14 January 2019

In the shower I had the idea to do a post about reading with no references in it—to just use the space to talk about what I’m afraid of and what I want. All sorts of those things could go in each of those categories, but as pertains to this blog, what I want is to strive for the work-in-progress feeling of a notebook. Rough, sketchy; ideas captured a little closer to the moment of being thought. But I also want to be read, and I started this blog in a moment of despair that anyone would ever read anything I wrote again. It’s part of my temperament that I have trouble taking the long view and/or keeping the faith (you pick).

So already these two things I want are in tension with each other, since revision is usually a step—several steps, really—on the way to publication. And sometimes after (“Other errors from the first edition have been silently emended”). What are the risks of self-publishing unedited or lightly edited work? I could be taken for someone who doesn’t know how to edit, rather than someone choosing not to.

Not so much a risk as a responsibility. In risking error, I could be accused of shirking my responsibility to these texts, their authors, my audience, and their potential future audience.

I keep thinking back to Una reminding me (I think with tongue in cheek) that one of her early guides to writing on the internet talks about how one ought to include a comments section. All the evidence from the last twentyish years, which can be summed up in the injunction, “Never read the comments,” still doesn’t silence the part of me that wants to be in the conversation.

I need to protect myself as a queer trans woman (and emotionally porous baby with Cancer all over my chart) from jerks. I also don’t want to be a jerk myself, or (and I say this with more shame) to be called a jerk. Conversely, I suppose I don’t want such a hyperfunctioning filter for negativity that I won’t risk being a transfeminist killjoy, when I need to be.

There’s other stuff to say here, but I’m just going to leave this here for now.

Zoe Tuck