I was skeptical at first and wasn't sure anyone would read it. I also wasn't sure I'd be motivated enough to post on a regular basis. All of this proved wrong. I came at blogging at the right time for me. I was a year out of grad school and I was feeling a disconnect with the literary world I had so closely been connected with before. I wanted to reach out virtually and connect with other people and writers. Amazingly, that is exactly what happened.
This blog has kept me critically thinking about poetry and other social and pop culture topics. It has forced me to put into words my ideas and arguments. In other words, it has kept me sharp with my prose writing and has let me do more informal critical work.
It has also served as a great way to promote my own work. I don't post poems on my site for various publication reasons, but I have posted various podcasts and links to where you can read or purchase my work. My name has gotten out there because of this self-promotion, which I was, again, skeptical of at first. Who really wants to go out there and promote themselves? I felt uncomfortable, but realized the poetry world is small and I can't just wait for some person to come along and tell everyone that I'm great. I need to prove it with hard work and with getting the word out there. The internet and social networking sites have made that easier and easier.
My blog has also provided a place for me to help promote poets and books that I love. This year I have taken on doing interviews with various emerging GLBT poets and those interviews have gotten my blog more hits than anything I've done. It has also made me feel more connected to the people I've met through publications, schooling, and the internet.
My life has changed quite a bit in the last two years. My work has grown enormously. I've published more than ever before. I've made more connections and friends as well. In the last few months, I've hit a sort of wall in my personal life and I feel I am at a crossroads. I have to figure out the next chapter of my life and where I want to go. Joe's Jacket has helped give me a purpose and a voice in my frustration. I don't know how long my blog will last or where it will take me, but for now I'm happy with the past two years and all the posts I've written.
I want to thank everyone who has read this blog and helped promote it. I've enjoyed reading your comments and knowing you are out there.
-Stephen (Happy Birthday, Joe)