Why I Appreciate the Entrepreneur
Every few weeks or so, an email pops up in inbox. I am always excited to see it pop up even though I know not what the content might be. This email is a response to submissions I have sent in to various magazines and publications.
This week it was from Fence, a literary magazine founded by poet Rebecca Wolff. I have submitted to this magazine on numerous occasions because it is a small press I respect greatly due to their publication of the book The Cow by Ariana Reines and the consistent enjoyment I find in their bi-annual magazine. I have never had a piece accepted for publication by them, but I take the rejection letters in stride, continue to work on my craft, and submit again when the time comes.
It is for this reason that I appreciate the entrepreneur and why I was interested in writing for this very blog. Many artists are just a different brand of entrepreneur. I know that with each poem I write, I am trying to make the next one better than the last. I want the pieces to be meaningful enough to be noticed by a publication while still remaining meaningful to me. I want the publication to be completely on board with my ideas and give me a platform through which to display them.
This is my pitch, and every artist in some way is giving a pitch, just like an entrepreneur. The art world can be a bit rougher than the business world in this respect because the art world is built largely on aesthetics and entrepreneurs focus more on the practicality of their ventures. However, both of these worlds strive to create a product that others want and learn from rejections to build a better mousetrap, so to speak. Likewise, many artists seem quick to reject notions that they are trying to appeal to an audience. There needs to be at least some concession that they have to appeal to an audience, much like an entrepreneur has to make a good impression and have a decent pitch.
The parallels could go on for quite a while but I mostly just wanted to express why I love the entrepreneurial spirit. Ambition is hardly ever bad, and learning from rejection by making a better product all are appealing notions to me.
I have found some success in publication, most recently an online journal called Bird’s Thumb and even through the campus’ undergraduate literary magazine, Spires. An opportunity was right under my nose! All you entrepreneurs on campus, do not despair. My background may be grounded in English but there are hordes of entrepreneurial opportunities and student ventures in the works throughout the WashU that I will attempt to scope out and include in future blog posts.