Dana said on Facebook (no idea how to link to Facebook posts):
Rather than clamoring to get our own work into journals, we should clamor to get other people’s work published.
I totally agree with you, Dana. I’ve been thinking about this very issue recently. I’m not sure we are the best submitters of our own work, for a variety of reasons.
Why aren’t we the best submitters of our own work? Because it’s hard for us to see past it. We easily become overly-enamored and overly-identified (or, sometimes, overly-disenchanted) with our own work and therefore don’t always assess the publication we are targeting as a home for our work realistically. Because we are stressed, overwhelmed by ever-burgeoning possibility, blindly optimistic, or just humbly (and crazily) always hoping for the best, letting the chips fall where they may, since one never knows, after all… etc, etc.
I submit that it’s much easier for a third, more detached, person to accurately gauge the connection (or lack thereof) between a submission and the target journal. Of course, you would want that third person to have the skills & knowledge necessary for such gauging, and you would want them to have a demonstrated understanding of what you are trying to accomplish with your work. But find all that, and I predict that your publication rate will soar, if someone else starts submitting on your behalf.
This is what poets should do: poets should pair up. You submit my stuff and I submit yours. I steep myself in your stuff, and you steep yourself in mine. I scour the field with your stuff in mind, and you, vice versa. At the end of 3-6 months, we compare notes. What’s the publication score? Is this partnership working for both of us, or working at all? Should we continue or call it quits?