I’m not too sure if there are many Performancing users who write literature on their blogs, but if you’re one of them, have you considered that the pieces you’ve published on your blog might be disqualified from appearing in literary publications and being entered into contests?
This isn’t an inconvenience for lit bloggers who just want to share their works with the world through online journals. It’s also not for writers who are already established (e.g. have published a book or have won contests). However, it is a problem for new writers looking to ‘break into’ the ‘offline’ (and often academic) literary circles.
When I began my first blog (Slip of the Pen) back in 2004, I wanted it to become the repository of my then-infrequent attempts at creative writing. Mercifully, a couple of good pieces sprung from the blog (or so I want to believe!). When I began to take lit submissions seriously, I naturally turned to those few good pieces. Being a lit industry n00b and all, I was disappointed to learn that these pieces couldn’t be accepted by many respected lit publications, both print and online, simply because they’re already considered self-published. Some journals even explicitly mention ‘blog posts’ as unacceptable submissions.
I personally believe this system sucks, especially if the lit blog in question isn’t monetized (and thus highly personal). But I didn’t and still don’t have a choice – I confess that I’m now writing pieces with a “publication first, blog later” mindset. It has paid off in terms of writing credits, but yeah, there’s been a trade-off – my lit blog’s content is becoming less diverse. Its recent posts have been narrowed to a single genre, that is, personal essays.
For the lit and other art bloggers (photography, paintings, comics, and so on, though I don’t know if the ‘self-published’ term applies to these works) who can see themselves in my shoes, deciding which work to put or not on blogs can be a tricky issue.
Will you save the best and post only the ‘good enough’ works? This might be construed as disrespectful to your blog readers, as they’re virtually on equal footing with print readers, and thus deserve the same quality. Will you post only the pieces which have been earlier published in journals? You’ll lose out on the early feedback and (hopefully) constructive criticism from your blog readers – and feedback is a blog’s forte. Not to mention new and raw writers need feedback, badly.
I guess one thing will help solve the problem a bit – writing more. More works to choose from, more room for a “publication first, blog later” mindset. This works well with spacing out your posts and sticking to a regular posting schedule. For example, if you post in weekly intervals, you need to resist the urge to post that spanking new masterpiece of a poem immediately a day after the last entry.
P.S. Technically, the term “literary blog” doesn’t just pertain to blogs with original works of writers and poets; the term can cover blogs that discuss books, feature other writers and their works, and deal with literature in general. I narrowed the term’s use here for simplicity’s sake. 😉