Until I began to put my completed novel out for consideration, I couldn’t see any reason why I should have a blog. One geared toward other writers and artists making the long climb to the top of the slush pile made sense. A personal blog? No one would be interested in my day-to-day doings; hell, even I wasn’t interested. Buy a train ticket to Boringtown instead; it would be more exciting.
The process of writing seems to fascinate people, however. Nearly everyone I know, when I tell them I’m a writer, or they ask how something is going, or when they see me set up my computer at lunchtime, gives me that bird-on-a-wire bright stare, the appraising glance that says “She’s writing. What is she writing? A book? Is it any good? Anyone can write, can’t they?”
Well, no, they can’t. So many people tell me “I thought about writing a book, but I never had the time.” Every writer on earth has heard this at least once. Maybe they have something inside them worth sharing; maybe it should stay there. It’s certain that it won’t come out if they don’t plant their behinds in the chair and write. And that’s where so many people fall down on that dream. They simply don’t do it. Those who do soon find out that it is work and hard work at that. I like to describe it like this: during those times when the words are flowing effortlessly, faster than you can get them down, it’s almost better than sex. Other times, it’s more like homework. In the class you hate the most.
Even on homework days, you must write. Everyone has time; you just have to find those bits here and there that offer themselves to you. I’m working on my lunch hour as we speak. The guys in the manufacturing plant where I work at my receptionist day job are used to me setting up my laptop in the lunchroom. They even sometimes move to give me my preferred seat (near the plug, out of the glare of the window, but close to it). They know about the book; they know the basic plot. They’re a great bunch of people. They tease me, but they also encourage me. When I tell them I’ve been rejected again, they say “Keep trying! We know you’ll make it someday!”
Maybe no one will ever agree to represent me based on this first novel alone, but as writers we need that kind of encouragement. It keeps us going in the face of one of the most dauntingly competitive fields out there. That’s the key, to keep going. For example, I figure skate on weekends. I’m not great at it, but I’m making progress. Because of that, and because of the encouragement of my club’s small group of fans who come to see us skate, I keep going. And besides, I love it.
I love writing too. I’ve been doing it in one form or another since I was a child, but never more seriously than now. I want to share it with you. I want you to feel what I feel when I write it, as you read it. That’s my challenge, and a big part of my reward.
The word “ephemera,” the title of this blog, is defined as something designed to only be useful for a short period of time, like that train ticket. It’s a perfect description of blog entries. I hope you can take something for yourself from my journey that will stay with you. Let’s go together, shall we?