Many of us addicted to the written word harbor the smoldering desire to see our name - and our work - in print. With many publications going to electronic formats, it's harder to turn the dream of having our creative babies birthed into print. Some of us choose to go the self-publishing route.
My friend Irene MacFarland and I self-published a collection of her photography and my short stories and poetry a couple of years ago. It was exhilarating, frustrating and rewarding. When the books were delivered from the printer, we both felt shy (and more than a bit protective) about introducing them to the world. We gifted friends and family with copies. And, after a good deal of goading, we were fortunate to place our offspring in two independent book stores - one in Wausau, Wisconsin and one in Madison, Wisconsin. We felt awkward but elated to see our progeny shining from the shelves. I know I went in to the bookstore more than once just to see if the books were safely tucked into their spots.
Last week I attended the launch of a local university's annual literary magazine. I was invited to read the poem, flash fiction story, and creative nonfiction essay of mine that they selected. This was not my first time reading at this - and other- literary events. I am always awed by the quality of the work and touched by the sincere and sometimes embarrassed presentations by the students who prove brave enough to read their works. It is an honor to be there with them to support them, and share the fruits of creative labor with them.
Even though I sometimes get carried away by mundane obligations, I hope that I will always make the time to tend to my nascent ideas and push them out into the world, no matter how messy the process. I hope you will too.