I like yellow brick roads. Ones that start off small and get bigger. When I’m comfortable with what I know, I build to it.
I started with the basic blog. I opened the beginners tutorial. It says choose a theme. There are a lot of themes. The tutorial tells me to watch out for things like columns, customizable headers, and themes that will automatically make mobile and tablet pages that are easier to access. (I’m not sold on mobile access. Some of my favorite websites have nothing useful on their mobile access, but my blog could be different, right?)
I picked a theme and set a header and a background. Then there are widgets and add on applications. Everything wants to spiderweb together, and I don’t even know if I like my blog yet.
I started with something small, but the more I play with it, the more I feel like an ameba in the ocean. What I am now worried about is that building and keeping up all this networking will consume my time to do the things I love. If anyone has advice on how to balance electronic networking with life, let me know.
Then I spent hours wanting to play with it and love it and post every thought I had. I restrained myself under the assumption that less is more. All the excitement over the shiny new blog has me thinking about beginnings.
So I want to know: 1. When did you start writing?
2. After you decided to be share your work, where did you turn?
My giddiness is a pattern. Take writing for an example.
I’ve always written. I won school contests as early as 1st grade.
I even had some poetry in high school published in college magazines. Then school ended. College required me to shift focus. I still wrote, but I had to get the writing bug. The one that infected me with a great idea followed by four, feverish weeks of writing. College ended and work began. Writing became an exercise in short sprints written between tasks or after work while dinner cooked. I no longer submitted pieces to local magazines. I no longer entered competitions. I was a closet writer.
Last year, I decided I needed a support group. Hello. My name is Louise. I’ve been writing for 23 years.
Finding a support group is not that easy. I missed out on the convenient methods such as maintaining my connection with my English teachers or joining a group hosted by the college. As an adult, none of my friends were interested in a writing hobbyist group.
So I did what any good person would. I googled. Google scoffed at my attempts to find local writing groups. It suggested classes at a university. No published websites or meetings groups came up in my searches. The one group I did find, met on Wednesday during the normal work day. Why, Google, do you not create things on my whim that work perfectly in my schedule.
Finally, Google told me I needed to join a program called Nano. I was in luck. There would be a Camp Nano in July. So I joined.
I like Nano in many ways but not in others. Camp Nano introduced me to two people who would actually discuss writing and ideas. Great. But they both live far, far away.
Never fear, Camp Nano told me. In November there would be local events and a bigger program. I met a group of four writers who agreed to meet and talk with me after November. Thank you Second Chapter for being there.
Google also introduced me to Scribophile and Critters where I could inundate strangers with my writing. These online communities kicked my backside, scolded me for disorganization, shoved craft books under my nose, and prodded me until my writing improved a little.
In 9 months since deciding to do more than binge write at home, I have found programs I enjoy and built a small circle of folks I can rely on.
I’m an aspiring writer. It is not all I am, but it is part of who I am.
I dabble in prose enough that I finished a novel length first draft. Great.
So I look around. What should I do with this collection of words? The internet, writing groups, organizations all have different ideas.
Revising is one I am choosing. Revising the writing only seems appropriate.
Editing is in the works.
A query has been drafted.
The summary needs work.
But then what?
Make a list of agents. Huh? How?
Develop a platform? Like wood and nails? Like 70’s Kiss shoes?
Build a network? I thought my computer was already plugged in.
So many suggestions and most of which I do not know how to implement. So here I am, starting with a basic blog. Learning the ropes. Contemplating in written form to myself wondering how such thoughts will lead to developing a reputation.
Welcome to anyone who wishes to join me on this journey.