As many of you know, I write poetry and have been doing so since I was a teenager way back when. I am always sending poems out to different magazines and journals as part of the conventional route to publishing one’s creative work in the hope that one of them might find an editor who likes them enough to publish them. Right now my poem Pardon is in the hands of The New Yorker poetry editor. I am expecting a ‘no’ but hoping for a ‘yes’. Come to think of it, the entire submission process and the involved waiting for a response remind me of academic science. We send our articles to different journals and most of the time they get rejected after a long evaluation period. But sometimes they get in on the first try. So I can hope for that too for my little poem. The New Yorker is like the journal Nature or Science for academic scientists—the best in its field, so that to have a poem published there would mean a lot. But I also have put together a small collection of my poems and called it Parables and Voices. I did this through CreateSpace, which I have written about before in this blog. It is a subsidiary of Amazon and does a great job of letting new authors get a foot in the door, so to speak. The resulting books can be made available for purchase on Amazon and that is pretty amazing. Your book can also be distributed to other sellers for a nominal fee that allows for increased distribution of your book to online sellers and other bookstores. Parables and Voices is available here on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Parables-Voices-Collection-Poems-1973-2009/dp/1452838763/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1298989255&sr=1-1
The front and back covers as well as the internal formatting are the work of http://fotoisphoto.com/. I have worked with this company before on my previous book and am very happy with their work. I recommend them.
I am following Malcolm Gladwell’s (the author of Outliers) recommendation—get your ten thousand hours under your belt in whatever field you want to achieve some measure of success. So for me, that means just keep on writing. I am hoping for a little success as a writer. I’ve had a little success as an academic scientist (published over eighty articles as first author/co-author). But I am realistic; I know how competitive it is out there. Just like academic science. Some days I hope for more feedback about my creative writing ventures, other days not. It depends on the kind of day, maybe even on the kind of week I’m having. Basically it boils down to this—can I take yet another rejection emotionally? Between academic science and creative writing, I understand that I will be living with rejection on a more standard basis. I’ve simply got to toughen my skin and keep on trucking.