Not The Homecoming Queen?

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
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gipsygrrl
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Joined: July 19th, 2010, 6:34 pm
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Not The Homecoming Queen?

Post by gipsygrrl » October 6th, 2010, 2:21 pm

...Your Writing Career May Still Have Promise!

I’m new to the world of publishing, but sometimes the way I feel about it seems achingly familiar. I’m standing on the outside looking in - to a world of sophisticated industry bloggers, published writers, preachers of social networking gospel and circles upon circles of amorphous “friends”. They are the cool kids and I am the newbie, the geek, the one whose perm was clearly a mistake. I may as well be gazing at the most popular lunch table of Sandburg West High School. How can anyone even hope to break into this close-knit group of industry professionals and established writers? And why is everyone’s hair so shiny?

The advice on how to claw your way in is unceasing and relentless. The advice is almost all there is. “10 Ways to Win an Agent’s Critique of Your Comment About Their Webinar – PLUS 5 Query Letter Mistakes So Awful We Had to Kill the Authors.” It’s overwhelming. It’s enough to make you skip the cafeteria and quietly eat lunch in a 2nd floor bathroom stall. The ocean of tips and guidance slams ashore with gems like “Find a niche for your blog,” and “Use Twitter to ask an agent’s advice.” Well, duh. Thanks, but that’s the equivalent of Tiffany Bonino telling us to buy a pair of GUESS jeans.

It’s going to take more than that. It’s going to take now what it did then: self-discovery, awakening, confidence – plus braces and contact lenses to make the package look good. What we learned after high school we must now learn in our writing careers: to follow our instincts, celebrate our uniqueness and above all, to look at the throngs, cliques and mavens, pull ourselves up by our maladjusted Doc Martens and follow our own paths.

In some ways we aren’t so different from the people we were then. We long for acceptance, we wonder what others have that we don’t, we are – as ever – stymied by rejection. It’s depressing enough to want to lose ourselves in a romantic vampire yarn. So… we write. We write because we remember how books were our lifeline then. We write because we know our own romantic vampire yarn is better. We write because in our wisdom of experience, we have learned that the truth of the people we are is in our writing. All of the tweets, friends and followers are like designer clothes, shiny cars and perfectly feathered bangs: They matter little when you strip them away to reveal the person underneath… the writer underneath.

Remember when your mom told you to “be yourself” and “it’s what’s on the inside that counts” and “pink hair isn’t flattering”? She was so right. It all comes down to your writing. The comments on your blog won’t make a child lose themselves in another world. Your Twitter stream won’t make legions of grown women sob (unless you’re John Mayer). But your writing may.

So, what do you do – you, who rented SPACEBALLS THE MOVIE while everyone else was at Homecoming? Do you stand alone, a rock in the stream, eschewing social media and the evils of technology? Not unless you’re Ted Kaczynski. Do you write – do you put your best foot forward, revel in your uniqueness, celebrate the coolness of the creator within you? Yes.

The publishing world may seem as untouchable as Tiffany Bonino in her designer jeans. But it’s first and foremost (and lastly and finally) the writing that counts. Establishing a niche, breaking out with a blog, forwarding your social media career via 140 character handshakes may come to you, it may not. But what you write, what you offer to the world through the fingerprint of your united ideas and prose will be the real mark of your career.

And won’t it be just sweeter than sweet when you and your bestseller are the talk of the Sandberg West reunion?

monkeybethmedia
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Re: Not The Homecoming Queen?

Post by monkeybethmedia » October 6th, 2010, 3:06 pm

Remember when your mom told you to “be yourself” and “it’s what’s on the inside that counts” and “pink hair isn’t flattering”? She was so right. It all comes down to your writing. The comments on your blog won’t make a child lose themselves in another world. Your Twitter stream won’t make legions of grown women sob (unless you’re John Mayer). But your writing may.
This is so true. It's easy to get sucked into all of this and even though I believe some of it has merit, it shouldn't be what we focus on as writers. Great post!

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