Lessons I already learned.

A very long time ago after writing a long strange prose poem that was roundly rejected by everyone in the universe there was one editor who told me something really important.

He and I had a lengthy email conversation about the piece and in the end it boiled down to one key thing. He loved the piece, he thought it was weird and beautiful. And as much as he loved it, it just didn’t really go with his magazine.

It was a really beautiful moment in my early attempts to get published. I realized that sometimes I write things that don’t really belong in lit mags.

Back then (wow it’s been about a decade) I would collect those little things, drop them into a rar or zip file and send them to my friends.

Fast forward to about three hours ago and I’ve decided to make a couple of tiny collections of homeless written words and put them up on smashwords for a few bucks a piece.

I have been advised against this sort of thing many times and I’ve ruminated about it off and on for ages.

In the end (as with everything important in my life) I have to go with my gut. My gut tells me I can put my homeless words in a spot where people can read them AND it is perfectly okay to charge a few bucks for the pleasure.

As with most things I already know, I have to understand that the things I’ve been taught are not necessarily the right thing for me to do as an individual.

So much of my life and my writing has come to the point that I have had to make myself remember that “right” is not always right for me.

And I keep reminding myself that I am not a flavor for everyone.

So to celebrate me re-learning these things here’s what’s going down.

Prior to my essay collection coming out, I’ll be releasing a few small (very small) collections of homeless words for low prices via smashwords.

I’ve also made this blog available via Kindle for 1.99 a month.

Coming up I have a few people with creative projects I’m very into and will be talking about/featuring. I put up a call everyone and despite all the creative types/writers/presses I’m “friends” with on social networks only two people said they could use the bit of promotion. Apparently I’m not famous enough to be answered. That’s fine. I think it’s a sign I need to rework how I think about supporting other authors/creative people when there is zero chance of any reciprocation or anything.

Also thank you Catherine and Antonia for saying nice things. I’m doing better.



2 thoughts on “Lessons I already learned.

  1. Monique

    Aside from the potential lack of editing in self-publishing on something like Smashwords, I don’t see why on earth someone would advise AGAINST putting something there. Considering how many established, *published* authors I’ve seen putting “homeless” (love that) works there, that advice makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Well, not to me, anyway. Perhaps the ones giving it had some reason? If not, pssh.

    1. I understand the admonitions in a way. I’ve seen self publishing go really badly for people for various reasons. Sometimes that’s led to author misbehavor (going nuts on Amazon reviewers etc) and the idea is supposedly that if you self publish X thing people won’t take you seriously later.

      That said, the model has really worked for some folks. Steve Almond comes to mind. My ego isn’t so huge I think I must keep my homeless words under wraps because they might taint my reputation or something.

      I am finally good with making decisions about my art for myself and telling myself yes it’s okay if I want to make two dollars in the process.

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