Will Beg for Fame: An author seeks an audience

Walker Evans subway portrait, 1930s, New York

Walker Evans subway portrait, 1930s, New York

Here is a naked and shameless bid for attention. I would publish it in the so-called Episcopal Blogosphere but I’m by now pretty well convinced that I’m not part of said Blogosphere, and simply do not fit anyone’s preconceived ideas of how I’m supposed to write.

I don’t write theology. I write memoir.

I don’t write mediation or prayer. I write me.

Maybe I don’t write sufficiently or within the hidden lines signified by “Read publication before submitting,” because I’m arrogant enough to really believe that unless I’m writing for the National Steamfitters’ Monthly or American Rifleman, quality alone might just be interesting.

I wrote a story about my faith journey. Began life as Jew. Changed to Catholicism in middle age. After considerable struggle and self-doubt, made myself at home in the Episcopal Church.

It’s not interesting.

I sent the story to several Episcopal online publications and others on a general spiritual nature. I was met with indifference. “Not for us.” Really. A story about the journey from Judaism through other forms of Christianity and into the Anglican communion, and reasonably well-written, is Not For You.

You may of course reject anyone you wish but there is a strange code in the world of publication, be it literary, scholarly, or religious, and it’s the same code: Don’t ask and dont’ tell. Don’t ask for feedback and don’t offer it. “It’s not for us.” “Why” is an inappropriate response to being told you really can’t write. Because that, mes amis, really is the message. “Not for us” is a not-very-clever subterfuge.

It doesn’t wash. Any of it.

Putting the thing somewhere else in the blog isn’t a substitute for someone else validating  you and your work.

The meaning of the Walker Evans photo…a couple of guys down on their luck in the subway back in the 1930s. Maybe they’re starved for attention, too, or maybe they’re just what I could find on 4 hours’ sleep in a college library.

Anyway, I’ll work for food and write for my name on a byline. I’d just like someone to sort out for me the hidden language of publication so I can cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashion.

I must be missing on more cylinders than I knew I was supposed to have.


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