October 22, 2010

The #1 way blogging has helped me

...is by teaching me how truly accessible this business is.

Before I started blogging, I thought publishing was a daunting, mysterious, formal institution chock full of mustache-sporting, business-coat-wearing, self-important old dudes.

And that isn't to say there aren't still plenty of those around, in publishing or otherwise. Or that said old dudes can't be helpful.

But my idea of the publishing world was so, so wrong.  An austere institution, it is not.

There is a nearly limitless supply of agents, editors, librarians, published and unpublished writers, and all sorts of other publishing professionals who want to help, who are accessible at their own expense, who encourage writers and make it just a tiny bit easier for talented people to find a home for their work.

Two years ago, I would've never thought it possible to be interacting with agents, editors, and authors online. That they would read my comments on their blogs and respond with thoughtful answers. That they would (occasionally) visit my blog and comment on my words - but that's exactly what blogging has afforded me.

I've worked in retail, I've worked at a very nice corporation, and I've worked in higher education - none of them holds a candle to the warmth I've felt from the publishing industry.

I don't draw a salary from writing - heck, maybe I never will - but of all the jobs I've ever had, this one has paid spades more than any other.


Liza said...

I hear you! I love the way social media has helped me realize the realities of the publishing industry (all for the good, too!).
True, I don't get paid for anything that I've written, but I've only just started taking it seriously a few months ago, and I know that with time and persistence and genuine work on the craft of writing, I will greatly improve.
Honestly, I've been in retail management for a long time; I don't have any control over my current position (I'm not counting what I ACTUALLY do, like, being over the top nice to my customers!). What I mean is: if I ever want to be anything else in my company, say the executive vice president and actually make company wide changes, I wouldn't be able to do anything like that short of a complete dissolution of the company itself.
Because of my perspective, I have a greater motivation to keep me going with my writing. I thought about it one day: rather than say "I will never get published" I suddenly thought: "I have more chance at being published than being the next higher level manager in my company." It feels good to think of it that way, because for some strange reason, it seems less daunting.
Plus, I get to use my writing as my fun escape. In the meanwhile, I get to meet other fun writers in the same boat as me! :)

Sierra Gardner said...

I'm just getting a taste of this and it is so great! How many other industries out there have such a level playing field? Where someone (like me) who has only been writing for a year and has published absolutely nothing yet can actually interact with successful authors and important agents/publishers? It's a pretty amazing thing when you think about it.

Claire Dawn said...

I think what bloggin has done for me is show me that publishing types are some of the weetestest in the world. I've made such awesome asprigin author friends (*waves at Abby*), I've "met" NYT bestsellin authors, and I've had converations with agents.

They're all so amazing and so friendly.

Anonymous said...

I COMPLETELY agree! Before I really start to submerse myself in the industry, it was mind numbingly terrifying to think about. I can't imagine what it was like 5, 10, or even 20 years ago! If you have the endurance, this is ALMOST like a piece of cake.


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