How did you discover your online writing community?
I read Blake Butler’s story, “The Gown from Mother’s Stomach,” in Ninth Letter, fell in love with it, read his bio, went to his blog, and found in the sidebar links to so many of his other online writings. I discovered so many journals and so many writers who changed my perception of what “published writing” could be. I fell in love.
How has online community affected your growth as a writer? How has it affected your writing life? Your personal life?
I don’t know where I’d be without all of the writers and editors I’ve met as a result of the Internet. Every submission, rejected or accepted, has made me a stronger writer, has helped me to grow. My writing life is more exciting, filled with so many amazing people, because of the online community. People often complain that the online community seems insular and inside-jokey, but I have found the opposite to be true; our online community allows anyone entry, at any time, and can turn “outsiders” into “insiders” in no time at all. As for my personal life, which I keep private, I guess I would say that the online world of writing has brought me friends that I am very, very grateful for.
What have you learned from the experiences you have had?
#1. Don’t be elitist. For all anyone knows, a tiny poem in an online journal called The Buttcrack Review might bring you more recognition than a print poem in a more recognized literary magazine.
#2. Honor all solicitations, humbly.
#3. Enjoy the hell out of all of it, right?
What are your enthusiams and concerns for the future of online literature and its communities?
Enthusiasms: that we take over the world.
Concerns: that we will take over the world.
Please also provide a link to your earliest published online work.
“The Bees,” published in Serendipity, a now-defunct journal of magical realism.