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'Transient Words' An Article by Kayleigh Cutforth



This weekend I decided to catch up with my own writing submissions and was a little taken aback by how many great indie journals were on indefinite hiatus or had wrapped up completely. Which then sent me off into a depressing daydream about what the eventual demise of MONO. would look like. Would it be a year from now, 5 years, 10? At what marker would it be considered a complete failure? Are literary journals ever a failure?


I’ve come to the conclusion (on my dog walk this morning no less) that perhaps indie journals are meant to be transient, perhaps they appear for a certain time and then inevitably disappear never to be seen again, having served their purpose and sent their words out into the world to be devoured for exactly that moment in time.


Perhaps that’s the whole point.


In an era of mass digital communication where words have less and less permanence, where one click of a button could delete an entire literary blog - it’s little wonder that the indie lit journal is following the same pattern. How many of us are actually going back through old journals to reread them, or are we far more consumed with what’s coming next. I’m guessing the latter - and maybe that’s just the nature of the beast. Of course, there are the big names of the journal world that we all revere, that look beautiful on the coffee table and will inevitably be around for years to come -and long may they continue, but for the hundreds of us small fry indie journals, we are acutely aware that we have, at best, a limited shelf life.


The way I see it is this –


That poem that we published from the emerging author who didn’t believe in her writing ability now believes in herself, sends her work elsewhere, gets published, and starts a lifelong writing journey...


That piece of flash from the author who thought they’d finished their writing career now realises that age isn’t a barrier to continued success and starts writing again…


The young woman with ADHD puts pen to paper and finds a way of expressing herself that inspires others to write in and praise her work...


A poem written for one of our competitions goes on to be published in a high-profile journal…


The author who turned to writing in their seventies sees their work published in print and is inspired to send work elsewhere...


The stories are many and varied.


So that’s why it’s OK that we have a sell-by date, whatever that may be. It’s OK that our words are transient because long after MONO. or any other indie journal has disappeared, the legacy remains, however small. Because despite what we're told, it’s all significant regardless of whether it’s profitable. And that’s why we’re staying put, with the late nights juggling single parenting with despairing over WIX websites and losing emails, and forgetting to reply occasionally (sorry!).


Finally, I am more certain than ever, that it doesn't matter where we've come from, where we've been or where we're at - we can all make a mark in the world of words, however small and for however long...


Peace and Light -

K


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