VAH: Let’s talk writing community – what writing or author organizations do you belong to and what are your go to sites online for community, online conversing, networking or commiserating?
ME: Twitter is my go-to place for writing community. I have a small local network of friends who write, but the majority of people I’ve connected with in the writing universe I’ve met online. I think making friends online is more natural for people in the generations behind mine, but I’ve been surprised by the quality of folks I’ve encountered in the online space.
The writing universe is cliquey. I’ve also found exclusion to be the power of choice for those looking to build up their own clout. Ultimately, staying positive, being supportive of other’s pursuits and saying yes to opportunities has been how I’ve built community.
VAH: Traditional or independent publishing? What choices have you made and why did you go the way you have?
ME: Definitely both. For publishing single pieces, I prefer to submit to literary magazines (online or in-print). For collections, finding the right home is difficult. You can spend a lot of money submitting to contests with little or no result, or you can be fortunate enough to win and have your book or chapbook published. The problem is that many contests produce limited print runs with limited exposure. Most of the time you can duplicate the exposure and the volume by self-publishing. Relying on contests or blind submissions for a collection can be a frustrating and expensive process. If you can find publishers where you think your work will fit, traditional publishing is a good option. If not, self-publishing may be the way to go. You have to let go of the work at some point, either through publication or moving it to the dreaded archive file. I am planning to self-publish a chapbook in 2014, and I have one coming out from a small press as well.
VAH: What is your best bit of advice to save another writer some anxiety or heartache?
ME: Rejection isn’t personal. It might mean your work needs revision, it might mean they published something similar last month, it might mean that your work is a poor fit for the publisher. If you’re doing your research, reading the publications to which you’re submitting and being honest with yourself by only sending out your best work, just keep submitting and acceptance will come.
VAH: Good words of advice from Martin Elwell. Thank you Marty for a great discussion of your writing life.
Thanks for stopping in on your journey across the information highway. Surf on over in December for more of the writing life with urban fantasy author J. M. Gregoire.