While we are celebrating the great Dr. King, this year today also seems to be Mary Kole Day for me. She’s teaching a class tonight with the Learning Annex in Midtown, and I recently read a post of hers about not using one’s blog to test or share potential new manuscripts.
Apparently, once work has been posted on the web, it is considered published – a fact to which a few folks were kind enough to alert me earlier. In her post dated December 20, 2010, Mary gives some excellent – and firm – advice about what and where you should and shouldn’t post samples of your work online.
While I have posted draft stories on this blog previously, I will be taking those samples and drafts down. Having worked with the web since it was brand-spanking new, I know full well that this won’t prevent folks from considering certain works published since they will live on as ghosts in the machine. It’s more of a teaching moment for myself so I don’t make the same mistake again.
I do wish, though, that a distinction would be made between those folks who post in innocence or ignorance and those who truly believe that it’s an avenue to publication. I certainly never expected that an agent or editor would be trolling my site to find a new author! Mary’s point, though, is well-taken – if you wish to share work-in-progress for feedback, keep it in the private sections of blogs, message boards, etc.
So, unfortunately, for my friends and colleagues who enjoy my work, I will be posting it only to the Yellow Brick Road or other such venues from now on. This will remain my place to work with prompts, jump start my writing days when needed, and post random thoughts about life and literature.