I’m sure you all know how the real phrase goes, but if there’s anything I’ve learned from fellow bloggers extraordinaires, it’s that artistic liberty is part of our job descriptions as writers of words, tellers of tales, and purveyors of the improbable, the strange, and the downright impossible.
I do feel a need to clarify the above statement. I’m not making any claims that blogging is detrimental to publishing–not at all. I believe blogging is a great way to build a platform, network, and, eventually, promotion. My question, one I’ve been pondering for a while, is related to what is considered “published” material these days. In reading submission guidelines for various publications, contests, etc. most of them consider something posted on a blog as “previously published,” therefore negating it as an acceptable submission. It makes sense: why pay to print something that people can find for free online? This is not a discourse on internet piracy, I’ll leave that to the more impassioned and informed.
Which brings me, in a roundabout fashion, to the point. How does this affect blogging? If I have stories I write that I want to share with you all because (a) I’m a writer and therefore an exhibitionist and (b) I trust the judgement of my readers and want to know if the story has merit, do I refrain from posting because a 1,000 word blog post may invalidate a 100,000 word novel I write one day? Is that really fair? For example, for those of you that have been following, if I wanted to turn Evie and Owen’s story into a novel for publication, all signs point to rejection.
I enjoy posting stories that I think might have a future as something else, because I want to post quality stories, stories that I think are important, that I take pride in. Sure, I write stories just for the blog. But, if I wanted to take them somewhere and submit–I couldn’t. I’ve come to a bit of a crossroads. Do I hide all my works in progress away, take them off the blog, and give you only the loose bits and pieces that have no place elsewhere? Or, do I continue writing and posting the stories I would like to see be published (in whatever form or draft) in the hopes that the rules will change?
There are a lot of question marks in this post–they aren’t rhetorical. I would love to hear from you—whether you have personal experience or not. For as the poet, John Donne said “No writer is an island, darlings.” Or something like that.
5 thoughts on “Is Blogging for Publication Like Bombing for Peace?”
What you wrote is true, whatever you share on your blog is completely unacceptable for traditional publishing. What I know people often do is delete the materials they get positive feedback to, so they could edit it, rewrite it and similar then submit it for publishing. Still, if the piece was largely popular,it will be easily found even after you delet it. This is why many writers form reader/critique grps, where they share their work amongs themselves, nothing gets posted or rpeviously shown*published anywhere and they get feedback and critique.
This whole thing sucks for many reasons. Aside from the fact it makes every word be a dollar bill and each of your followers, readers and friends merely potential buyers, it also sucks because lets face it; when we write a good story we get the jitters. goosebumbs and we just wanna share it. It completely takes this feeling away, it takes away the freedom of being happy for just sitting down and writing that amazing story that has been boiling in your soul for long or exploded while you just hit the sack at 4am. It makes writing be less of an art and more of a job. At least, this is what bothers me. I aint even gonna go into directionals andcontrolled publishing content, that’s a completely different topic.
You should not hope that the rules will change,because,well,they most probubly won;t. What I can see happening is this only getting even more strict, seeing internet is so advanced that now even my great grandmother is using it in her daily life. Most of the times, posting snippets of excerpts were tolerable, but with the advance of technology and social media, I am rpitty sure this will be looked down on as well in the very near future. If this brings you too much of a dissatisfaction and you think and feel it is very important to cherish your readers, you can always consider self-publishing.
For traditional, you mostly have to play by their rules, which, most of the times, are rather harsh – because it is their money invested into you – not your own money invested into yourself and where there is money – people want to earn a lot of it.
Sorry for the long comment, I hope my sentiments will serve you good 😀 I think your writing has a lot of potential and that if one of your goals is to publish traditionaly, you should definitely look into the reading groups I mentioned!:D
You’re definitely right about self publishing—I’ll have to remember that. I think it would also fit since most of the stuff on my blog would probably not go far the traditional publishing route!
I’ve worked with other writers in the past (in person) and it was always a great experience. I would love to find a good writer’s/critique group and I hope that my workshop course in graduate school will provide some of that kind of feedback as well!
Thanks for reminding me what other options are out there!
British people are much more relaxed about exhibitionism. Show me your words, lady.
I’ll show you mine if you show me yours…