Enter my free reading glasses giveaway which ends December 16th. Details HERE
I have been writing a manuscript for almost 8 years.
When I write that sentence, it is only slightly less embarrassing than when I say it out loud.
Some writers pop out books every other year.
I used to joke that I felt like I was giving birth to twin elephants; the gestation period for one pachyderm is 2.5 years so I allowed time to double it; after all, when I started writing my book my son was five years old. He was active, building LEGO creations and dancing and leaving goldfish crackers all over the house. He went to school under 3 hours a day. The nap had evaporated. I had my hands full.
But here it is — seven years later — and I am wondering what is wrong with me? Why won’t this baby come out?
Kristen Lamb (author of We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer) once suggested it is possible for some writers to get stuck “rearranging the chairs on the Titanic,” and I wondered if she was talking about me.
Was I that crazy woman adjusting the furniture when the ship was going down? I could hardly bear the thought of my baby sinking.
Rather than despair, I decided to remind myself that I am surrounded by greatness, and I figured I’d plug some people who I know in real life who have written and published some good stuff.
1. Michael Wexler: The Seems • Young Adult
2. Pam Sherman: The Suburban Outlaw • Non-Fiction Essays
3. Cynthia Kolko: Fruit of the Vine • Fiction
4. Betsy Petersen: Dancing with Daddy: A Childhood Lost & a Life Regained • Memoir
5. Chet Day: The Hacker • Thriller
6. Steven Mazie: Israel’s Higher Law: Religion and Liberal Democracy in the Jewish State • Political Science
7. Jeffrey Hirschberg: Reflections of the Shadow: Creating Memorable Heroes and Villains for Film and TV • Film Theory
8. Victoria Wasserman: Damage Control • Fiction
9. Rebecca Etlinger: To Be Me: Understanding What It’s Like To Have Asperger’s Syndrome • Picture Book
10. Janet Goodfriend: For the Love of Art • Fiction
11. Wendy Vigdor-Hess: Sweetness Without Sugar • Cookbook
*SOON TO BE RELEASED!*
12. Rebecca Land Soodak: Henny On the Couch • Fiction •
And if that isn’t enough, I also have some cyber-budddies who have recently landed agents after attending writing conferences, so I keep writing and telling myself my time will come.
So now I’m looking into getting my ass to a writing conference.
All these people keep me inspired, as I try to remain optimistic that a book I have authored will — one day — make it on a shelf where I can see my name, written sideways on the spine, sandwiched between other legit authors.
That is if there are still bookstores with bookshelves by the time I’m done with this book that is sucking a piece of my soul.
Once I asked an author friend of mine about what I could do to help move my baby towards the birth canal.
She suggested that I stop whining and just push the kid out and see how he fares in the world.
I said he wasn’t ready yet, that he still needed time in the oven.
But she is right.
So I am dilating.
Right now I’m about 2 centimeters, and I need to move things along.
It is time to get this alien-monster out of my belly and into someone else’s laptop.
Okay, that was a metaphor fail.
What I’m trying to say is that I’m working hard on revising.
And when all is said and done, if my baby is dull or no one thinks my sweet thang is sparkly or bedazzled enough, well, I can bundle him up and tuck him in a folder called Manny Manuscript, age 8.
I can wax nostalgic about how much fun I had creating characters and setting and symbolism and sub-plots. I can laugh about how Manny kept me up at night and wouldn’t let me to sleep until I’d written down what he wanted me to say. I can talk about how much paper he ate, that crazy Manny.
But honestly, if Manny is never going to be a real-book, well… Manny has a sibling who has been patiently waiting to be born.
And maybe it’s her time now.
What keeps you inspired when you don’t feel like you are moving forward? More importantly, what is your favorite part of that video clip? And why do I want to throw the cheese?
Hey! Why Is It So Quiet in Here?
I have my best listening ears on!
I have been gaining subscribers for a year now. I have this cool, little dashboard that tells me how many people have viewed my blog, which pages they have checked out, what words they searched to find me, and a whole lot of cool information. My lice post is still the number one most frequently viewed post and, if you Google search “drag needle splinter twit,” you will find this.
Here’s what I don’t understand. Every day, more people are visiting my site. Which is totally excellent. And I am grateful to everyone who comes to check me out. And I’d like to take this opportunity to say to the folks searching for “psicologia: esconderse bajo la cama”: I’m sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.
But here is what I’m pondering:
Why do so few people who read blogs actually leave comments? I mean I have my regulars, the folks upon whom I can rely on to say something. They are the people with whom I have come to know and have developed cyber-relationships. Through these online exchanges, I have met so many smart/interesting/funny people. Some cyber-friendships have progressed to emails; some to phone calls. Heck, I’m playing concurrent games of “Words with Friends” with Jessica Buttram and Ironic Mom.
So imagine my surprise when a friend that I actually know in real life — yeah, I’m calling you out, Aaron — admitted that he has been reading my blog since my blog was born, that he has been there since its infancy, and added that he has really been enjoying watching li’l boggie mature. Now this of course made me all shivery and happy inside, and I immediately gave him a hug Actually, I may have hugged him first and then squealed when he made the comment, but you get the idea.
Of course, I love the idea that people are reading my content.
But later (after the hugging and squealing), I wondered, Why doesn’t Aaron ever comment? What’s up with that? And if Aaron isn’t commenting, why aren’t other people commenting? I decided to create a poll to try to find out. Seriously, I’d love to hear from you lurkers who read but don’t necessarily comment. Please know I don’t have any way to identify about you except the answers you leave here because all the info is collected at Poll Daddy and reported back to me anonymously. You know, unless you put your name in the comment or something.
I love writing and I am working my butt off trying to bring you interesting stuff. Am I missing something? I can never predict which posts people are going to go bonkers over and which ones will be duds. (I mean head lice? Really? Over 200 hits every day?)
Author Kristen Lamb (a woman to whom I refer to as “The Queen”) often writes about how important it is for writers to try to connect with one another in her blog and in her books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer . I know not all of my readers are bloggers, but whether you are or not, I would love it if you would leave me a comment. For me, blogging is — of course — about writing, but it is also about creating a dialogue. After I have written something the delicious part is hearing what people have to say about it. The comments are like a fabulous dessert you get to eat — after slaving away for hours making a difficult meal.
If you are writing a blog, you are hoping that someone is maybe (*hopefully*) reading your words. Admit it. It’s true.
And if you are checking out other people’s stuff, you don’t have to feel pressured to write a crazy long comment. Even a short little “Thanks for this!” or “Hilarious!” can really make someone’s day. So don’t be shy. Just say, “Hi!”
Truly, I am interested as to why people choose to be quiet when they could be part of the dialogue. So please, enlighten me. At the risk of sounding like the National Inquirer, inquiring minds really do want to know. Has anyone else given any thought to this phenomenon?
What drives people to comment? And what makes lurkers stay in the shadows?
Tweet This Twit @RASJacobson
Posted in Writing Life
Tagged @RASJacobson, Blog, blogging, connecting with other writers in the blogosphere, curious about quiet readers, figuring things out in the blogosphere, how do you feel about lurkers, Poll Daddy, Poll Daddy poll, psychology, Social media, technology, why don't people comment on blogs, Writer, writing