I'm listening to a DVD set my friend Mark gave me called First Thought Best Thought, Essential Insights for Writers and Poets. There's a lot of good, inspiring stuff here, of course, because the lectures are by William S. Burroughs, Diane Di Prima, Allen Ginsbert, Anne Waldman. And they talk about the process of writing and publishing, which was, is not easy, not even for those famous, infamous writers.
Was just listening to Diane Di Prima talking about using whatever means necessary to get your work out. She says that a lot of things go wrong if you don't get your writing into circulation – one is that you get depressed. Which is so true. I see so many writers with bodies of work who can't get it out there. It's heartening to hear diPrima talk about her forays into self-publishing, using IBM Selectrics and mimeograph machines.
We have it so much easier. But I think we forget how important it is to consolidate and present a coherent body of work. I have so many friends, brilliant people, writers, whose works are scattered all over the web, in anthologies, magazines, everywhere. I keep saying, put it in a book, consolidate it, gather it up and get it out. It's so easy now, of course, if you have the desire and the discipline. And then it takes on its own life.
Here's an audio excerpt from the DVD set, Diane Di Prima.