Because when one blogs, one inevitably surfs blogs. And blogs lead to more blogs, links to links, in a never-ending universe big bang kind of way. And you realize that there are ten billion writers out there with the same dreams you have–and that’s just the ones blogging because there are a whole lot who aren’t! And you realize that talent and ideas are rampant, no matter that you read industry blogs that indicate otherwise. Perhaps it isn’t that the talent and ideas are lacking so much as people really don’t know how to communicate those ideas, etc, which sounds ridiculous because we are talking about writers, people who toil with the written word and who ought to darned well know how to communicate.
But we don’t, not always. I, for instance, am a perfectionist Virgo. I’ll rewrite that query 500 hundred times and still think it isn’t good enough. And, probably, the best version was an earlier version that I’ve nit-picked myself out of by now. I couldn’t say it that way again if I had to, and the trouble might just be that I have to in order to get the project read.
The more I know, the less I know. Years ago, as a newbie writer who was convinced the first book was saleable, I got good responses and even some requests for material. I didn’t know enough to know I had to keep trying and keep writing, which is really dumb in hindsight. So, I packed up my writer’s kit and went back to school instead. I didn’t quit writing, though I wrote less and I figured I wasn’t destined to sell anyway (dimwit!). But of course the writing bug bit again, and hard, and I reentered the game with the idea of selling.
And I’m not giving that idea up again, but day-um! Why was I so dumb back then? Why didn’t I keep writing and submitting, because when I look at some of those old rejections, it was there. The encouragement, the secret if you will, that if you keep doing this, you’ll get there because you’ve got something. Do I still have that something? Hell if I know. And this is where the blogs come in. They’ve shown me so many more people with the same dream that I wonder if what I have is any better or any more saleable than the next guy’s is. What got me those “good” rejections then? Was it the greenery around my edges that translated into a certain freshness that’s lacking in more seasoned word warriors?
Do I know more now or less? I’m a better writer now, I know that for sure, but am I any better at selling myself to those I need to entice into reading me? I’m not sure about that at all, and as I sit here trying to write a two paragraph pitch, I know there are dozens of ways I could say this, dozens of angles I could exploit. Which one is best?
Hell if I know.