My blog was supposed to be about feeling like a non-entity and wondering if I actually exist. Even as a writer I feel that way sometimes, especially when a literary agency that PROMISES to respond to queries doesn’t, even though I triple and quadruple check to make sure I follow their submission instructions, or my blog goes mostly unread, or for a thousand other reasons. But that’s not quite the message I wanted. So I’m changing it. I am not a non-entity, and whether or not I ever get published, I will keep writing and blogging and enjoying myself. So there, world.
What I will focus on is words. I just read an article (after reading hundreds about developing a platform and the importance of self-promotion) that said a pre-publishing blog with few readers is a waste of time. Nope, I don’t agree, even if nobody ever reads it but me. Is the use of words ever a waste of time?
Well, yes, it can be. The woman whose call I took at work who didn’t want anything but to complain about her insurance company for 45 minutes–no questions, no claims she disagreed with, nothing she actually wanted me to do–definitely wasted her words. I don’t remember a single one, or what she was actually complaining about, all I remember is watching the call timer run up. I can’t even say it went in one ear and out the other because it went in one ear, ricocheted off my brain, and tumbled back out the same ear. So it is possible, but not common.
I also read that a famous author (don’t ask which one) suggested a writer cannot be a good writer until they’ve written at least a million words. I’m not sure I’m even there yet. At a million words I mean, not at being a good writer. If I made a billion dollars and won every single writing award available, I would still spend more time thinking by own writing is rubbish than I would thinking it might be a bit of all right. Several “completed” novels (completed is in parenthesis because the only way I’ll ever actually stop working on a novel is if it is actually published and can no longer be changed) probably total about 600,000-700,000 words, so if you include short stories and fan fiction and rewrites, it may be close. Blogging gives me a chance to write in a different way and use different connections in my brain, so I consider it good exercise, like changing up jogging for tennis every now and then. (Not that I do either of those things.)
Writing is important. Writing is valuable. It can even be dangerous depending on the subject and who might be reading it. Writing can entertain, inspire emotion, or change the world. Don’t ever stop writing, even if it’s just for yourself. Practice makes . . . well, there is no such thing as perfection, especially in a subjective art form where each person who reads has their own preferred style preferences. But there are universal concepts in good writing that can be improved on and I can’t think of a better way to do that than getting to that million-word mark and beyond. Never give up on it, no matter what happens. I know I won’t.
Cheers and happy Halloween!!