All the world’s events have upsides and down, depending on your framing mood and which glasses you put on. Even sunrise can suck, as it counts down to a personal Armageddon, something bothering you alone.
Reading writers’ blogs reinforces the ups and downs of trying to write, publish and sell, but also shows the humanity behind writers. They’re revealed not to be just mad typists and scribblers, but beer and coffee connoisseurs, sports freaks and political junkies. It’s fun learning these things about them and discovering you have something in common with them (hey, Louise Erdrich likes drinking water, too!)
Upsides include great references to novels, short stories, poetry and information about writing and publishing. I often encounter intelligent, stunning writing from unknown writers.
Downsides include grimace inducing, clumsy writing.
Upsides – revelations about what not to do.
Downsides – realizations that damn it, I do that.
Big downside, too, is that I’m competing in some sense, because only so much can be read, with brilliant, intelligent, inventive, clever writers with skills that humble me.
Definite upside, no matter what level of writing I’m achieving, the discovery that a whole world of writers work in much the same esoteric and secret way of other endeavors, like pro sports, banking, software programming, name it, and recognizing I’m part of that world. Often hardest about writing is the lack of validation of my work. Nobody wants it and nobody reads it. It’s not necessarily crap, but it’s not easily accessible. I think weirdly so I write weirdly. Writers’ blogs remind me that this isn’t unusual, burning off some of my personal loneliness and frustration.
Writers’ blogs help me hope for that big breakthrough. They remind me how long it took Ursula LeGuin, JK Rowlings, Andy Weir, Lisa Genova, Stephen King, John Scalzi, Kathryn Stockett, Theodore Giesel, and others, to achieve their success. Their secret was that they kept writing. Their efforts, and success, inspire me.
I don’t know where I stand on the true spectrum of writing skills and talents, but I’m also not certain how much that matters. But, although I’m a seriously suspect Space Cadet, I will continue writing and trying to find my audience.
Because that’s what reading writers’ blogs tell me to do.