There are many ways that technology makes the life of a poet better and more interesting. Such as:
- Writing blogs & reading blogs about poetry
- Poetry websites
- Instant access to inspiration whether it is art, music or other writers
- Instant sharing of positive poetry news (a friend gets published, a new book comes out or someone wins a prize)
- Drafting poems is often helped by word processing
- Loosing work is less likely as long long as you remember to back up said work on a variety of devices
- Electronic submission managers cut down on the cost of postage and the response time is faster
- It is easier to read a sampling of journals online because of the archive system
- More new journals are coming onboard using the internet as their platform
- More poetry gets out to a broader audience via the internet
- It’s easier to collaborate with other writers
- Procuring an MFA is easier than it used to be in terms of scheduling because of low residency programs with an online component
I’m sure there are other benefits that I have not listed, but I think these hit on most of the main points. So three cheers for technology, right?
I think the downfall of all this great technology for the poet is that I constantly feel like I’m not doing enough. I’m a slow writer to start with and I also teach five classes a semester. This is not a dig at people who do not work, or who have a 3/4 load, or whatever your situation might be but this is my reality and I find my reality frustrating in terms of the writing life. This is especially the case when it comes to bullet point #4.
I revel in other poet’s success because it’s not only good for them, it’s good for poetry in general. Whenever someone wins a prize or a grant or gets a poem published or finishes a book, that means that there is an audience out there reading, thinking and supporting poetry. I find this very encouraging. On the flip side, sometimes it can be discouraging when you are sending out work constantly and not getting a response. This probably sounds whiny, and it isn’t meant to be but I think it is probably how the majority of writers feel most of the time. I won’t lie and say that this rant wasn’t prompted by a recent round of submissions I sent out. I received some of the fastest rejections I’ve ever gotten and that always kind of sucks. This is another downfall of technology, the submission process it much more streamlined than it used to be so sometimes you can send a few poems out and three days later there is an email in your inbox wishing you better luck next time.
None of this information is anything new. Submitting is frustrating and that’s just how it is. Why keep doing it? Well, I believe I’ve written some good poems and I’d like people to read them because I think they could get something out of them. How does that make me different than every other poet on the planet? It doesn’t but I’m going to keep trying.