slutty stories

overexposure

(image courtesy Steampunk Beatnik)

I am just tuning into the debate about whether or not it is alright to put one’s writing on one’s personal blog if one ever wants to be published.

Some literary magazines think it’s overexposure, tantamount to self-publishing, and want nothing to do with your slutty, used-up stories; others view it as a valid and integral part of your process and welcome your stories with open arms, regardless of their past. I vacillated for awhile, wondering if I should be ashamed of myself, if I should cater to those old-fashioned fear mongers and stop posting things on my blog.  Maybe I’ve been playing too loose with my privates. Maybe I should save myself for Mr. Right.

But then I decided to embrace the latter-type of publishers instead. Let’s face it:  Even if I did reserve all my stuff for those highbrow literary magazines, what would I get? Nothing. No guarantee any of my stuff would ever be published by any of them and, even if it was, no guarantee it would lead to anything. Plus, I probably wouldn’t be paid.  The only guarantee is that some day I’d wake up alone, dried up, and unhappy.

Sharing my writing on my blog is probably just as satisfying as saving it would ever be. Pushing “publish” immediately shifts my perspective and always inspires a flurry of edits and your comments and questions often inspire additional improvements. I might even argue that showing it to you, my little group of friends, is ultimately the most satisfaction a writer can hope for in today’s crazy publishing upheaval.

Read Stop Being Afraid of Posting Your Work Online by Jane Friedman for good advice on this topic.

So tomorrow I’m going to post a new short story. Because I’ve never really been the save-yourself kind of girl.

What do you think?  Share it or save it?  

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About Anna Fonté

Girl in the Hat, aka Anna Fonté, is an author who writes about invisibility, outsider status, everyday monsters, and her attempts to befriend the neighborhood crows. The things she writes want you to look at them.

35 comments

  1. TheOthers1

    Share it! But that’s because I do. It’s definitely helped me write better, posting online. I makes me go back later and polish and lengthen those pieces. I share because I’m bad at keeping it all to myself. Plus I can make it disappear at anytime I want.

  2. TheOthers1

    It*. Fiddle.

  3. My instinct is to share some, but save others. I don’t believe blogging is giving it away per se, but I would keep certain goodies fresh for sale.

  4. It is quite the painful thing to get published here in Australia but they are changing a lot of their attitudes in many ways. Now they are accepting you as a marketable writer if you blog and have a following, as they rarely publish the unpublished (ironic right?). I agree, blogging is the future and with the internet as wide spread as it is having a lot of people see your stuff would not equate to over exposure as there are millions who haven’t even heard of it.
    I think being a writer is about being read, not being paid. Thats why writers have such a history of being such morose bastards, no one ever paid them.

    • Ironic that you must have a blog that people want to read but should not put your writing on there or no one will want to publish that writing. A complete Catch-22. And no matter how many hours a day I spend trying to make myself marketable, I’ll never be able to compete with the marketing machines at their fingertips.

      Writers might as well wear a sign that reads “Kick Me.” The only thing that saves me from being a complete morose bastard is blogging.

  5. I used to save all my stories on an online chat sight in groups, and then with the help of a friend, I discovered wordpress and blogging. Well, its like someone gave me the key to Aladdin’s cave of treasures. By seeing what others had posted and published, gave me the courage to do the same, and put myself and my writings out there for everyone to see. There is no greater joy than sharing and then getting feedback that my work is enjoyed, which is the whole point of why I write. :Last night I penned a short story, as part of a fun little series I am doing, but it was a whole different style, since I had to post about real life events, in the 1940’s.

    http://thecarrendarchronicles.com/2013/01/23/well-meet-again/

    Nothing made me prouder than hitting the publish button, and those first few comments. ❤

    • I hear you. Exactly. Maybe someday I’ll have enough evidence to say that getting published “for real” feels better than blogging, but then again maybe it’s only 10% better– maybe, after you subtract all the hell you go through to get there, it’s actually less satisfying to be published “for real.” Now I’m off to see your story!

  6. Share! Share! Share your gifts… such a delight to receive them on this end!

  7. I agree with the above comment. Share some and save others … or share them for awhile then privatize. We writers are paid squat for our work. Publication isn’t a guarantee and good writing begs to be read.

  8. Sisyphus47

    Sharing is what writing is about ~ please continue to share! 🙂 The more share the better the writing!

  9. A good question. I read Jane Friedman’s post awhile back – lots of good comments there, too. Connection is so important and posting on your blog makes that possible, but yes, many journals and/or writing competitions don’t want it if it’s been posted.

    I like the compromise suggested above – save some and post some.

  10. Life is too short. Do whatever makes ya happy!

  11. Sharing is good. But at my age – – – anything is good.

  12. Sharing is caring. We’re all slutty here. I like the photomontage.

  13. I think Anna is fantastic.

    I also think that a good approach is to share some, but to keep the best stuff tucked away in a shadowy nook.

  14. I have no idea. Trust who you are. Listen to you, which is what you’re doing.

  15. Sharing is good for the soul. Plus we love your writing 🙂

  16. c’mon, show us your good stuff! Mike

  17. AT

    As an avid silent reader enjoying your writing but feeling guilty for too long, I must finally speak up and say: please keep writing and posting! Your writing reaches further and wider than you can ever know, speaking to the writers within all of us, inspiring at moments when you least suspect it, keeping dreams alive even while we stumble about our waking moments wishing we were still in bed….never stop, please, for those of us who secretly love your writing but feel too shy to say so (I am not a writer after all).
    If you put out a hat like buskers do I would quietly walk up every time I see or hear you, even just for a minute, half of what’s in my wallet (need the other half for a take-out dinner).
    Is that possible in the world of posting? Like a karma cafe, pay what you can? Can writers be rewarded in some way? I would gladly do that as a reader.

    • Aha! AT, there you are! You delicious morsel, you. I am grinning ear to ear. And of course, I could never stop, and I’ll always do it for free because I’ll never stop, and just knowing you’re out there makes me very, very happy. XOOX!

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