What (not) to write
Darling, does this blog make my manuscript look phat?
I recently read two great blog posts about aspiring authors and blogging, both of which made me feel like I just had a V-8. Or like I should have had a V-8. Anyway, there was a bit of virtual head-slapping.
DON’T DO THIS
The first was by the inimitible Ms. Reid, aka The Shark. In this post, she was very firm about what aspiring writers ought NOT be blogging about. Do not, she writes, blog, tweet or FB update about the query process.
There is a place for writerly angst. It’s NOT ever a public place. Disagree with me if you care to about whether that’s fair, but this blog post isn’t about fair. It’s about how to not shoot yourself in the foot.
It’s like this. If you asked someone to the prom and he said no, would you write a note that said “I asked George out and he said no. In fact, he told me I was slime to my face” and stick it on your back? Well, duh. It would make it pretty unlikely that you’d ever get a date to the darn prom. In fact, you might not get another date ever.
You’d cry about it with your girlfriends while hugging pillows and they would tell you to get your game face on and go to school the next day and ask Fred if HE wanted to go. Without mentioning how many boys have said no to date. Because he might be the one, and you’ll never want him to know that in fact he was actually 43rd.
This is hard, because for many of us, our pillow-hugging girlz are right here online and we WANT to share. We want to sob on their bloggy shoulders. “But I lurrrrve him!” and we can’t. We must not. We must resist the urge to design wallpaper based on our rejections. We must always present our game face.
The game face doesn’t always have to be super-de-booper chirpy-cheery positive, but it has to be thoughtful. Even edging towards the professional. We are in public. Worse. We’re on stage. Make sure your underwear isn’t showing.
So if we’re not going to share war stories on our blogs, what are we blogging for? For each other. The second great post I read this week was from Jill Kremerer who mused on whether aspiring authors have anything to offer the blogsphere?
Duh, she wrote. Okay, no, she didn’t write ‘duh.’ She wrote a beautiful post about solidarity, company and hope.
Connection. We blog for the connection to our tribe. Few of us are writing full time. Many of us have lives so stuffed with other things that we write in the cracks, along the edges. We might not be lucky enough to have a writing-friend next door to get excited about EM dashes with. Yet here, in the virtual neighborhood of writers, there are a hundred people ready to have a grammar party. We share snippets of manuscripts, muse about point of view, about world-building. People interview agents and authors, review books and have giveaways (ahem, like THIS ONE). We ask for and receive support. We forge a bond. Our horizons expand. Our bedrock strengthens.
So blog on, Crusaders! Blog on, writers repped and not, writers finished and not, writers published and not, writers writing and not. We are all stronger for the bonds that we share.