Monday, April 13, 2009

So when people start pitching YOU…

You know it’s been too long since you’ve posted, when people come out of the proverbial cyberspace woodwork saying things like, “If you need ideas for posting, here’s some stuff to write about.”

I had that happen over this past weekend, and it’s a sobering experience.

Actually, I wasn’t sure whether to be flattered (someone thinks that if I post about their subject, it’ll get attention!) or insulted (what, you think I don’t have enough ideas on my own?) I did have to reassure the person involved that I had plenty of ideas for stuff to write about…it was taking the time to organize said ideas into some kind of post and get it here that was the problem. (!!)

But it does bring attention to the unfortunate situation of being a Writer Chick yet not writing enough on this blog to let people know I still know how to do it. :-) Well, yes, there are reasons for this situation. Many good ones, in fact.

One reason is the Book From Hell I’m presently editing in the day gig.

Now, don’t misunderstand me (as people seem to be doing a lot lately)…it’s not that the book itself is hellish. It’s only that the book is about complex subject matter, it’s very detailed, and it takes a great deal of attention and energy to make sure one is Getting It Right As Much As Possible. I know there will still be glitches when it goes out, which is always galling. But for right now, until next Monday when we really need to get it to production, I’ll be doing my best to make sure as few of those glitches happen as possible. I have a full manuscript from a proofreader to go through, plus an index to paste in and format today, so my little fingers and brain will be more than occupied enough for the angels, thank you very much.

Another reason is that I spent what writing time I could carve out of the freelance wilderness putting together an entry for ACFW’s Genesis contest, something I didn’t even think I was eligible for until I got together with some folks in the Indiana group and had my attention brought to the fine print that said, “…unpublished in the last seven years.”

I have to say that truthfully, most of the time I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the fact that yes, I’ve been unpublished in book-length work for long enough now that, in many contests, I have the same standing as someone who’s never sold a book at all. In this case, I chose to laugh, in the sense that at least it will enable me to get VOI back into a place where more eyes can see it, more people can appreciate it, and maybe some wonderful editor will look at it and say, “Where has this woman been all our lives? How much more has she written? Can we buy it all?”

(N.B. to those of you who don’t know this by now…when I dream, I tend to dream big. It’s a weakness. Deal with it.) :-)

So that, by way of explanation as to where the long, thoughtful blog posts are. Honestly? I get ideas for thoughtful blog posts about three times a day; I have scarce time in which to actually type them out and get them coherent, however, and that’s why you haven’t heard from me…not because I don’t have ideas to blog about.

And that brings to mind the second issue that may have prompted this kind of “helpful input” —a misunderstanding of just what my blog is meant to be about. Maybe because it’s listed in Catholic blog directories, some people might have the wrong idea about how I gather, find, or choose what I write about here.
So let’s get something clear: if you are a Person with a Cause, have seen that I do in fact write rather well, and think this place might be a great spot for me to act as your “mouthpiece” ...I have a piece of advice for you: save your breath and your fingers.

Rest assured that for every post you read here, there are a dozen more ideas going through in my head that I could write about…and sometimes have even started to write about…only to have a different one float to the surface because that’s what is the most compelling to me at the time.

Which is, in the end, what this is about. Lest we forget. :-)

I “ghostwrite” as a freelancer now and again, a profession in which one’s personality and style are submerged beneath someone else’s byline. So this place I doubly treasure as being all mine. This is where I can shine. This is where I can squawk, or do a happy dance, or expound, but most of all, where I can be me, and it’s all original.

I’m sorry if some of you may find this myopic approach disappointing…but, the fact is, this is not a public service blog. By and large, it’s not going to deal with topics people suggest (unless they’re questions about writing, which are pretty much always welcome). There are many things this blog is; one thing it is not is a bulletin board upon which, if you send me enough URLs and suggestions, I’ll start blogging about what’s important to you.

Because that, quite simply, ain’t the idea here.

Don’t get me wrong. If you ask me a direct question, I’m liable to answer it. And I love to see people happen by, and if something I write makes you want to spread the word about this blog or point other people to it, please do!

But make no mistake—this is my spot. It’s not being surrendered to anyone, no matter how noble their intent, for their thoughts, their ideas, their ideologies, or their causes.

Ain’t gonna happen. Not now, not ever.

I’m not a Catholic Writer Chick reflecting the world and broadening people’s perspectives for the sake of “edifying all of us.” There are plenty of other places where, if you want, you can get edification. If edification happens here, that’s all to the good. But it’s not by design. Just as I don’t write my stories so that people will “find salvation” through them, I don’t write a blog so that people will “become aware .”

I’m the Catholic Writer Chick At Large for other purposes and aims: I observe, I participate in, and I attempt to enjoy the world around me, while processing it all on the only terms I truly understand…

…my own.

So be it.



Deb said...

Janny, you write: (N.B. to those of you who don’t know this by now…when I dream, I tend to dream big. It’s a weakness. Deal with it.)

It's NOT a weakness. It's a strength. If you don't dream big, you're limiting what God can do.

That's my take, anyway. And no, I'm not one of those Prods who's into the Prosperity Gospel: "You haven't sold big yet because you haven't asked GOD for it! You need to stretch your faith so He can do what you're asking Him to do!"

Um, no. God is not the big Blessing Vending Machine in the Sky. He isn't waiting until I get the exact right combination of prayer coins. He has His own will for my path, and my job is to seek His face 'til I know it like my own hand.

I hate when people boil the Creator of the universe down to some formula. It belittles Him.

End of rant,

Janny said...

Actually, the "it's a weakness" was meant facetiously...but because we're not sitting across the table from one another at Baker's Square, you have no way of picking up on that. :-)

Speaking of which...

(heh heh)