Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Grail Shaped Beacon
The Holy Grail for anybody who has just finished her first ‘Ready-for-Mass-Consumption’ novel is publishing. Getting my book out there, my name out there, making a career of writing things more than 10% of the population can follow… a beautiful dream. And it will happen. But I am discovering, as with any intense pursuit, distractions. “It’s not the real grail?” I should probably explain that for a rather mellow personality, I can be quite obsessive. My first obsession in memory was cartwheels. I spent most of 1970 to 1984 upside down. In the interim there, a poor boy named Brian received daily letters from me when I was eleven as the penalty he earned for being nice to me while I was on vacation. More recently obsessions have been running, Harry Potter, and now writing. The writing is at least a practical obsession, as I hope someday it earns me a living. But if you saw the neglected piles in my bedroom and basement, you’d know it is no small thing to be obsessed. (Did you hear my husband just groan?) There is a price. The problem at hand however, is that I keep running across Grail Shaped Beacons… sweet, shining mirages promising to propel my writing out into the cosmos. My Facebook writer’s profile? As if I didn’t already spend enough time on Facebook! Now I am tracing the friend paths of people from the writing world to find other promising ‘friends’. Oi! Researching Agents (who has time? But it can’t be skipped!) And now… Blogs. The problem with the Blog, like the Microbrew thing in the 90s… is I really LIKE this one. It could suck me in far deeper than it is healthy to be. Writing a few paragraphs without having to obsess over whether they move the story forward. The main character is ME! There is a narcissism to it that is fabulously reinforcing. And I can justify it as necessary! But do I risk getting bogged down in this fun ‘tool’ and miss some of the other necessities and opportunities? I could be researching those agents right now! But might this silly exercise get me noticed? The trouble is, it’s hard to say. And because I know nobody with connections to get my novel read by a decision-making person in the business, I suppose I need to do all of it. Blogs, writing contests (which take away time from writing my next book, mind you). My feeble attempt at networking. Oh… and then there’s my day job. So what I want to know is, if this is only a grail shaped beacon, and not the real grail, where is Dingo to set things right, and where do we line up for our spankings?