It’s Getting Dark In Here.

Source: FromOldBooks.org

So I got published recently in the new DarkWinter Literary Magazine, edited by Mydangblog, which is a really cool thing but also got me thinking about the pursuit of publication. And it’s something I’ve pursued quite a bit. In writing groups I’ve been in when people bring up their publication history I usually say I’ve got a nice collection of rejection letters which is true but I’ve also been published before, including in the anthology Static Dreams, volume 2, and now, with DarkWinter, I’m getting that same feeling that I’m among the cool kids again.

The rule in academia is “publish or perish”, but I work in an academic library, where the rule is more like “put away what’s been published or perish”. It’s not nearly as stressful, although I used to work with a guy who’d come by my office sometimes with a mathematics book or something equally esoteric. “Who reads this stuff?” he’d ask, and he always seemed strangely angry about it. I’d always say, Well, somebody, hopefully. The act of publishing is wanting to be heard, or at least read.

The act of writing is also solitary. Publishing is one way to break out of that loneliness, to be heard, and to—in the case of a place like DarkWinter—to hang with the cool kids.

Source: YouTube

And, working in a library, I’m conscious of the preservation of written words, and how it must give authors a sense, or at least a hope, that something of them will survive even after they’re gone.

I also recently had a minor disagreement with a friend who told me I’d been published “thousands of times” because I have this blog. I think that’s stretching the definition of “published”. Yes, I’ve put work out there for public consumption, which is, technically, being published, but I think real publication has to at least go through an editor first. That way if someone asks, “Who reads this stuff?” I can say, Well, at least one other person.  

Source: FromOldBooks.org

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7 Comments

  1. mydangblog

    You have always been one of the cool kids, and I consider myself extremely fortunate that not only do I know you, but I got to publish your wonderful and very eerie story!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’m so glad to have been published by you and, well, let’s just say that it happened at a time when I really needed it. As much as I joke about my collection of rejections they can really weigh me down sometimes.

      Reply
  2. ANN J KOPLOW

    You and mydangblog are two of the cool kids and I’m cooler for knowing you. I do want to perish the thought that blogging doesn’t count for publishing because without that, I’ve got nothing (except for one published article I wrote when I was at Social Work School in the 90s).
    ANN J KOPLOW recently posted…Day 3526: “Oops” and “Ouch”My Profile

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I think the definition of “publishing” is fuzzy enough to include your blog. While you might not perish without it I think the world would be a less happy place without you publishing on a regular basis.

      Reply
  3. Susan

    So first, Christopher, your story in Dark Winter is Sooo Good!!! It had me from the first sentence, which for me is one of the huge markers of great short fiction. It was really wonderful to see your name as one of the first to be published in Suzanne’s journal! I will emphatically second Suzanne and Ann in saying that you are a super cool kid!!!! I am thrilled for you and for Suzanne and for me and everyone else who gets to read your story! Wishing you Huge Congratulations!!!!!!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Susan! Thank you so much! I’m glad you liked it. Also since you’re one of the cool kids yourself I hope to see something of yours in Suzanne’s journal. Or perhaps on your blog which I haven’t visited in far too long.

      Reply
      1. Susan

        Thank you, Christopher!!! It feels like I have been away from things for ages, but am finally feeling like coming out of the waves. It turned out that moving to a new country was tougher than I expected! I am looking forward to getting back into your blog and hope to read more of your stories!

        Reply

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