Thursday, November 12, 2009

How I Got Here

When I first started researching ‘how to get published’, I came across something I had never seen before. The Blog. I did not know what a ‘blog’ was, I only knew that reading blogs about writing made me realize I was a complete amateur and I could never absorb all that overwhelming information. It was months before I had the courage to look at another Website or blog on the art of writing.

It was while familiarizing myself with, and I subscribed to their newsletter, that I ran into The Blog again. Hmm, maybe the Blog is friendly after all, I thought. Why not give it another go?

I clicked on a few of the links in the newsletter—hmm informative—intriguing…
I found helpful and manageable suggestions. Too late to apply it to my entry for Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award submission, but that’s okay.

Then, as I skipped from link to link, I had a breakthrough—I read a post on The Innocent Flower directing me to the Public Query Slushpile. Since I hoped to query over the summer, I bookmarked it.

I went back to the Public Query Slushpile to figure out how it worked. I clicked on ‘Submit Queries Here’, which kept bringing me to the comment section. I had no comprehension of what commenting entailed, and it’s embarrassing to admit how many times I hit that, hoping for a different page to come up. That’s when I finally understood that I needed a Google account and a profile. (Writing the profile was a whole ‘nother obstacle.) It took weeks to get up the nerve, but I submitted my query for review. I received very helpful and supportive feedback, and Rick Daley even said something nice about the pages I submitted (even though I turned out to be a compilsive revisionist). Just what a neo-blogger/writer needs to muster courage.

I knew that when it came to my writing, I wanted—needed—help. I live in a rural area and love being at home, so joining a writers group seemed unlikely. Then I bumped into my pal Laura Martone, a fellow aspiring novelist willing to exchange critiques. I also started following Scott’s blog because, I thought, wow, this guy is going to write a novel over the course of a year, and he’s going to do it right here so I can watch. In fact, I could—get this—follow his blog so I know when he posts something new. Wow! What a concept!

I guess the rest is history. Now the hard part is coming up with things to post on my own blog. I’m just so curious. How and when did you come across the Blogshere?


  1. I think it started w/ Bransford for me (when I was researching agents)... and I thought, "This is stupid..." and then after I got into commenting I told myself, "I'm never gonna do this myself... seems like a big time suck." And, of course, about 2 months ago, I start doing my own and expanding my blogosphere and it's been quite rewarding, if still a time suck :)

  2. So, how long ago was that, Bane? I remember you back in May. You gave me some really helpful advice on my Query over at the Slushpile. You even left a nice comment for me here, on Story for a Shipwright. Are you working on something these days, or are you indulging in lassituvious behavior?

  3. I've known the blogosphere existed for years, but only got up the gumption to start my own blog once I became serious about the writing thing. Going on two months now, and the experience (and connections) have been wonderful.

    And did you just say lassituvious? I've never heard that one before, but I'm assuming it's the adjectival form of lassitude? Nice! Well played, good lady.

  4. Simon, If the English language will alow me to make up my own adjectival form of the word, then yes, but you'll have to blame it on Bane and his avatar of dog Lassitude--Lassie, for short.

  5. I started in June, I think. My cousin told me about a blog contest so I threw together a blog thinking that I needed one to comment. Next thing I knew I had a few followers... As Bane says it can be a time suck but also very helpful and supportive.

    What to blog about has been making me crazy!! I blogged about my living room today LOL!

    Haha! Lassituvious is off and running!

  6. Deb, I thought I might do a post on my chaotic writing space her in Michigan, contrasted with the serenity of where I wrote from in New Hampshire. I could call it Where I Do What I Do. That’s actually easier said than done, since most of the time I’m not really sure what I’m doing.
    I think it’s interesting that Bane, Simon, you and I have only been doing it for a few months. I wonder if it means anything…

  7. That would make a great compare and contrast post. I'll look forward to it. (I'm not sure what I'm doing most of the time either - they say the trick is to "sound" authoritive) :)

    It is interesting. And that's the bane of our personality type - wonder, analyse, wonder, analyse...

  8. I just started my blog to document the journey. Then I realized all the benefits to interacting like you did. It's been an awesome experience. Without it, I wouldn't have come across you, my awesome and more than helpful beta reader. By the way, did you get my last email?

  9. Google led me to Nathan Bransford's blog when I was looking for "literary agents" and from there I found many other blogs (and bloggers).

    I'm glad you found the Slushpile, your sample pages showed a nice voice!

  10. Susan,
    Finding you and your blog are some of the best things I’ve discovered. Beta readers are gold!

  11. Rick,
    Thanks to you and the Slushpile, my query is pretty much ready. Alas, I’m still fine-tuning my manuscript. I hope Fate’s Guardian is progressing nicely, too!

  12. I really enjoyed reading this! Thank you for sharing your journey. I'm blushing that I was part of it!

    I got here because a friend of mine started a blog for her family, and I thought it would be fun to do something like that for writing. Little did I know that sooo many writers have blogs! I'm glad I stumbled into the blogosphere so that I can meet great friends like you. Good luck with your future posts! It can be so hard sometimes.

  13. Michelle,
    When I wrote this post, I couldn’t remember exactly where I found the link to the Slushpile. Gladly, I had it tucked away in My Favorites, in a file for Querying. Lo and behold, it was on The Innocent Flower. I though, How cool is that?—Michelle’s blog. Not really a big surprise.
    I know I’ll never be a megablogger with a constant flow of fascinating and informative posts. That is to say, I have to keep my obsessive inclinations in check. It would be all too easy for me to spend my entire day writing and doing this. I’m trying to keep it under control while I have it somewhat under control—you know what I mean.

  14. I know exactly what you mean. Notice I'm not blogging as much. I got a little carried away. :)

  15. JB, starting commenting about a year ago and started BBB about 3 months ago... And just finished up a piece, so I'm taking a break. Howgozit w/ SfaS (and ditto what Rick said about the sample pages and voice)?

  16. Bane,
    I read your first chapter over on your blog—very effective! Will you query soon?

    SfaS is coming along pretty well. I’d say it’s complete, but I’m still hoping for a little more feedback before I send it off—so hard to know when it’s done. I vacillate between thinking it’s as awesome as my husband says, and feeling like a great big…see that—so inept I can’t even come up with a writerly word for it.

  17. I had blogged when my son was first born, but just about motherhood, and mostly for my family. But then when I started delving more into writing fiction and finished my first novel, I started researching online. I ran across agent blogs, which led me to the wealth of overwhelming info out there.

    Then I went to a writer's conference and there was all this focus on having an internet presence before you were published, so that's what led me here initially. I stay because of all the great people I've met and all the terrific information everyone shares.

  18. Roni,
    When I started my first blog, I actually had no idea what a platform or ‘internet presence’ meant. I had/have a Website for my artwork, and my first blog was actually for current, unfinished painting projects—a pathetic attempt to shame myself into finishing them. One of my projects (that I actually did complete) was binding and illustrating my first novel. The art aspect of it was complete, but now I realize it needs rewriting. Anyway, I had read a couple blogs on other writers’ Works in Progress and the thought occurred to me: Why not blog about my current writing project.

    I admire the focus of so many of the writers’ blogs I follow (yours included), always offering something helpful. I can only imagine how much time goes into your research. I can’t even aspire to something so grand. I’ll probably just continue to blog about my little big thoughts as they occur to me, and leave the informative stuff to you guys.
    Anyway, congrats on your Shadow Falls, and the request for a full!

  19. I came across the blogosphere much the same way you did, seeking information about the publishing industry. For a long time I just read blogs and never commented. Then I started commenting.

    And finally just six weeks ago, started my own blog, and so far, I'm loving it, but am still learning the ins and outs of followers and friends. I chose a wordpress blog, not that I had a preference, I really didn't know all the differences. So,yes, I have a google profile and a wordpress blog. Yikes! And, thanks for stopping by my blog.

  20. Paul, it looks like your blog is off to a good start. I’m looking forward to your future posts! Thanks for stopping by here, too.