I’m trying to move this blog away from astonished-at-my-own-small-success postings, self-deprecating humor, to something with more universal appeal. I have a small blog readership. I’d reach more people with a bullhorn in Harvard Square.
One recurring theme which I think is uplifting is the idea of the second act, the second chance. It’s pretty bloody reassuring for those of us in our fifties and I imagine, if one was in one’s twenties, it would also be reassuring. You can shit the bed for decades! And still end up somewhere!
What’s more, the nitty gritty reality of the writing life has never been more on display. Simply follow and friend your favorite authors and you’ll be exposed to the process in a way that, even a decade ago, was unheard of.
Follow and friend the people you publish with in the magazines, your editors; google your reviews…
…Ok, lost a half hour there. Sorry. I’m back. Even ambivalent reviews of my work give me chills. People are reading me!
Authors tweet, blow by blow, their struggles with manuscripts; word counts, revisions, the dark, bleak moments of hopelessness which seem to be a part the process, and the heady joys of completion and success–and publication, and, on occasion, acclaim.
And so, I’ll say now, casually, that I’ve sold my second story to F&SF, a story titled Things Worth Knowing, and that I have galleys in hand; if they’re from the same editor who worked on my first F&SF story I know there will be a bunch of really smart changes in the PDF.
It’s a delight, to have someone work on your text, make it better, as it goes out the door. Every now and then you’ll disagree, you’re making some point the the editor didn’t get, but nine times out of ten, you smack your forehead and say “great googly moogly, how did that get by me?”
I’ll also mention, oh so casually, the possibility of being included in a very cool anthology, which I’ll know about for sure in a month or so.
Mostly, I’m here to tell you, I’m out in the world pounding on my aging Macbook Air with the flickery screen, lugging my backpack full of books, drinking coffee in Cambridge Massachusetts, surrounded by people younger and hipper and more beautiful than I am, to be sure, but I’m here. I’m writing. People are reading what I write.
Life is good.
Take a stab at whatever it is you really want to do. Humiliate yourself at an open microphone, get your stories and poems rejected, write a goddamn screenplay, fiddle with a useless agent for a decade, paint a picture, write a song, make bad art, make good art, and play nicely with others while you do. Keep your heart open, keep your head in the game.
You never know where you might end up, in twenty years or so.