Narrowing the scope of things

Dear Readers:

Lately I’ve been receiving something like seven hundred site-related email messages a week and a flood of literary magazines and books in my mailbox at home. I’m always happy to hear from every single one of you. I’m glad to be entrusted with your work. But it seems important to remind myself (and to let you know, in case you didn’t already) that this site doesn’t pay my bills.

I have an unrelated day job that’s intermittently demanding. I’m also a student. And I’m working on my own writing.

This site is nothing more than an amateur operation — a product of my obsessions — to which I devote time that sane people would spend working, sleeping, partying, watching TV, and the like. Sometimes on weeknights I’m up at 4 a.m., posting, when I have to wake up in a few hours for work.

Although it offends my southern mania for politeness to admit this, please understand that I won’t be able to read all of the online fiction and criticism to which you direct me, however excellent it may be, however much I may want to. Nor will I be able to read every book I receive in the mail. And I won’t be able to review more than a sampling of the ones I do read. (I’m planning to feature short reviews written by myself and a few others in the coming months, but even those reviews will cover only a portion of what I receive.)

Also, although Time Out New York depicted this site partly as an events-listing service, that is not the primary function of it. I do mention events sometimes, when I have time. But there are better sites and outlets for literary listings.

I used to answer all personal email (as opposed to mass mailings) promptly, but lately some messages have been slipping through the cracks. I can hear my grandmother’s voice in my head, reminding me to always write thank-you notes, chiding me for failing to write back to my invalid great-aunt, for whom a trip to the mailbox was an effort. I’ll go back and track those old messages down, I promise, but I can’t say when exactly that will happen.

Needless to say, I’m grateful to hear from all of you, to correspond about writing and literature and just shoot the shit. And I do want to promote other people’s writing and projects — just not at the expense of my own.

Okay, that’s all. Thanks for reading.


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