Am I Really Jinxed?

There’s the phenomenon that my children used to joke about when I was sending short stories out for publication. If you want to go out of business accept work from Laura Best. They used to say I was jinxed, and I guess there were times when it kind of felt that way.

Come in a little closer, what I’m about to tell you is not a secret but did in fact  happen to me more than once (okay maybe five or six times to be truthful.) I would receive an acceptance from a literary magazine saying they wanted to publish one of my stories. Great. Woohoo! Music to any writer’s ears. But that’s not where the story ends. Before my work ever had time to grace their pages, the magazine would cease publication.

Gone without a trace…Zippo!

Add to that the fact that my work has appeared in the last issue of about three more literary magazines over the years, and I began to wonder if my kids didn’t have a point.

So it’s no big secret that literary magazines struggle to keep going, and quite often they are forced to cease publication for various reasons. It’s a sad truth but a truth nonetheless.

I feel jinxed when it comes to blogging sometimes too. I find a blog I decide to follow, add it to Google Reader, everything goes along great, and then all of a sudden the blogger stop posting. Gone without a trace…Zippo!

This evening, as I was catching up on some blog reading, I realized that my Reader has quite a few blogs that haven’t updated for many, many months. It makes me wonder if they’ve abandoned their blog or simply taking an extended blogcation. Life sometimes becomes complicated and blogging simply isn’t an option for us. We can all understand that.

I resist the urge to unsubscribe to these seemingly abandoned blogs because well…they may start blogging again. I’m loyal if nothing else.

Bloggers come and go as do blogs. Usually, we begin a blog with a certain objective in mind. Sometimes we stay true to that objective and never stray far from it, while other times our blogs change, and become something totally different over time. So while I know it’s ridiculous to think I’m in any way jinxed, I’ll keep hoping that some of those wayward bloggers will feel inspired in the New Year and pick up their blogs where they left off.

How about you, has your blog stayed true to itself or has it shifted and changed over time? If you’re a blogger, have you ever abandoned a blog to start a totally different one? If you’ve subscribed to a blog where there hasn’t been any activity for a long time do you unsubscribe or do you stay loyal to the end?

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  1. Perpetually Peeved I followed for a year and she suddenly disappeared. Daily posts. She’s the most brilliantly sarcastic and merciless satirist I have ever read. Don’t know what happened. All 4 mags that liked and published my stuff went bust after 3 issues containing my stuff. Sheeesh.

    • Yup, it really sucks when a place seems to enjoy our work but ends up going out of business. I can well appreciate that one, Carl.

  2. This reminds me of a story I recently told at our writers dinner. The first time I submitted anything my short story was accepts by a small publication. Before it went to print — you guessed it — they went out of business. That was a small bean compared to some of the larger publications I’ve taken down: Halifax Daily News and Plant and Garden. I loved this national garden magazine, but as soon as they started publishing me, well, let’s say you won’t find them on news stands.

    Yes, my blog has stayed true to my original idea. My blog on WordPress is the first blog I wrote and it will be one in January, so I had no other blogs to abandon.

    If I am subscribed to a blog which stopped posting, I’m not aware of it because I never go into the WordPress subscription site to see how many I’m subscribed to. That might scare me. lol

    Laura, I don’t think you’re a jinx. That is unless you also extinquish street lights when you drive by at night (wink).

    • Well. Diane, that’s quite a track record you’ve got going for

      Not sure about the street lights, I’m not often out after dark, but next time I am I’m going to keep an eye out. This thing could be bigger than I originally thought. Hmmmm…. streetlights? I never would have thought.

  3. The first book I sold got to the stage where the edits were done, the cover was designed, the ISBN number was assigned at it was listed at Chapters and Amazon as “coming soon”, and then the company went bankrupt and I lost the half of my advance that was payable on publication. My first magazine article was published by a national magazine that omitted my main resource in the references they printed and resulted in a nasty letter from my reference’s publisher, and my having to prove that I didn’t plagiarize the thing. Fortunately, I had copies of several emails to the editor, who had left before the letter arrived, that made it very clear that I wanted full credit given to the reference book I had used. I was exonerated in print, but both episodes marked a shaky start to my freelance writing career. I thought I was jinxed, too. I am an intermittent blogger, but I plan to change that in the new year to something more regular. I was at the point of abandoning it at one time this year, but have decided that I need to spend time seriously working at it for an extended period of time before I choose that option. I’ll have to see what I think a year from now.

    • Ah, Heather. That’s a real tough one. I can’t imagine how disappointed you must have felt. I would have been crushed, as I’m sure you were. After reading your stories I don’t feel so bad.

      The New Year is always a good time to make changes. Best of luck with your blog in 2012.

  4. Laura, of course you are not jinxed. But it’s funny, isn’t it, how that happens?

    My WordPress blog has pretty much stayed on track, even though I would like to digress more into my faith now and again. I have thought about starting up a separate blog for that, but I don’t believe I can keep up another one with everything else in my life right now. The blog I have on Blogspot has mostly been abandoned in favour of WP (which is for my writerly writing), because of the same reason .. I can’t do it all. Even though I had an almost non-existent following there I was sorry to not keep it up better. Maybe that is something I can improve upon later.

    There are a few blogs I subscribed to which have been inactive for many months. A few I quit, a couple I’m waiting to see if they’ll be back.

    No Laura, you are not jinxed. You are blessed. :)

    • No, I don’t honestly believe that I’m jinxed, Lynn. Strange things like that happen more often than we care to think about. Maintaining several blogs is very challenging. I know that for a fact., of course this one has always been my main one.

      Yes, I do believe I am blessed to have such wonderful, caring people visit my blog. :)

  5. Wow, I thought I was the only Godzilla out there destroying the world. The first magazine ever to accept me went belly up, as did a dozen others. Consider too, that the publishing industry itself did not go downhill until I became a writer. Before I was a full-time writer, every business I ever worked at shut down soon after I graced its threshold. I’m so jinxed, my husband jokes I should channel my evil into good by working for the bad guy (drug dealer, pimp, etc.) so that we can watch them fail. (On a not too unrelated note, my husband is one of the few men I dated who did not turn gay later.)

    And don’t dump me yet. I never blogged often, so my absence is very normal. Worry if you see me posting more than twice a month. That means I’ve given up on writing for publication.

    • LOL! Nope there appears to be at least several other Godzillas roaming around the publishing industry. Wow! That you are solely responsible for bringing down an entire industry Or should I say industries?. I am in awe of your great power.

      As for dumping you, Tricia..Never. You’re in my Google Reader to stay. :) Besides, you make me laugh and we can all use more laughter in our lives.

  6. I understand your “jinx” worries, Laura. With my series of 6 novels, every one of my novels was “orphaned.” That’s an industry word that I learned meant that you lose your editor, publicist, etc. With my first, Doubleday was purchased by another publisher, with my second my editor left Doubleday, same or similar with Avon Hardcover and then Wm Morrow and my third through 6th novels.

    Here’s the lesson God taught me (and one that I’m still learning). The prayer that begins with “Okay Lord, here we go again,” and ends with, “help me to hang on tight!” The hanging on tight refers to hanging onto to God, my courage, my self-esteem and my sense of humor.

    And by the way, I’m loyal when it comes to the blogs I read, except that sometimes I’m so very busy that my life and my social networking falls into the “hang on” category!

    • 6 orphaned novels. Sounds as though you’re ready to open an orphanage. “Hanging onto God,” is always a good sound piece of advise for when were are entering troubled times.

      Social networking takes up much time, I totally agree. We writers need to find that balance, something that I am constantly searching to do.

  7. Laura, take heart and don’t fret. I am into my second year and just getting into stride. Not only that … nothing terrible happened since I subcribed to your blog either :) Jamaicans say you can only be a victim to a curse you believe in … so stop believing in the jinx … or better yet … take them as good omens.

    • Well, you best not abandon your blog, Florence, since I just found yours. I’m glad to hear you’re going strong. :)

  8. Madison Woods

     /  December 11, 2011

    Laura, my very first article to be accepted was to a magazine that closed the month my article was to be the feature. I was so upset and the editor was so apologetic.

    • Ah that’s discouraging with a first piece, Madison. We’re not even toughened into it yet. Luckily you didn’t let it discourage you and you continues on to see your work in print. Here’s too determination!

  9. My blog is a veritable variety show, But that’s what I anticipated at the start. I tend to hold onto those blogs that seemingly disappear, and I’ve been surprised a couple of times with new postings.

  10. I feel your pain, Laura! I have seen several good bloggers give it up entirely, or take a break, like me! I’m glad you hung in there with me!


    • Well, I’ll say once again that’s it’s wonderful having you back Wendy. I knew you wouldn’t disappear for good. :)

  11. While I haven’t had your experience of publications shutting down, there have definitely been times I’ve felt I was cursed. In a single year, I had a mortgage blunder that resulted in $5K coming out of my pocket; my new home’s shower wasn’t sealed, so it ruined my dining room ceiling; my washing machine hose came loose and flooded the basement; the garden hose sprung a leak and flooded the basement again; my beloved cat got very sick with a horrible illness that made him defecate everywhere, including in my closet, inside my shoes and my boxing gloves–$3K worth of vet bills later, he went from thirteen pounds to two, and was still howling and miserable and had to be put down. Heartbreaking. The cat I adopted from the Humane Society two months later ended up having liver disease and dying within a month. My boyfriend at the time was an abusive jerk, and to top it off, I was allergic to him–something that took many months of painful, invasive medical tests to discover. I definitely felt cursed that year! Thankfully, the Humane Society gave me a free kitten, I dumped the abusive boyfriend, and things have been good ever since (except my house still throws an unexpected bill or two my way now and then, but that’s how it goes with home ownership).

    I was really good about keeping up my blog for awhile, but I admit I let one nasty comment really discourage me. And even though I started it for myself, if I pour my heart into a post and no one (or the same two people) responds, I do question why I’m doing this. If I’m the only one who cares to read it, I could just journal.

    I have made wonderful friends through my blog, and I’m grateful for the readers I have. But I admit my heart isn’t in it the same way anymore, though I’m going to try to change that in the New Year.

    • I’m sorry to hear that you’re discouraged about blogging, Holli. There will always be people out there who are so full of negativity that they have to spread it around. This says nothing about you, but about them. I mean, what is the point in leaving a nasty comment on someone’s blog? There is no point. But it happens all the time to bloggers.

      I’ve certainly noticed that you don’t post as often as you used to, and while it’s a personal decision I hope you can get past the negativity of one small-mined and nasty person. Anyone who reads your blog knows that you are a lovely person. Your personality comes out very clear. Holli, you’re out there in the blogophere and you can bet that there are people out there who know you for the inspiration that you are. Even if we only touch one person, doesn’t that one person make it worthwhile. :) Here’s to the New Year bringing positive changes for all of us.

  12. I’m loyal to the point of being stubborn. I still subscribe to a few that have stopped. It’s my mother’s fault. She drummed this one value in our head at a very early age and for some reason I can’t drop it: Do onto others. A blog I had with several other bloggers died after awhile, but I’ve still got my old one. Three years now. My followers are increasing. My voice is smoothing out.

    I understand the jinx complex though. I had 3 agents. One was well known and respected in NYC. I remember thinking I was on my way because she was on my side. Sure, if you count ignoring me for 2 years. No, I think my critique partners have done more for me than my 3 established agents.

    • Yes, Joylene, you are stubborn and I’m smiling. You didn’t get where you are today by giving up easily. :) I’m glad for that.

      Funny, but lately I’ve heard some unfavourable agent stories. Makes one wonder.

  13. So far, I think my blog has maintained a certain atmosphere. My muse wanders, but my writing style is always true to what I had in mind when I started my bog. I hope my readers agree!

    • It is good that you have been able to maintain your objective by creating the atmosphere on your blog that you had when you first began. Here’s to many more posts in 2012!


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