One of the ways I have used Facebook in the past two years is to make connections with other writers/editors. And part of that has been—and seems widely accepted to be—the posting of Very! Exciting! News!. All the time. There is a continual wash of everyone’s good fortune, and the two most-used words (which I am completely tired of—which feel so empty to me by their universal application) are ‘EXCITING’ and ‘AMAZING’. Not everything is. I wish that were more okay than it seems to be. Some things are politically good decisions. Some things are lucrative. Some things are happifying, thanks, much older vernacular English. Some things are overwhelming. Some things are intense. Some things are gratifying. You get my point. I mean, we’re writers. There has to be more to say than those two words.
Anyway. That’s not my main point. The thing is, I don’t think it’s that we’re being flooded by people’s news. I love hearing people’s news. I love knowing people are doing well with their writing, which basically just means there is a place or there are places for writing, full stop, which is to my mind a categorically good thing. But the sheer amount of information (and the work it takes to put it out there and get any kind of attention for it) I think leads to sloppy or lazy—or maybe just tired—ways of talking about it. AMAZING writing, okay, sure, but every other tweet or status update I read claims something AMAZING. AMAZING is the new status quo. (I’m not exempt: AMAZING is the adjective that jumps most readily to my mind too as a way to express my wonder, excitement, joy, and gratitude when someone publishes my work.) But I would like not to contribute to that cacophony anymore, so for the last few months I haven’t been posting things there (I’ve been keeping them here). For the most part, anyway—sometimes I want to support the magazine, so I do link to them. But I try to do that without claiming any special glory, even though I think all people who run lit magazines—oh underpaid, overworked, underappreciated comrades!—are due some. Anyway anyway. Just thinking out loud. There is a lot more to be said here, on a personal level, about ways one might or might not think about humility, community, whatever, in terms of sharing one’s successes.