I’ve been blogging for over two months now. It’s been an interesting learning curve. These are my thoughts on the pros and cons.
- Absolute freedom. It’s possible to post whatever you want, whenever you want, without facing rejection by a publisher or having to kowtow to somebody else’s timetable.
- Aesthetic effect. A blog is the perfect place to combine photography, which captures the physical appearance of an area with poetry to depict a person’s experience.
- World wide audience. The potential readership is limitless.
- Meeting like minded people. Through linking with other blogs and writing reviews I’ve made contact with many people I wouldn’t have (virtually) met otherwise.
- The temptation of premature publication. Because it’s possible to publish something immediately, fuelled by the buzz of completion it’s easy to publish poems prematurely and regret it. I’ve done it a few times.
- Lack of quality control. Because they can publish anything, people do. I’ve published many poems here that wouldn’t make it into a small press magazine. Whilst the occasional gem can be found on the web, there’s a mass of rubbish and I’m contributing to the tip. I’m not the only one to feel that way. At Druid Life Nimue Brown says: “Some days it feels like every other person online is writing a book. The world has no use for that many books. I feel like I’m adding to a pile of crap, not giving something of value, and I’m suffering from profound inspiration fail.” Ditto. The number of people ‘liking’ a poem is no indication of a poem’s quality. More people have ‘liked’ the s**t ones than those that have been published or won a competition.
- Once a poem’s published on a blog it’s ineligible for publication elsewhere. Some poems are works in progress, whose final forms are indeterminable until the right destination appears. Whilst publishing on a blog can be perfect for some poems, others only come to completion through critique and editing to fit with a publisher’s requirements.
A blog is great for sharing the experience of a place in photographs and verse. However blogging isn’t helping me improve my craft. Therefore from now on I am going to use this blog as a place to share moments of magic from my land in poems and photos when inspired to do so, whilst getting my other work up to a standard worthy of professional publication.
Speaking a day later, such a rational conclusion isn’t easy to follow when poems seem to demand to be written and posted. It seems that the Awen doesn’t follow writers’ poorly thought out self imposed rules…