As you may have noticed, I've added a blog tab with a new page: Writing. Exciting, no? Took me long enough to figure out how to do it...
This has made me think a bit about writing online. Of course I have this blog, and you can find links on the Writing page to other things I've written. But for the most part, I don't write creatively on the Web. I write a lot about writing, I share my opinions, and I review--but with the exception of my Haiku for Japan post, I don't post my "writing."
Offline, I write poetry, stories, etc. But you don't and won't get to see them on here, for which I apologize. I follow the blogs and Twitter accounts of several writers and artists who use their blogs to share their poetry, short stories, novel excerpts, photography, and other creative output online. The advantage to that is reaching a wider audience--many writer-bloggers get the views, comments, feedback, and fans they wouldn't get if they published traditionally or not at all.
However, I am a fan of secrecy. Perhaps it's just a part of my perfectionist personality or a product of having parents who work for the government, but I'm pretty paranoid about people seeing my writing. Especially when it's not "finished" yet. Post a draft online?!? *gasp* Maybe I need to get over this attitude, but even so, posting online--even on a blog--means that many contests, journals, and literary magazines won't accept your work. They're looking for previously unpublished work and if you post, say, a poem on your blog before submitting it to them, they won't consider it. This goes for everything from my own college's online literary magazine to more widely read and distributed print publications.
I completely understand--it's a legal issue; they want first North American (or wherever) publishing rights. Literary magazines that do accept previously published work must have a citation to where and when the poem/story/excerpt/art piece was first published. To draw a connection to college and high school, it's the "real world" version of plagiarism rules...except they call it copyright infringement and other unpleasant things.
Better safe than sorry, I figure.