Curious submissions – mind warp

Another month of little action. I’m tired of making excuses.

Busy is happening.

This last few weeks have taken a lot out of me. I’m mentally tougher for the hard days, though they have been harder than most.

I wanted to write about this talk from Amanda Palmer last week.

Submissions are a funny thing. What do I feel about being a “real’ writer? What part of the process is dependent on the validation of a recognised authority and what part on the engagement of a willing audience?  If Amanda Palmer is to be believed, there is much to say for cultivating your audience and cutting out the middle men. It’s a fine model for those with big enough egos or mouths or hearts to take it out and find them. But those of us of meeker mien, not so readily disposed to the street hawking of the metaphorical marketplace can find it a struggle. So we submit to the publishing houses and magazines and hope that the powers that be, those ethereal others, will become our advocates and shout louder than we.

To face the rejection of those arbiters can feel demoralising, more so than the rejection by an audience on grounds based only on other taste than one’s own. There is some small comfort to be taken in a rejection letter which still goes on to call a piece “Intriguing and well-imagined.” But why, then, ask for the sanction? Why not self-publish and put the audience in charge of regulating their own tastes?  The model is so ingrained, especially where to sing one’s own praises is to take the risk of being dubbed “shameless” in self-promotion. The choice to ask another to promote one’s wares is much easier on the heart than it is to succumb to the criticisms of those who think it tasteless to admit that you might actually be proud of something you wrote.

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