The Page Cannot Be Found

You can visit almost any internet writer’s blog/website, browse their list of publications, and at least (~) a third of the links lead to a web page that cannot be found.

Stories this writer worked hard on, sent to at least (~) 10-20 online journals only to be rejected, but finally were accepted by a journal this writer has read at least (~) every issue of and, when published,this writer proudly posted on their blog/website that, indeed, one editor found something about one of this writer’s stories he/she thought worthy to include in the next issue of his/her journal (or, if not his/her journal, the journal he/she is a contributing editor for).

This one publication no doubt, at the time, brought this writer a much needed boost of confidence in the otherwise hollow venture of achieving a modicum of temporary literary immortality, gave this writer a little courage to continue writing and sending that writing to more editors for consideration, made this writer feel less ashamed by/afraid of his/her own writing and of rejection overall and more understanding of the idea that not everyone will like his/her writing, but that there is probably, eventually, someone who will.

In a sea of rejection, a lighthouse… That’s stupid. Fucking 'sea of rejection'. Fucking 'lighthouse'. Stupid.

This writer, at the time, most likely grew obsessed with sending his/her writing to all the 'major' online literary journals, to feel minutely 'famous' knowing other people would potentially think differently about his/her work (indeed, think at all about his/her work), as it is now published in this one online literary journal.

But this doesn’t always happen, at least not as immediately as this writer initially hoped. Other writers’ writing also appears in this issue, and this writer will no doubt be overlooked by the vast majority of other writers and readers.

One day, though, someone may find themselves trawling this writer’s blog/website, having read something this writer wrote (a) year(s) ago in the archives of a still-publishing journal, feeling at least (~) mildly interested enough to read more.

This someone, however, visits this writer's blog/website and comes to the list of publications and finds the title of a story or poem they think seems interesting, and this someone clicks on the link.

This link leads only to a page that cannot be found.

This story is lost, the link dead.

This missing story has a story of its own, a story of the story its writer did not take into consideration—a story of loss, of prediction in retrospect.

The ephemerality of creative conquest, preservation of finite pleasure.

This someone, trawling this writer's publications list, maybe feels thankful he/she is emotionally obligated to feel only a vague sense of disappointment at not being able to read this story or poem that seemed interesting, and feels lucky to not have written it.

This someone quickly finds something else to click on.


Here are some stories I wrote that no longer appear online, in reverse chronological order...


xTx said...

to be fair, i'm not a journal. heh.

when i redid my story links on my blog, i came across this too. but, it was for mostly my 'early' stories so, kinda wasnt too bummed about it.

Eric Beeny said...

Hi x, I just meant that's where the story appeared. I know what you mean re links, but it's still hard to let go, even of 'early' stories. No matter how recent a story is, it's always 'early' compared to how you might feel about it as time passes. I don't know. It really doesn't bother me that much, just some thoughts I had about it.

Charles Lennox said...

This is timely Eric as I've been recently thinking of posting my "dead link" stories online through my blog. Glad you did this.

Eric Beeny said...

Hi Charles, nice! I really like what you've done, getting rid of the blog completely and just posting the publications. I've been thinking about doing that for a while, but its like trying to stop eating chocolate chip cookie dough, or something...

Ethel Rohan said...

LOVE this post, Eric. I hope you're well. xoxo

Eric Beeny said...

Thanks so much, Ethel...