2020-05-25 The Sign on the Door Says “Beware of Dragons”…

… but I open it anyway.

I’m not even sure where to start today.

Should I begin with the 5am wake up and subsequent spin-brain keeping me from going back to sleep?

Perhaps I should start by reflecting on that conversation I had yesterday with my Texas Bestie where she said her new motto was “good enough”.

Maybe it’s important to note that I launched a new website yesterday and consequently a new online lit mag. Yeah, that’s probably the most relevant place to begin.

Or is it?

After lying awake for an hour I rolled over and looked at my phone. There was a notification from WordPress about a new like on yesterday’s blog post. It’s not surprising that in this new world of constant connection and attaching self-worth to “likes”, that I find that satisfying. I’m like a child craving attention from parents who are almost always otherwise occupied. I am not like a child.. I am a child.. craving attention.

I unlocked my connectivity device and scrolled through the top news stories that google has chosen to “serve” me. I’m half creeped out by the fact that google knows too much about me. But The other half of me is glad that google has already done the heavy lifting, weeding out all the crap in the world that I don’t care about. /shrug

I scroll until a headline/article catches my attention. Something about rejecting editors of literary publications. My first thought was “oh, of course this new job of mine will provide yet another source of rejection”. As if I haven’t had enough opportunity for that. Of course.

I sort of read the article, in my way. I read the first two paragraphs with great intent and then skimmed the rest for words supporting the intent of the article. I want the example. I want the personal story that proves the argument.

It was something about being rejected and then being nominated for a pushcart prize for the same piece of writing. It was about researching lit mags before you submit to 1. Validate your work fits with the other writing they publish and 2. Decide if they are worthy of your writing.

I agree with both these things, but have found that that process is exhausting. Not sure why. Oh I know, because I’m overcommitted in general to start with and don’t feel like I have the time and patience for the process.

I don’t have the time for that, Yet somehow I think I can run a lit mag. That’s just crazy talk. It’s insanity. But wait. There’s more. Are you ready for this??…

I’m not qualified and I have no idea what I’m doing. Oh, yeah, and I’m terrified. Did I mention I was terrified?

I’m like a kid who just wandered into a seedy neighborhood on accident and is asking directions from people hanging out by a chain link fence around a neglected city park.

Yes, I did just equate the literary community to a seedy neighborhood. That’s just how I feel right now. Hoping “this too shall pass.”

So I rolled the dice yesterday and now I’m in it whether I like it or not. I don’t know how many hours I spent working on the WordPress site that will be the platform for this lit mag, but it’s a goddamned lot. This morning I spent 1 hour cruising Submittable and looking at other sites and ended up feeling defeated. There is only so much one can do with a “personal” plan and free themes. I have done the best I can but have a hard time reminding myself that it’s “good enough.”

In the not too distant future, a potential submitter can read the words written by other people. Words that were bravely submitted, read by our editors and accepted. Words “we” chose to publish. They can decide for themselves if their words fit with what we’re all about. They can reject us and not submit based on that. And “we” are going to live or die by that decision.

Until then though, it’s just the words on our site right now that have been written and approved by Ed and I. No pressure.
it’s also the site itself (in my head anyway). Someone might see it and think it rudimentary or not professional enough and reject based on that. If that’s the case, I suppose, I’d be inclined to say, “fuck off.”

Yeah, maybe I could do that. Just tell someone straight out, we don’t have funding or a paid staff and are basically trying to give this a go during a Pandemic. Who does that. Who decides to start a lit mag in the midst of a global pandemic? We do!

It’s going to be a bumpy ride. I can feel it already. And despite my being terrified, I’m going to do it anyway because that is all I know how to do. What choice do I have? I had no choice in getting my MFA. My inner spark demanded it. I’m not sure if it’s good or evil (this ShySpark).. I’ve been on the fence about that for years.

Is this driving force leading me to a better life or simply keeping me in a state of perpetual discontent? WTF?!

My friend Rebecca said her new motto is “good enough”, and no matter how much I’d like to get on board, I don’t think I can. Instead, I decide I’m going to hunt submittable for places I can submit my poetry to. And spend hours reading about potential places and deciding where to put my money. Because I’m assuming my money is all they will accept. My words, no doubt, will be rejected. That’s just how it is until it isn’t, apparently.

My hour is up and it’s almost 9AM. It’s a holiday supposedly but I’ve got plans to get back to the job that pays me actual money and play catch-up on all that QA I’ve been putting off in order to get to the “launch” yesterday.

The door is open now. Bring on the Dragons.

Yours truly,
~Miss SugarCookie

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