Does having your work cited excite you?

A friend forwarded me an email today from the Merriam-Webster Word of the Day program, and I was thrilled to find that another friend (and former professor of mine), Gina Barreca, was quoted as a part of the e-blast.

I forwarded the message to her, thinking she might get a kick out of it. At the same time, I thought that she would be much less excited about having her work quoted — it happens to her so often — than if I had had my own work quoted. The email she shot back to me was one of pure ecstasy. It was as though this moment was the crowning achievement of long and (might I add) extremely successful career.

I’m glad to see that she hasn’t lost the excitement that comes with learning that someone else has read, and helped to disseminate, your work. It gives me hope.

I was filled with the same excitement the day I found that one of my essays had been quoted in someone’s blog (you can find the link here, if you’re so inclined). I can’t even begin to imagine how exciting it would be to be quoted by such an authority as the Merriam-Webster dictionary, and in a program that reaches thousands of participants each day.

In all honesty, I’d be thrilled just to find that somebody had quoted one of my poems on the wall of a dirty bathroom stall. (If anyone here has read any of my work, and would like to do me the honor, I’d be forever in your debt. The skankier the stall, the better. If you do it, and send me a photo, I might even send you a signed copy of my book haha.)

Can you understand Barreca’s excitement? Have you ever found any of your work to have been quoted somewhere? What did it feel like? Do you think you’ll ever get tired of the feeling?

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