Wednesday, 5 September 2012

If no one reads me, do I exist?

If no one reads me, do I exist?

Could this be the buggiest of the bugbears? I am widely published online and reasonably well-published in small periodicals, right? So who the heck reads my stuff and why is it published? Why have the publications who have published me . . . published me? Why don’t they tell me what they liked about my stories? Why don’t I ask them? Would that seem strange? Why isn’t the new Magnetic Fields album Love at the Bottom of the Sea very good? How do I develop a short story form that fits the über-distractedness of the modern online user, and helps me write more than 1K a week, if lucky? Are people reading my stories in these widely unread periodicals or skipping them for their unappealing and downright repulsive content? Is this blog post coming to end? Is it? Yes?

P.S. My story Writing For Carol was recently published in OneTitle Summer 2012 issue, on p112. You can read me, and I will exist! Maybe . . .


  1. Dear MJ, I'm glad I found you (via your liking a short goodreads review I posted for Christopher Allen's book), and I have often pondered this question myself, without conclusive answer, alas. I'm not sure many people other than writers read the online literary journals, but since the same probably goes for print literary journals, the loss seems fair. It is much easier to get attention with a blog post that asks a sensible question than with an obscure story in an obscure online location. This pains me if only because it increases the pressure to write blog posts rather than stories. I procrastinate. Even now, which is why I'm going to stop and bid you adieu from Berlin!

    1. Hi Marcus! I know what you mean. Asking a question about literary matters seems to merit more response than the literary matters themselves, where readers can voice their opinions. But then do we end up in a world where we're only giving our opinions on how we write things, never reading any of the products of those opinions (in the form of stories?) It's maddening.