Thanks to All the Blogging People

When I first got this thing (yeah, I know, I still have trouble saying the word “blog”), I had no idea what to expect from the community of other bloggers. In fact, I had no clue that there was such a thing as a community of bloggers. I thought that I would just be writing regularly, scheduling posts and publishing them consistently, without any fuss or muss.

But there’s a level of interaction involved while writing a blog that I’m immensely glad I’ve discovered. (At least on WordPress there is. I don’t know if other sites are similar. I hope they are.) Not only am I getting my writing pushed out into the void, I get to read what other people are writing about too. I don’t mean to toot other people’s horns (I totally mean to), but there are some fantastic writers out there.

Looking at the setup of the average blog post, once you are done reading a post, you can like the post and write a comment. Initially, this frightened me. It was reminiscent of various social media platforms I use, and in those cases, the “comments sections” can be very toxic. People use anonymity as a shield as they hurl insults and viciously critique whatever it is you’re posting. And as a poor, sensitive writer/person with varying degrees of low self-esteem, I was dreading the day someone would come along and beat the shit out of what I had written.

But, amazingly, the people I’ve met while writing here have been nothing but kind. Working on this blog has shown me how wonderful social media could be if platforms were not constantly hounded by Internet Trolls. While I may not be raking in the “likes,” not a single person has been discouraging. Everyone has been the epitome of kindness.

And it’s making me feel all warm inside.

So here’s a short little post to anyone who happens to read this who is part of the blogging community. I can barely begin to express the gratitude I feel when I’m interacting with people on a day-to-day basis.

You guys are awesome. Seriously.

Being a Grammar Fanatic

For me (and, I suspect, for a lot of the other writers I see in the blogging crowd) words are not simply mere tools for communication (though they are freaking awesome tools of communication). Every word in a language is a key that can unlock a door, and there are so many doors, it’s staggering to think of all the possibilities.

Words are the way we vent with our friends, tell them about the unbelievable chore that jury duty is, complain about the abysmal amount of work we have to do, or share just how truly disappointed we are in the direction our life is heading. Words are the way we persuade someone to hire us, boast about our accomplishments, admit to our shortcomings. Words are the way we tell stories.

(That last one is very important to me.)

As you can probably guess from those last few paragraphs, I’m awfully fond of words.

I also dote on the correct usage of words.

Yes, I’m an admitted grammar fanatic.

I’m one of those people who will correct your inadvisable usage of a word, revise shoddy sentence structure, or wince at double negatives. I know my fellow brethren (by which I mean anyone who sympathizes with me) and I can get a tad annoying to non-grammar lovers, but I hope it comforts you to know that we don’t set out with the intention of being irritating.

It just sort of happens.

(Is it just me, or do I sound like Aunt Josephine from A Series of Unfortunate Events?) 

Grammar rules provide a structure and order that we so rarely encounter in real life. I’ve never found the rules of a language mystifying, only illuminating.

Oof, I sound like I’m deifying grammar.

Well, goddammit, I am!

I figured I’d come out here on my mediocre blog and shout it to the rooftops.


Note: If you happen to find a grammar mistake in one of my previous posts, I swear, it’s a typo!

Other note: Actually, I can’t verify with 100% certainty that it’s a typo. I may very well have made a grammar mistake. In which case, shame on me.

Other, other note: No! I stand by my words. I re-read my posts before I publish them. I catch my mistakes! The first note stands.

Other, other, other note: Actually, no, scratch that. I’m a bit of a wuss. I’m only human. I can, and do, make grammar mistakes.

Advice about Rejection from a Current Reject

I’ll sometimes see someone like Stephen King or J.K. Rowling send out a message (or Tweet out a Tweet) of hope to struggling writers. “I’ve been rejected this-and-this many times, but I eventually made it. So don’t worry. You just have to keep going.”

(I’m paraphrasing here. I’m fairly certain they were more eloquent than I was.)

Their advice of perseverance is supposed to make you feel better about getting rejected yourself. You’re supposed to say, “Stephen King once got rejected by agents and publishers too. Just like me. One day, I’m going to catch a break just like him.”

Problem is, my own thought process goes a little something like this:

Holy shit. What the fuck. If Stephen motherfuckin’ King got rejected a gazillion times before he got published, what possible chance do I have?!

The answer is none. I have no chance.

Or rather, I have the slimmest of slim chances because I don’t want to commit to being a fatalist.

I know that words of comfort from seasoned writers are supposed to be…well, words of comfort, but I have a really hard time digesting them as such. I seriously look up to writers like Stephen King. Talent just oozes out of every paragraph he writes. My writing just doesn’t compare. I know it doesn’t. My friends might tell me that I’m being too hard on myself, but I know I’m only being realistic and self-aware.

I’ve read what I’ve written, and I’ve read what Stephen King has written. There’s no comparison.

Surprisingly, this isn’t supposed to be a pity party.

I didn’t want to be a writer because of the perks of “making it.” (Though I’m sure those perks are nice.) Writing has always been a labor of love for me. That phrase, “labor of love,” is a common one. It means you’re doing something not because of what you might earn for it, but because you actually enjoy doing it. I also like to think of it as actual labor. Writing is work. It’s a skill you have to hone. Words don’t just flow out of nowhere. They’re a composition of your thoughts that you have to organize into a coherent structure that other people may enjoy taking in.

I may never end up publishing a goddamned thing. That’s a possibility that I’ve had to swallow when contemplating my choice in career. It’s a real sucky thing to think about. But I have to remind myself of a very important fact. I love what I do.

No matter how difficult or unrewarding writing is, I want to keep doing it. Writing is work, don’t get me wrong, but it’s work I love. Part of the journey of writing (gag, that sounds so corny, but just stay with me) is knowing that you’re going to have to put in a lot of effort in order to get results. And I’m willing to do that.

So every rejection letter I get, every query letter that goes unanswered, is just another notch on my belt. For my fellow writers out there who are reading this, look at your rejection letters right now with pride. Don’t look at them with the expectation that you’ll eventually be famous and can look back on them with fondness. Those rejections are accomplishments in and of themselves. They are wounding, hurt-filled proof that you are striving to reach your goal of being a writer.

Haven’t you heard that old literary adage? It’s the journey that matters, not the destination.

So, if you’re a struggling writer and you want to hear advice from another struggling writer who has in no way “made it,” this is all I have to give. Keep trying for the sake of trying and, more importantly, for the sake of writing.

Feel free to share the amount of rejections you’ve received. And by rejections, I mean badges of honor.

One of THOSE People

I have a healthy dose of self-consciousness coursing through the neural networks of my brain. Or maybe it’s an unhealthy amount. Who knows. But it’s that hyper-awareness of how my actions will be perceived by others that has always stopped me from doing something like this.

A blog.


It sounds so pretentious, doesn’t it? I don’t want to be associated with the stereotyped lifestyle of a “blogger.” (Good God, just typing that makes me want to shudder.) I don’t want people to think that I won’t be able to stop talking about what I’m currently writing. I don’t want people to think that I’m going to be obsessed with turning every single experience into a blog post. I don’t want people to think I’m a self-absorbed bitch who is only concerned about “putting my thoughts out there.”

But, as a good friend told me (yes, Andreya, that friend is you), I can’t let the spark die just because of what I think people might think about what I’m thinking. And by “spark,” she means my love of writing.

I love writing.

I love everything about it, from the physical actions of writing things down with a pen or hearing the clickety-clack of a keyboard to the mental actions of outlining plots and revising messy paragraphs. I freaking love it more than anything. (Well, anything within reason. I obviously love my family more than I love a pen scratching notes down on a piece of paper.)

So I am going to do this blog-thing (and I’m going to try to stop wincing every time I say, write, or think the word “blog”) and I’m going to like it. Why? Because I love writing and keeping this blog-thing going (shudder, wince, cringe) will help me get my writing out and about. Kind of. Sort of. Maybe. Hopefully.