Dita Parker

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Don't lose your head

I got lost on the way to work and ended up roaming Blogistan for far longer than I had intended. What I didn't write, I made up in reading. Fantastic stuff. Brilliant characters. Time robbers and hateful rubbish. Opinions, attitude and even substance.

Cyberspace is to man as the universe is to mankind. It makes you feel small, it makes you wonder can anyone see or hear you, and if you don't take care it will make you lose your sense of purpose and direction. 

Case example: The Accidental Writer, AW for short. AW writes a naughty and nice story and gets hint exactly where to submit. She does; the required digest, a witty query letter, curious about where she stands as far as this particular genre stands. Will she receive a generic rejection? Will she get any answer?

AW has no way of knowing for sure. Back in the writing game after some odd years in odd jobs in odd places, it's the first story she sends out. But she has a good feeling about this. Call it intuition. In that moment in time, that story feels right for its market.

She receives an offer for it she accepts. Some of you are now calling her a lucky bastard, some of you are shouting "Lucky bitch!" and some are wondering what she has done to deserve a lucky break like that. All of you will have to stop mentioning luck. As far as AW knows, it's not a matter of luck but a combination of pitching, talent and timing. The right story in the right place at the right time. 

"So now what," asks AW, and those of you who haven't spaced out. "Write it and they will read it, right? No? No?! What do you mean who and where are 'they'? The ones at the end of the rainbow, of course. The readers."

We're losing AW again. She's getting lost in space, deep in cyberspace, searching for those readers and that rainbow. She wrote that naughty and nice story; she got an offer for it; she is working to work it out and get it out. And no one will ever find out about it if she doesn't get to the right place at the right time, manuscript in hand. Here's hoping AW navigates her way there and back and back out again. 

Social media can make you a king for a day and a fool for a lifetime. Knowing your limits and honoring other obligations is essential, but pleading total ignorance about the importance of meeting and greeting and generally sticking your neck out won't do. You don't get published by accident. You don't want to be ignored by accident either. 

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