Blog, blog, blog. What have I done to myself? I have now added one more thing to my over-commited life! Forget the family, working out, social stuff. Now in addition to my outlining new stories, writing current stories and editing old ones I now have to come up with a blog! Crazy thing to do, right? Well, you might think so, but when I look at my game board, this is the next step. In today’s fast changing world of publishing if you don’t have a web presence, you may not get published. And even if you do get published if you aren’t a known name somehow, you won’t sell your book. And if you don’t sell your book, well, you won’t get another one published to sell. No one wants to back a losing horse. So while it may feel like I’m robbing my novel writing time to spend it blogging, the truth is that this is actually the end-game. Someone said: if you want to be a success, act like a success.
Coming up with new ideas, communicating to the public and making contacts are all part of being a professional writer and if I didn’t want to be a professional writer I would be only writing for myself and my friends. I could do that, and it would be fun. But it isn’t in my game plan. Since I was a little girl what I wanted to be was an author, but somewhere along the line I learned that it was an impossible dream. I learned that not everyone makes it, and worse than that, most people fail. My perfectionism said: why bother trying? Why bother spending time on a futile project that will end up in heart-break?
But it didn’t matter, my heart is determined to be broken. Not a big surprise since I am stubborn when it comes to what I really want. And I really want this. For the first time in my life I find myself working hard for no money. Imagine that! I choose to write instead of read. Imagine that! And I choose to do chores, like judging and critiquing other people’s writing, even when I could be outside hiking. Imagine that! I have always heard that you should do what you love. And I wandered through life trying to figure out what it was I could do. I tried lots of things, but in the end the difficulties made them unpalatable. Now I find out that I am willing to make no money, spend all of my free-time, and risk heart-break and rejection. And I love it. I love what I do. I am convinced those people who said, do what you love, knew that the reason it works is that when you find something you love you are willing to sacrifice.
And the amazing thing is that none of it is a sacrifice. My time spent judging, okay, I’d rather be writing. But I learn a tremendous amount every time I pick up someone’s work and make a decision about why I like it or not. I learn about my writing. I recognize my mistakes or how far I’ve come or what I could do to improve. And as far as blogging goes. It’s fun! Who knew? Okay, sitting and trying to come up with something fascinating can be a little freakish, but it is challenging. And I think it will become a great warm-up for my other work. The best part about the blogging is that I get to share with everyone what I have found is a passion.
A passion that I have been secretly suppressing because good girls don’t. Good girls get steady jobs and provide for their families and don’t take risks. And by now you know what that secret passion is. Writing. I love it so much that I don’t even mind getting rejected. Okay, yeah, I do. But not enough to stop. Every rejection is an opportunity. An opportunity to say, why didn’t they like it and what can I do better? I have never felt like this before. Usually a rejection of this magnitude would send me into a tail-spin. Its one reason I put off writing as a profession for so long. But I have been rejected and I have survived. I have not only survived, but those rejection caused me to take a hard look at what I was doing and improve it. And with each rejection I am able to correct my direction. To say, hmm, I need to change something, so what should I change? I am an addict.
Blogging is now one more thing I get to do for my addiction. If you start me talking about my book I go on and on and on. My poor friends and husband just nod and don’t even ask me to shut up. But I know they get tired of it. So blogging, it turns out, isn’t a time sucker, isn’t a chore, isn’t even frightening. What it is, is a new way to exploit my job for my jollies. I am loving what I do and now that I have found it I am going to keep going till they put me in the grave.
And maybe, just maybe, while I am blogging and editing and judging I’ll get to write something that they’ll pay me for. And then, watch out! My love, my passion, my addiction will become my career. Just try to shut me up then. Because I will be ecstatic.