This is probably a long overdue follow-up to Nancy’s “Published is Published” post from 6/27/07, but late is better than never, right?
The whole issue of whether it’s right or wrong for editors to consider poems posted on a blog or forum as published shouldn’t be an issue. Editors have their personal opinions on the issue and will stick by them. What’s more important is for poets to undertand what they want to achieve with their poetry and set forth on a course that will get them from point A to point B.
For instance, if you decide that your main goal as a poet is to just share your poems freely with as many people as will read them, then you’ll want to get a blog, join forums, go crazy on social networking sites and whatever else you can do to spread your poetic gospel. If that’s what you want, then good for you; the whole published is published debate doesn’t have an effect on how you act online.
If you decide you want to get published in literary journals and print publications, then you may need to tread more lightly and consider how and where you post drafts of your poems. Because the editors of such publications often do care whether your poems have appeared online or print previously. Whether you agree with this or not, that’s just how it is.
On the other hand, if your goal is to make millions of dollars writing poetry and use it as a platform to launch your own rock band–like Robert Lee Brewer & the Poets of Discontent–then you just might need to be pinched, because you’re obviously dreaming. Poets don’t make much money off publishing poetry, no matter where they’re published.
So here’s the bottom line: Consider what you want to accomplish as a poet. Then, make sure your online and print habits align with your long-term goals.
If you haven’t already, you can check out Nancy’s “Published is Published” post here.