Thursday, April 3, 2014

Web Site Visitors

I just want to send a big shout-out to all the people who have visited my new web site and blog since they went up a couple of months ago. I'm able to see the numbers through Google Analytics, and I'm here to tell you, it makes one feel good to see visitors from China, Russia, France, Germany, and many other foreign countries, as well as 23 states (so far) here at home.

When Ruth Gordon won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Rosemary's Baby in 1969, she said in her acceptance speech: "I can't tell you how encouraging a thing like this is." She was 72 years old at the time and had been in the business for more than 50 years.

I've had so many older friends over the past 30 years, women and men who had established themselves as superlative writers, and yet the most successful among them always had one thing in common: they never stopped being hungry. But even more, they never stopped trying to do their best, often failing, but still getting up every day and trying to find enough encouragement to keep going.

The people I admired most were the ones who had once been quite famous and had since become far less known and still "went to work" every day as if something wonderful might happen.

I absolutely love literary journals and magazines, but as any writer will tell you, keeping work in them over the course of a career is a massive amount of work that is sometimes tough to take. A handful of poets can count on every poem they write being bought. Most of us have a rejection-to-acceptance ration of 10-1 at best, and often it's far, far worse. Back in my 20s, long before the Internet, I'd send out 20 packages of poems to magazines and sometimes get one poem accepted or none.

But that acceptance letter from a small journal that only pays in copies is a thrill for all of us. It still is for me.

The numbers of those visiting my blog and web site aren't huge. After all, it's been a couple of years since my last book came out, and I was off the radar for a long time. But every visit logged is like an acceptance letter of a poem from a small magazine.

So I just want to say thank you for visiting me from time to time. It makes me happy when you're here.

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