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An Update and a Pivot


By Mackenzie DavisPublished 3 months ago Updated 3 months ago 3 min read
Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/moise_theodor-2099584/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1216853">Theodor Moise</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com//?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1216853">Pixabay</a>


I’m back, baby!

Although I’ve been commenting a little the past week or so, I haven’t posted or done much reading. So here’s a little update.

In a completely non-surprise, I’ve been quite busy. Wild, right?! My life, overall, has gotten quite complicated and among a few personal things, I’ve decided to change my approach to Vocal.

Let me preface this by saying that I don’t want to leave and am not planning to. I have my issues with the platform (don’t we all?), but I like the people, challenges, and accountability way too much to simply…leave. What I’m going to do instead is shrink my profile and limit my posts to three main categories: essays, challenge entries, and community engagement pieces. I can also see myself posting requests for Critique as the occasion calls for it, but it won't be regular.

I want to be published. While I’ve loved how much my poetry has been seen and appreciated by you all, there's a point where my work dies here. That's not my goal and I can't in good conscience keep posting my favorite work here knowing its doom. I want to put out multiple poetry books. I want to be accepted by several, if not many, literary journals. I want to submit to a variety of contests and eventually win. And more so recently, I want bandwidth and time to read the poets and authors who have been published. I haven't properly read in far too long.

With how addictive Vocal is, I simply can’t juggle all of the above and be an active commenter, poster, and replier. Right now, I care more about pouring my time into getting rejected by journals than making a few cents on pieces I can’t submit anywhere. Vocal is a dead end for me and quite possibly an echo chamber as well. I need iron to sharpen me, and I'm excited at the prospect of focusing more of my time on writing, editing, and reworking my work for submissions.

So here's my plan. This week, I will send an email to Support to get the bulk of my profile reverted to Drafts. From there, I’ll decide if I want to repost any or keep them off indefinitely. The ones I know I’ll be leaving up are my Emulation and 100 Word Story series, challenge placement pieces, community articles, essays, resource pieces, and anything fun. I have 155 stories currently, so this could reduce my profile by more than half. Kinda scary! I'm happy too, though, because I want my profile to reflect my current aspirations, not be muddied for future readers who may subscribe for things I won't be posting in the future.

At the beginning of my time on Vocal, I published frequently, multiple times a week and in a few different genres. This eased as time went on. I was constantly navigating and refining my approach, and now, I post about every fifteen days. I feel so guilty for not doing more on the platform every day that I skip out. Going forward, I want that guilt to stop. While I may post at a similar interval, it could possibly shift to once a month. It’s hard to say right now, but I’m hoping to have more time to read and comment between posts. I won't ghost anyone! Certainly by posting this, I can let go of any urge to participate at the rate of a social media site.

I hope you can have grace for me being more selective with my time.

Thank you to everyone who has become a regular reader and supporter (you know who you are). You’ve been invaluable to my improvement and best of all, you've reignited my passion. I can’t believe how much success I’ve seen from Vocal in just nine months, and it’s all down to you. Thank you.

This isn’t a goodbye, merely a pivot. I hope you stay tuned. ❤️


About the Creator

Mackenzie Davis

“When you are describing a shape, or sound, or tint, don’t state the matter plainly, but put it in a hint. And learn to look at all things with a sort of mental squint.” Lewis Carroll

Find me elsewhere.

Copyright Mackenzie Davis.

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Comments (14)

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  • Gerard DiLeoabout a month ago

    All familiar sentiments! Welcome back-ish.

  • Ironically, have been meaning to reach out because you're one a few Vocal creators I've seen (though I'm sure there are more) also maintaining an active presence on Medium and I was interested as to getting more into specifics around it. Though, now I'm wondering if that's a moot point and your Medium arm is also getting scaled back. In either case, I am often weighing my own investment on this platform, so totally understand the motivation here. I was lucky enough to come into this platform after already learning some lessons in the traditional publishing space, so I think that's always helped me keep a larger perspective on Vocal and online writing at large (there has to be a better name for it, right?). The line about "I care more about pouring my time into getting rejected by journals" as I prepare to fire off a fresh batch of short story submissions made laugh out loud. All a long way of saying, if you ever want to talk about any of this stuff, feel free to give me a follow over on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stephen.a.roddewig/

  • Bri Craig3 months ago

    Hi! Super super valid feelings here. Might I recommend an article from a fellow vocalite about "content recycling?" He's expressed many of the same sentiments as you when it comes to publishing things on vocal vs lit mags! https://vocal.media/journal/author-talk-the-great-content-recycling-ecosystem

  • Poppy 3 months ago

    First of all, love the Friends reference😂 Second of all, this is so bittersweet. I want to read your poems on here every day!!! But I also want you to get published so so bad. Like I need to order your poetry books, and go through the excitement of getting them in the mail, gazing at it, flicking through out, reading it, rereading it and deciding where on my shelf amongst the poetry section it goes🥰Like daydreaming about that makes me so happy. I completely understand feeling guilty about not commenting and stuff... Vocal is so hard to keep up with and I always feel bad about not reading enough people's poems frequently! I'm so sad most of your stuff is getting removed though😭 Please please please leave Solace, Clay and Insence and especially Going Home!! I need to have those poems ready to read whenever I need them😅😂. The wait will make it even more exciting when you do post though and just in case you missed it before I CANNOT WAIT FOR YOU TO GET POETRY BOOKS PUBLISHED! Also, hope everything in your life is going well, aside from the busyness!

  • Carly Bush3 months ago

    Mackenzie, I absolutely agree with this decision and see why you're doing it. I, too, am making some important pivots these days in anticipation of my five-year plan of being traditionally published. I'll always be a big supporter of your work, wherever and however you choose to share it.

  • And I'll always be here cheering on you! I just want you to know that YOU DO YOU and you don't owe anyone an explanation. Always put yourself first. I'm so happy that you've made this decision. I mean not because you'll be here lesser, lol, but because you know what you want and you're going for it! I wish you all the best!

  • Joe O’Connor3 months ago

    “Right now, I care more about pouring my time into getting rejected by journals than making a few cents on pieces I can’t submit anywhere” says it all I think Mackenzie! Love how self-aware you are of what you want with your writing, and that you’re going to go after it. I think you’ve perfectly articulated your why, and while I’ll be sad to not be reading your writing as regularly, this sounds like the best possible pivot for where you’re at 👏🏾 Wishing you all the best for what’s coming next- I’ll keep an eye out for your essays and challenge entries! Go get it🤗

  • Paul Stewart3 months ago

    Pal, it will be sad to not see you around as much, because you know how much I respect your work and appreciate your friendship. If you don't, then you should lol! But...I respect you too much to be anything but excited and proud of you for these decisions. Your work deserves to be seen, felt, experienced out there beyond Vocal. I wish I had your bravery....at the moment I don't really feel I do and other commitments really make it hard for me to do that sorta stuff you're planning on. But...I can't wait to see what comes of your attention and focus! I see big things for you, Mackenzie. Truly mean that.

  • Hannah Moore3 months ago

    I hear you so much here! Except in my case it hasn't occured to me to be submitting to journals or what have you. A world that remains behind a veil. But I hear you, and I get you. Good luck.

  • Why do I hear Ross Geller yelling at his compatriots as they fail to wrangle the couch up the stairs? I will be sad to see less of your work here but wish you the best in your endeavors.

  • Wow, I envy your bravery. I have no doubt you will reach your goals. Your poetry is inspiring and insightful, beautiful and thought provoking. Good luck and I look forward to seeing what you accomplish

  • Alexander McEvoy3 months ago

    I'm certain that your skills will take you where you want to go Mackenzie :) Sorry to see you reduce your footprint but I totally understand <3 Eagerly awaiting everything that comes down the pipe from you!

  • Cathy holmes3 months ago

    Good luck, MacKenzie. You're an amazing poet. I hope your dreams come to be.

  • D.K. Shepard3 months ago

    Good luck with your publishing endeavors! You’re a very talented writer and I’ve enjoyed reading your pieces!

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