It gums up the works.
It’s so slow and predicated on scarcity and I just want my work out there already. So I self-publish. I write what I write and then I put it out there.
Then, I try to figure out how to bring readers to the work because writers always want readers. That’s foundational to the social contract of writerly pursuits. And I try to be very scientific about the whole thing, but then discouragement reaches critical mass and I start looking into traditional publishing.
And publishers want new work, previously unpublished/untried, that’s also guaranteed to succeed.
But there are no guarantees. And anyway to prevent anything from being previously unpublished I typically write custom work for a publisher/agent/literary journal which immediately makes that thing stand so much further apart from the rest of my writing that cursory research into my work makes it all seem so much more “inconsistent.”
Inconsistent writers scare the publishing industry. Hell, we scare ourselves.
But what are we gonna do? Be something other than what we are? What, and let the work suffer as a result?
Hell no. We just keep plugging away at the problem. Throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping something sticks.
Also published on Medium.