I was thrilled when Brittle Star accepted my short story Mr Sheen, and even more thrilled when my complimentary copy arrived this week. I’ve only browsed through it so far, but there’s some fantastic writing (poetry, short fiction and essays).
In her introduction, one of the editors, Jacqueline Gabbitas, makes an interesting point about skilled work and low pay (copied below).
I had a run of luck with poetry competitions a few years back. I thought, for a while, it might be possible to give up the day job and make a living out of writing. However, I started to notice that the quality of my work was suffering. Subliminally, I think I was trying to write the ‘prizewinning poem’ (whatever that is), rather than being true to myself and my work. After that, I spent a lot of time experimenting, producing work that only appealed to the very fringes of the poetry scene, the avant-garde if you like. I had work taken by the likes of Streetcake and 3 am magazine, online journals that take risks, that are constantly seeking to challenge our notions of what poetry is and what it can do or be. Since then, I’ve never thought about payment. I write to satisfy my creative impulse, and to somehow translate my experience of the world into art. Payment is wonderful when it happens, but I never expect it. Writing for money doesn’t motivate me, because writing gives a sort of value to my time that can’t be quantified in monetary terms. I gain a great deal of satisfaction from that – in the areas I’m working in, writing can’t be ‘bought’.
I am influenced. I create. I edit. I send work out (in every sense I submit). For me, the process has its own rewards. I hope at least some of you feel the same.