Is it worth it? After two years of putting out Canadian Writers Abroad (CWA), that’s a question I have to ask myself. The other question is: should I continue? CWA eats time. Considering that time devours mountains, according to The Hobbit riddle, that is serious. What would I do with this extra time? Write more or better fiction? In addition, for posts that get no feedback, it feels like I am writing into the void. But so would I be with fiction, which gets no feedback until it is either critiqued or published.
Compared to the rewards of editing (and writing most of) CWA, those negatives are mere trifles. Research has led me into new territories. CWA has caused me to do things I have not done before, such as give a paper to an academic conference. I have gained new skills or refreshed old ones: interviewing authors, soliciting submissions, editing reviews, researching online, and using a new software (WordPress). I’ve played a mad game of catch-up on Canadian Literature. (Living abroad makes one easily out of date with contemporary culture.) Through CWA, I have met writers, publishers, agents , archivists and scholars (not all face-to-face) and renewed old friendships. New places, new experiences, new people, all of which have skewed my life in a new direction – sounds like an adventure.
Has CWA been of service to Canadian Literature? While this is not a scholarly publication, CWA offers: insights into the writing life abroad, intriguing connections (boffin!), a new style of book review (Wilson), and authors whose work you wouldn’t otherwise have discovered (image of readers tearing off book covers). A fresh look at old books. Thoughts on dialect and place. Interviews, the questions of which could be a little more probing…
Carry on? I think so. Lots to do yet. More adventures ahead.