Today I got an email that one of my poems was accepted for a really small niche anthology. There’s no payment. I don’t even know when the thing’s going to come out.
I am still squeeing like a five year old boy whose dad just photocopied his “comic book” so he could sell it to his relatives for a nickel. Finally, I shall see print outside a college literary magazine! I don’t care that only like a hundred people will read it and I don’t get paid!
I’m actually a little surprised how thrilled I am about it. I was expecting to be much lower-key about the whole thing… because it’s not, you know, a Career In Writing, not yet. It’s just one poem.
But it’s my first poem, and a sign that maybe I’m on the right track and doing something worth doing, something people might want to read. You know? I’m going to have my evening of squee (my roommates are buying me pizza tonight to celebrate) and then I’m going to put it aside and not get too attached to the idea.
There’s a little part of me that’s always been superstitious about getting my hopes up about anything. It used to be so bad that I didn’t want to think about anything as “certain” until it actually happened for fear that thinking about it too hard would jinx it somehow… I think it grew out of, when I was really small, I would get my hopes up so high for something like a vacation and then it wouldn’t be as good as I had wanted it to be, so I stopped getting my hopes up at all. But I think I’m getting back toward the middle path on that particular sort of thought. I don’t want to anticipate, because that leads to disappointment and suffering, but at the same time, I can’t completely ignore the future.
In the long run, it’s really not a big deal. I mean, it doesn’t change the way or the reason I write, and with small press you never really know until it comes out that it will. I don’t want to put myself in a place to be disappointed… but there’s no reason I can’t enjoy it. You know, in the moment.