9rules announced the sites they've accepted into their network this morning, and Watermark is not on the list -- but two sites that I read are: Real Live Preacher and John Baker. Oddly, the sites on the list are not clickable -- so I'll probably wait until they are before exploring.
I've been thinking lately about goals and intentions, given my impulsive try at inclusion in this network, some recent reading, and a friend's transitional struggles. I think it's natural, if one wants to be good at whatever one does, to want recognition for it -- but it seems a common error to confuse that recognition with the goal of doing it, or doing it well.
Some folks probably do have the recognition itself as the goal -- to be famous, or published, or to win some particular award, or make (some specific) lots of money. At least then you know when you've done it, unlike some more amorphous, moving targets. But I do think that doing something well, and being recognized for doing something well, are different goals that require differing -- not necessarily, but sometimes, anithetical strategies; so it's important to know for which one is aiming.
It's sometimes frustrating when you choose a vocation, or an avocation, that is difficult to measure -- as I have tended to do. How do you know if you are a good activist, or therapist; or a good poet, or a good blogger? There are, of course, some measures -- and even more excuses -- none of them certain. I sometimes wish I had chosen accounting, or mathematics, or engineering. Something where I could say, there, that's done. Where I could assure myself, with confidence, I have made a contribution.
Do I want to be a poet, a good poet, a published poet, a famous poet? One can be a bad, published, famous poet. Truly. Don't ask me to name names.
One can be a good, unpublished poet; unknown until after death -- Emily comes to mind. No doubt one can be a good, unpublished and unknown poet -- we would not, by definition, know who s/he is.
I want to write poems. I want to write good poems. I want my poems to be available (which they are, here and at Oratory.) I would like to have them in book form, and do intend to do a Lulu book (or something similar) when energy allows. But I don't want to be famous, and I don't want to compete.
I take photographs for several reasons. First, I think, is the desire to stop time—to capture a moment that will never return. . . The taking of such pictures is what matters more than the viewing. . .
The second reason I shoot is to share. . .
Both types of photography are totally engrossing. They engage my mind, my hands, my spirit, and my emotions. Taking such pictures puts me into a flow state, where everything is working as it should and time ceases to exist. . .
However, getting ready for a show requires something else: thought and effort. Pictures must be selected, printed, matted, framed, and hung. Decisions must be made. Are the pictures for sale? What price should I put on each? The entire process sounds more like work than play. . .
Photography . . . is pure joy for me. I do not want to turn it into work, and I do not want to worry about the marketplace. Those reasons helped me make a decision—the photography show will go on without me.
She puts this so well, this distinction between work|creativity; recognition|joy. For some few lucky ones among us, they merge. For me, energy spent on sending poems out for publication, and bemoaning their rejection, would be energy not spent writing or reading poems.
Just as energy spent checking my blog stats and regretting not making it into elite networks is energy not spent blogging.