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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Blogging Sabotaging my Writing?

Since starting this blog two years ago, I've had several posts turn into essays which I have polished (with the help of my wonderful editor Amy) and sent off for publication. In fact, one of my old posts was published in Zinkzine.

When I started blogging, the goal was to give myself a weekly catalyst to write. This has proven successful. Because of this blog, I now write at least one short essay a week. It helps to know there are eyes out there ready to read what I put up, immediately.

But recently I've been wondering if in fact blogging has inadvertently sabotaged my writing aspirations. Let me explain.

In blogging I have grown accustomed to the truffle version of essays - short and sweet. I've become very handy at condensing my experiences and thoughts into a span of 700 words. Now being concise is a virtue, but over time, my essays have dropped from an average of 10-15 pages down to 2-3. There is something to be said for taking many pages to fully develop your thoughts and explore your story. Also in the world of creative nonfiction publishing, essays are generally the length of chapters in a book.

Secondly, while researching places to submit my essays I ran across this statement in the Belleview Literary Review:

"For the BLR , 'published work' means published in print in North America, or published on the Internet in electronic journals, e-zines, academic websites, and other 'public' or 'official' websites. Works posted on personal blogs or websites will be considered on a case-by-case basis. We ask that authors be honest about web postings."

When I read this my heart dropped! I've written so much that began as a post on my blog. Does the fact that an earlier form of my essays has appeared on my web page, disqualify it from further publication?

I'm left wondering if this blog hasn't, in the end, short changed my larger writing goals, but the truth is that knowing you all are out there willing to read my writing every week has been a huge motivation for me. To be honest, I doubt I would have excavated the emotional material I have over the past two years, if it weren't for this blog and your feedback!

So, I'm still wondering what to do.


Blogger Marcia said...

Tin -

It sounds to me more like they're saying, "If your own blog is the only place you've been published...."

You have had at least one instance of being "...published in print in North America, or published on the Internet in electronic journals, e-zines, academic websites, and other 'public' or 'official' websites."

To use an antiquated phrase, "Take heart of hope!" It doesn't sound to me like they'll use your blogging to exclude you, but rather, they want you to have more to offer as well.

You can do it!

10:13 AM  
Blogger Annie Wright said...

I guess I don't mind if you ease off of posting your short stories here, so long as you send them to me via email and so long as you keep posting pictures of my niece.

11:43 PM  
Anonymous Erik said...

I personally think it doesn't matter. As long as you are using blogging as a jumping off point to flesh out the work, and then get feedback...that's a lot. Then take what resonates with others and expand it if needed.

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anything published on the web without a copyright can be used by anyone...making it difficult for you to get a copyright in the futre...and I would think that would make it difficult to get published in print since copyright would be a question.

6:21 AM  

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