This time last year, I was an internet virgin. I knew it was out there; it offered nothing for me. My employment years involved a sheltered company computer with only their narrowed focused program. Looking back, it was like living in a country that has only one kind of programming for TV viewers.
I had been writing in Word and corresponding with my critique group, but other than that, I was unaware of the worldwide writing community at my fingertips.
And then I became deflowered—overnight.
Members of my writing group can take credit for this. They spoke amongst themselves of this mysterious place, this mystical magical place of wonderment. They spoke of each other’s blogs—what’s a blog? I thought, but too afraid to ask. I was given blog addresses, whereupon I came to visit and leave my comments (it would be three more months before I started one of my own). I learned from each blog that there were agents who had blogs—agents have blogs? Nathan Bransford was the first of many distractions resourceful agent blogs. Then came the industry blogs, which contain every vital piece of distractions information necessary to find and agent and become a published author.
Now there’s a tiny part of me that wishes I just stopped at the writer’s blogs, because before the onslaught of industry blogs, I had hope.
And now, I know too much.
I benefitted greatly from all the online advice thrown my way, but it also came with a price—self-doubt. Ignorance had been my bliss. I had no doubt mine would be the next bestseller and my pounding out thousands of words every day, my belonging to critique groups (trying out several for size and sometimes belonging to many at once), my completing my first draft in a year and having two short stories accepted by a magazine, was a testament to my ambitious goals.
But I have to admit my ambition waned once I became aware of the difficulties of the publishing industry: how it was hard to break in before the bad economy, has now become close to impossible. How does one carry on after such daily news as that, along with all the other negatives? It affected me. I haven’t had many writing successes since I became “aware.” But yet, I am thankful. The tiny part that wishes I was still in a blissful state is overshadowed by the great improvements in my writing since. Once you’re equipped with the power of knowledge you can’t go back. Once you know the world isn’t flat, you don’t continue the same thinking path you once took. I need to return to that prior blazing trail I had been on without sacrificing my daily addictions of agent blogs. I shall overcome.
So I just want to say I am thankful for my knowledge, for the internet distractions community of industry professionals willing to take the time to educate and empower. And most writerly related of all, I am thankful for the blog friends I’ve made. Each one of you is walking the same path—some at a different pace—and it comforts me to listen to your stories and to share some of mine.
p.s. feel free to share what you are thankful for.