Friday, May 12, 2017

Follow Up

When I publish a post like this with a title that will rank a thousand pages back, and I don't post it on Facebook, it's for myself and my regular readers. That last post raised an angry stir from one quarter. Mike and I laughed it off, though we both hope we can repair ill feeling coming from elsewhere. A trusted friend from more than a decade ago told me that if my writing--she was sure I would eventually incite controversy--polarizes, so long as I am on the right side with my friends, it pays off, because controversy stirs interest and profit.

I won't go into details. I just want to comment on one word that does bug me about that post, though I won't go into edit function and change it. Significant.

Honestly. One hundred percent honestly. I am very proud of the writing I have got published. That's significant. And I've worked damn hard and continue to work damn hard to get these articles published. All of the magazines I write for are significant. Of course they are. Anyone who would doubt this, when these magazines sell, is a fool. But I am a complicated individual. I just emailed my father two nights ago, relating how my mother told me in 1999, when we were coin shopping for our collections, "Don't do any psychological tests on your son." Matt was with us, six months old. She wasn't joking. I wrote Dad, "My journals test me. Anyone who will read them will be tested for sure."

When I wrote about getting published significantly last night, I didn't see the brush against condescension myself, nor feel it at all: it's a matter of context. To forget what that word means is to invite no less than insanity. To gain the broader issue of the post is to realize: maybe the reason I didn't see or feel condescension--is because it simply is not there. No one in his right mind would believe Ernest Hemingway's best work was published in Field & Stream, not that I have been published in this magazine; I have not, but if I'm not mistaken, Hemingway was so. Gathering from what I've read, both Hemingway and Zane Grey remained very proud of their fishing articles. I would guess so. Partly because I know: no matter how I finish in life--or after I am dead--I will always be proud of my fishing articles. And I will always remember where I first got published. On fishing early season largemouth bass.

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