This is a funny game I’ve played, for a couple of years. Willingly, money I can’t really afford to give is handed over to people in the vain hope someone will like my work enough to publish it. Only by being published does one have any hope of being noticed, and it is virtually impossible to self-publish without cash, which I’d have more of if I wasn’t entering all these contests.
Then, the ultimate irony comes along. A poem I wrote for myself, part of a selection that was meant to help me improve as a writer, gets picked to be published in an anthology. No cash needs to change hands, they even pay me. Who is the more foolish, I wonder to myself this morning as months of hard work finally vanish into the ether, the writer or the writer not writing for themself?
Except this work breaks the mould, for so many reasons.
This one IS mine, and when it fails (as it undoubtedly will) I will publish it myself. Then I will sell it myself, and nobody else will make money apart from me, because there is only so much artistic stupidity I am prepared to accept in the name of progress. So what if other people consider the pinnacle of success is to be published by this or that company… I’m not here to fulfill someone else’s notion of achievement.
I’m here to be happy.