Sunday, June 25, 2006

Joining the Club

To state the obvious, there are countless communities within the overall blogsphere. There are blog communities about Irish step dancing, cigar smoking, miniature airplane enthusiasts and nudists (I checked). The one I'm concerned with, naturally, is writing.

More specifically, I'm concerned with blogs by writers who are still struggling to finish and sell their first novel. I was hoping to find a bit of camaraderie, inspiration or, at least, commiseration. Oddly enough, there aren't very many.

Upon reflection, this shouldn't have surprised me. Who wants to hang out, even in cyberspace, with a bunch of losers who haven't even sold anything yet?

I call these Level I writing blogs, and no one pays any attention to them (like this one). And why should they? Are you going to glean any nuggets of wisdom from a blog like that? The person may be very talented, and may break upon the publishing scene like a bright comet, or they may be a dedicated person who just doesn't have it and should be taking a night course in gardening instead. But you will never know until and unless they sell a novel.

This is a Level II blog--dedicated writers who have finished a book and found an agent to represent them. If the agent eventually sells a book and they become published, their blog makes it to Level III, the blogs whose authors have sold one or more books and are now mostly concerned with promotion and longevity.

These are the blogs I lurk at. I used to try to join in by commenting on posts occasionally, but no one really took notice, I'm not published, I'm not in their club. And I wouldn't want it any other way.

What good is a club if there isn't an entrance requirement? When I was an Irish dancer and hung out with Irish dancers, we didn't include anyone in our 'club' unless they were, oddly enough, Irish dancers. And just coming to a class didn't get you in, you had to prove your dedication and commitment, join in a few recitals and win a medal or three at an official competition.

The writer's aren't any different. I can say I'm a writer and sit myself down in a circle of published authors, but until I actually have a contract and a book on the shelves at the local Borders, I'm just another wannabe with a dream.

So, I'll keep my Level I blog, looking forward to the day when I can move to Level II and, hopefully, Level III.

Then I'll revisit those blogs and post some more comments.


  1. After reading this post I need to post a comment. I check in with TLOW every few weeks and am glad I bookmarked it. As with many writers, I'm considering a book, but haven't the focus yet to decide what to write. So I read blogs and write something nearly every other day, but so far nothing worth publishing. Many of the same thoughts you've expressed on this blog are similar to my own and I appreciate your candor. I'll keep checking in and who knows, perhaps you'll soon have a book deal and I'll start my own first book blog. Meanwhile, best wishes it will all come together.

    Cheers from the deep South,
    - brien

  2. Hi Brian. Um, people read this? Now I'll have to try to be interesting.

    Best of luck on your journey; if you're writing nearly every day you're already halfway there.