I have reached a dilemma.
To this point in my career, all of my published (and, therefore paid) work has been in magazines, plus a little bit of marketing to pay the bills. Though I love (and I really do love) writing journalism and everything that comes with it, I would say that I am equally passionate about works of fiction. For my writing at this stage, that means writing short stories. For free.
Now, I have written a number of short stories that have received mixed feedback. Most recently, I wrote a piece for Glimmer Train’s Very Short Fiction Award and was pleasantly surprised to find that it won an “Honorable Mention” for the contest. Here is my dilemma: I would really like to continue working on this piece and perhaps submit it to other publications (with the “accolade” and successive revisions, of course, noted on the cover letter). I would also like to share the piece with my friends and (few) fans and followers, though I am hesitant to post the piece on my blog as that would technically qualify as a “First Publication,” and would therefore make it harder to place the story in an actual, real-life journal or magazine later.
As a writer– professional, student, aspiring freelance, hobbyist, or otherwise– what would you do? Share the piece as-is to get help with revision? Share the piece and not worry about revising afterword (consider it published)? Keep the piece tucked away and revise privately to see if I can place it for pay down the line? I would like to share my work with the world and I love the concept of art for art’s sake, but what if it could actually be good– I mean a guy’s gotta eat right?
I am in a real pickle here– and let me tell you, the fact that using the word “pickle” in this blog post made my stomach rumble should serve as a solid indicator as to the state of my bank account at the moment.
To post, or not not to post. That is my question to you.
Thank you in advance for your help and guidance. I will await your response.
Click here to see the PDF that proves I am not lying (if you care).
2 thoughts on “To Post or Not to Post– A Cry For Help to Fellow Writers”
Is it possible to share the piece “as is” to get help with revision and, then, later, to consider it a different / new piece because it was revised? This is supposing that the revisions are extensive enough to make it look or feel like a new story, I guess. And maybe it’s just trying to have your cake and eat it, too.
I’m sorry I don’t have any better advice. It does seem like quite a frustrating dilemma. I hope you are able to come to a good resolution for yourself.
Thanks for your response, Pish. I think it would still constitute publication only because I am not sure I would be able to edit it enough to make a difference– also I would probably need to completely change the title. I had a famous journalist tell me today “just publish it– nobody cares, nobody knows who you are, so just put it up.” I think I may follow this advice, but I am not ready just yet to make that leap.