Pretty in print

As a writer, nothing beats having your work published, and knowing that people have read and appreciated it. And while it’s deeply satisfying for this to happen online, for me, the ultimate is seeing my words printed within the pages of a publication that I hold in high regard.

Shredding the deadwoodI recently had an article published in Coven Magazine, a great new magazine aimed at women who love action, art and adventure. As this sums me up to a tee, I was delighted that they were keen to print a slightly, shall we say, creative, article on snowboarding that I’d written. Particularly as this was exactly the kind of audience who I felt might appreciate my piece.

Having an article published, whether it be online or in print, evokes a strange mix of emotions. As I click open the web page or pick up the publication and flick through its pages in search of my article, I am overcome with a sense of excitement, tinged with dread. What if my words have been changed? What if there’s a typo that I haven’t spotted? What if it’s not as good as I thought it was when I submitted it?

Even when I’m completely satisfied with a piece of writing, I still feel slightly anxious about how it will be received, particularly when it’s a touch on the creative side. As with all creative pursuits, putting your work out there to be analysed and opined on, brings with it a certain sense of vulnerability.

Screen Shot 2012-11-11 at 18.18.20However, any trepidation is quickly overshadowed by pride when I see the oh-so-familiar words of my article staring back at me, looking infinitely better than they did when I was agonising over them in a Word document.

For me, these conflicting feelings seem to be intensified when an article is published in print. Maybe it’s because I love printed publications, and still much prefer to read articles in print myself? Or maybe it’s because I have more articles published online and take those for granted these days? Mainly though, I think it’s due to the fact that anyone can publish content online and there is so much on the internet that your work can get drowned in a sea of mediocrity. However, when your article appears in print, it is one of a carefully selected series of pieces compiled for a specific audience.

People also consume articles very differently through the two different mediums, with online audiences tending to have a much shorter attention span. So, while an article may reach a greater audience online, and have more permanence, a printed article will hopefully make a greater impact on a select audience of interested readers.

The Blue Glasses FishNot that I’m dissing online media in the slightest, as the majority of my work is published online, and I may never have got into this business if it hadn’t been for the exposure that I received online. But, from the very first article I had published in the school magazine, aged five, nothing has given me a greater sense of satisfaction than seeing my work in print. I still feel a wave of pride accompanied by a twinge of embarrassment at my five-year-old spelling of ‘nice’, when I read my debut, ‘The Blue Glasses Fish’!

There’s also something brilliantly straightforward about something published in print. I have no idea how many people have read my article in Coven Magazine, or what they made of it. There are no stats to analyse and no comments section. And perhaps therein lies its ultimate appeal? It’s obviously nice to receive feedback and know that people are actually appreciating, or at least reading, the fruits of your labour. But sometimes it’s nice to release an article and just let it be…

If you’ve read this far, you’ve already disproved my theory on short attention spans online, in which case you may like to follow this link to the aforementioned article, ‘Shredding the deadwood’, which is on page 90 of the online version of Coven Magazine, Issue 3.

Or, if like me, you’d prefer to read it in print, you can pick up a copy of Coven Magazine from any of these stockists, or subscribe via the Coven website.

Do you have any thoughts on print vs online media? Or, can you relate, or not, to the mixed feelings of releasing a piece of work for public consumption? Please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

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