A writing group I belong to on Facebook is having a poetry marathon today. Because I love poetry marathons as a way to shake away any creative cobwebs, I have been keeping up and writing a poem an hour.
The way the marathon works is that members write a poem an hour, responding to a prompt (or not), and then post those poems to the group’s Facebook page. We read each other’s poetry and comment. It’s a small, nice community, and participating is fun.
I have a dilemma, though. I send poems to magazines and journals for consideration for publication, and many of them won’t accept a submission if it has been published anywhere before, even online. Publishing on Facebook counts as an online publication. If I participate in my group’s Facebook marathon, I’m limiting what I can do with my poetry outside of Facebook.
Twice now I’ve run into a conflict where I had a poem that seemed like a perfect fit for a publication, only to find out that it was ineligible because I had shared it on Facebook.
I can understand making the decision to share something on my own web page or Facebook anyway, especially if it gives my poetry good exposure, but my little writing group has fewer than 50 members. There’s not much exposure to be found there, and that’s not its purpose anyway. It’s meant to serve as a supportive writing community, and it does that very well.
So, here I am on poetry marathon day with a bunch of poems that I’m reluctant to share at this point, and that saddens me a little.