Publishing Woes:Blogging Edition

Good Morning my lovely bloggers and bloggettes!

Recently, a discussion has emerged in my prompt group about posting in blogs. See, we set up this group in our MFA program to continue writing prompts in the same fashion our mentors gave us in workshop. It’s a fun and easy way to keep our creativity constantly moving. Yet, my dreams for this group must be kept private from the information I just discovered. In our attempt to build a portfolio inches thick with possible stories and contest submission, I forgot one thing. How would submitting them in a public blog (to get readers involved and our names out there) affect our ability to publish?

While I hadn’t thought immediately about publishing these fun prompts that we were doing, I did intend to put my work in my own blog and even create one for the writing group. Regrettably, I must rethink that decision and even remove the posts on my blog that I’ve already posted because they’ve been holding me back from publishing my works.

Some contests advise that they will only accept unpublished work, and that includes any public publishing on the internet. Here is one example of the few exceptions that showcases how I view publishing:

For the purpose of this Competition, previously published material includes the publication or distribution of the entry, in part or whole, in paper or electronic format or in any other medium, including self-published works. This does not include a chapter excerpt on an author’s website, subject to the conditions that: (i) the excerpt is the only text that exists for public viewing; (ii) the excerpt is not for sale to the public, and (iii) the number of words in the excerpt does not exceed 10% of the total number of words in the work as a whole.

I feel like posting on my own blog shouldn’t exactly count because the purpose for posting on blogs comes in a variety of reasons. If publishing has also come from credible sources, shouldn’t that translate to how something is published online as well. Even electronic publishing has a specific format it must go through Pubit and other softwares to convert your text into an e-book. Some blogs have paid writers who PUBLISH stories and articles on the blog, but I’m not paying myself to post my ideas on here, so why should that limit the personal fiction I post as being published? Maybe my mind hasn’t adjusted to my possibilities in the self-publishing electronic world yet, but there should be a distinction in personal sharing and publishing online. Don’t know how, but there should because I don’t just want to sell good books. I want to share amazing stories with the world. Why should writers be punished with disqualification by contests and editors if all they are doing is sharing their work until it is ready to be published?

I might be a little off base here, but it just seems counter productive for a contest or editor to deny a wonderful piece that could potentially bring them business because the author tried it out on their person blog for a few months and may have received good reception, but I guess that is just the way of the world. I will have to stick to private writing groups and personal criticisms to get my feedback. Anyone else have issues with the publishing world today? Please share I would love to hear them and blog about them too!


Happy reading/writing!


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6 responses to “Publishing Woes:Blogging Edition

  1. Rion

    That’s a very valid concern, I think – and it’s one of the oddities of the publishing era nowadays. Most of the writings that I publish on my blog aren’t pieces of a larger project – they’re just drabbles that may or may not be from an extant setting, and allow me a better idea of what that world is like.

    But I agree that there’s a certain disconnect between personal blogs and professional publishing…and that it doesn’t seem fair to discount someone publishing because they’re trying to get readers interested in them. I think in many ways, it’s a matter of trying to find a balance – can you entice readers with other writings – things you’re willing to forgo (or at least potentially forgo) professional publishing on (at least for now) – or do you need to come up with a different method entirely?

    I’ve been using the drabbles as my method – and am working on a novel to be serialized on a website I was given as a gift a while ago. That way, people can see my writing and I can be working – while still keeping other projects in my pocket to be (hopefully) published more traditionally.

    • I think that is the only way to go. We can only post the little snippets of stories that aren’t developed or that never will be and save the good stuff for the publishers. Ah well we will get over it. By the way, I am reading a fantastic free novel about angels have you heard of the taken?

  2. I’ve noticed this before with such competitions and think it’s silly too. Like you say, there should be a distinction between sharing on a blog (which I often view as closer to social media than self publishing) and self publishing a work. But it seems at the moment the best way to get rid of the competition is to disqualify it in such comps as these. Argh, so wrong.
    I haven’t published any of my writing (as in my stories) on my blog, but it does annoy me that I probably couldn’t even if I wanted to, if I intended on publishing it later.
    *Shakes fist at publishing world*

    • Ah! It is good to hear from you old friend. It is a shame we must censor ourselves in a way from sharing our own work in the hopes of someday possibly submitting it for a slim chance at being published in a contest. Eventually we will get our chance. How is life fairing for you?

      • It is a shame, but like you say, we will get our chance one day for sure!
        Life is good at the moment. Most of the classes I am teaching are all quite nice kids so work is enjoyable, and I’ve been enjoying teaching bits of creative writing here and there (one of my academic classes are getting through the required work so fast I’m sneaking in extra stuff, so I just taught 15 year olds how to write villanelles the other day. They quite enjoyed it, luckily). Other than this, I’ve started editing one of my four novel drafts (the only one I really liked writing), and I’m saving up for a trip to Sweden in a few months. So life is good but insanely busy, as always.
        How has your life been of late? 🙂

      • That sounds delightful! I am sure your students will appreciate the head start in knowing how to write different genres. I am doing pretty well with schoolwork and getting along in regular work. I am up to 16,000 words on my manuscript, which is fantastic! I just need to get my butt moving. Also, I have a kitten that takes up a lot of my time. Have you seen photos on Twitter? She is the best!

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