Although my poetry seems to be taking a vacation, with nary a white whale in sight and even prompts in writing groups failing to kickstart the juices, I’m not exactly napping between meagre proofreading gigs. Starting a small press with no money or staff ain’t for sissies. I managed to churn out MoJo! Issue 11 for July 4th; now the busy writers are proofing their work for the first book of Hidden Charm Press.
Editing together the first ten issues of MoJo! to create a book is fantastic fun, but it’s also hard work, aided by miscommunications with the bookmaking crew and the heartbreaking and frustrating realization that I can’t run this Press alone, edit two online journals, and organize an annual poetry reading with 10 readers and a growing audience unless I want to neglect my individual work, which I distinctly do not. Publish or perish is not just a reality for academics. I have 4 books waiting to be published and am writing 3 others. I have to finish them soon or they will get bored waiting for me to catch up and simply vanish. I’m not sure how other writers’ “processes” work, but that’s how my brain works.
I write for publication, not for filing cabinets. Something had to give. I will miss hosting my own event, but I don’t have time to actually plan the event or build the site and run HCP. They thumb wrestled and the Press won. And I win the pleasue of watching a small workshop group from November 2008 turn into a book we Black women writers can be proud of in November 2012.
Well, into the hailstorm I go. My library books are due. Books wait for no one.