Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group Post #2-- On Building Community

There is a lot of buzz lately (and by lately, I mean for the past five years or so) about whether or not eBooks and the internet will destroy, devalue, and otherwise eliminate the centuries old publishing tradition.

I think this change contributes to a lot of our insecurities as an industry. Things are changing massively and I often feel stuck in between two paradigms. On the one hand, I cannot seem to get my second book published, nor can I find an agent. In the old paradigm, this might indicate that my work is not marketable, or worse yet, that I am not talented. In the new paradigm, this could indicate much about agents and publishers that are too distracted by struggling to keep up with this incredible shift in the way they do business to continue sourcing amazing talent.

OK, the second is just what I tell myself to make it less hurtful.

But what I think we don't spend enough time focusing on is how this new world might make getting a commercial publisher harder, but it has made writing a much less solitary endeavor. Ten years ago, I would not have had the opportunity to know a myriad of wonderful fellow writers I met through the blogosphere. I wouldn't be able to share my insecurities, get reassurance, and reassure others without, if I was lucky, a trip to the local library, book club, or writer's center. And even then, I would only be interacting with people near me unless I was fortunate enough to get to BEA or Frankfurt.

At least 5 times a week, I am convinced that I should just give up on "trying to be a writer" and be happy with a good career. And at least 5 times a week, amazing writers and virtual connections remind me of all of the reasons why I want to keep working at getting my work out there (knowingly or unknowingly).

So I am insecure. A lot. And you all help me be less so. So a heartfelt thanks.


  1. The blogging community is such a supportive one, I am so grateful to have all these wonderful writers in my life that continue to encourage me. Great post for reminding me of that :)

  2. I like how you describe and compare the two paradigms. When I started blogging, most of the writers I met were looking for agents and querying. Now many of these same people are self-publishing. It's been interesting to see the shift.

  3. I think if you love to write, that is what will push you to keep at it! If publication and a career eventually come out of it, that's icing on the cake.

    Allison (Geek Banter)

  4. You're right, as tough a grind as the world of publication can be in this challenging economy and changing landscape, we're lucky to be going at it in a time when all of us are a few clicks away from support and encouragement.

  5. See my post "The Machine that Destroyed the World…Maybe." It was posted on May 21st, so you may have to go down a little.

    Let me know what you think!


  6. Great post. You are so right about us not being alone like we once were. Is there anyone who can keep up with the changes in Publishing?

  7. I agree with Allison, if you love writing, you'll keep on doing it no matter what...

    I was only thinking the other day, how quickly things have changed. A few years ago, you wouldn't have dreamt of self-publishing. It used to be frowned upon as I recall. Where as now, everyone is at it, and I am not sure that is a good thing.

    Being honest, I've seen, read and sadly, paid for some very badly written e books. I swear some folks are only editing the first few pages.

    Good post.

  8. ...if writing stories is your passion, ignoring it would be difficult. The urge would always be there, nipping at your heels like a feisty pup, until its granted attention ;)