take the holy oath that I will document my research as well as my submissions. Organization, huzzah!

We are very serious literary folks.