Putting Myself Out There because I Have to

Becoming an emerging writer is a Quixotic, blunt, heart-breaking delusion where art is actually more like head trauma than vocation. Personally, I recommend people stay away from the fallout as much as possible. Even so, I've got it bad for writing, so I'm a hopeless case. You may not be.

Anyway, I've proven this before, but like I said, I don't know how to fucking listen. Which is why I'm setting myself up for heartache again. It's how you put yourself out there, you enter contests + hope you come back with the biggest stuffed panda at the state carnival. Eventually someone does, why the fuck shouldn't it be you? Besides, I have to do this: This is how writers do: They put their asses on the line again and again for some whimsical, half-finished idea + you know, it's absolutely fucking worth it too, even with all of the drama, rejection + nausea. It's worth it. We have to write, we can't stop the dream, even when it's turned dark + beastly and demented and sore, it doesn't matter. We have to write + so we do. And when we've got something, eventually we decide it's time to find our audience, which is all publishing really is.

So I sent out some new full + partial manuscripts to a few great, indie presses in the East Coast + entered several contests too. I mean, if we're going to do this, then let's do it all the fucking way, no compromising, nothing half-assed, nothing guaranteed, the opposite of evasion, shyness + silence. Let's do this, the voice inside my head tells me.

Here are some recent book submissions:

1. The Ninjas of My Greater Self (James Jones First Novel Contest) 28 April 2011

A Travel Guide to the Broken World (Coffee House Press) 29 April 2011

A Travel Guide to the Broken World (Flannery O'Connor Award) 23 May 2011

4. BLANK excerpt (Beacon Press) 3 June 2011

A Travel Guide to the Broken World (FSG) 3 June 2011

A Travel Guide to the Broken World (Drue Heinz Literature Prize) 20 June 2011

7. A Travel Guide to the Broken World (Milkweed Editions) 5 July 2011

And of course I'm waiting to hear from Irene Goodman, the literary agent that solicited a whole manuscript of BLANK + the outline of Ninjas, I'm waiting to hear from Electric Literature for almost a year, waiting to hear from McSweeney's for 8 months, waiting to hear from the Paris Review, Black Warrior Review, Fence, waiting to hear from the Chicago Review for 13 months now (including 2 ignored emails I sent them), but I'm still going strong. I have absolutely nothing suggesting I'm going to win shit, nothing suggesting I'm gonna get a new piece published in a new journal anytime soon, but I'm good + I'm strong. Something is gonna work out, something is happening, if nothing else, momentum. If nothing else, some fucking momentum.