Sometimes, not often, I have little brain waves of ideas about how maybe I could stand out from other folks on the slushpile. And usually, with a bit of digging, there’s always someone else who has been there, done it and worn the t-shirt. Tthere is no shortage of aspiring authors out there, and I often feel they’re doing a better job than me.
In a couple of clicks on Twitter you can see people’s websites: see how successful they are, whether they’re published, have agent representation and generally what they’re up to. But sometimes I wish I didn’t know.
I do really love social networking, but sometimes it does serve as an advert for what everyone else is up to. If I’m honest, I get jealous of the full time writers, I really wish that was me spending day after day, writing and editing and procrastinating on twitter. And then with aspiring authors again, I envy some of them with their easy interaction with agents and published authors, and I often feel they do a much better job of self promotion. Then you see those aspiring authors with brilliant innovative ideas and you just wish you’d thought of them yourself!
I wonder if I would have been better suited to life in the pre internet days. Yes, it would have been more difficult writing books without the luxury of Google Earth and research with the click of a mouse. And it would have been a little lonely writing without being able to make connections through twitter and blogs. Who knows, it may have forced me to join a writers group in person. But I do think that without the internet, it would have been easier for a person to believe that they were one of only a few writers out there, without knowing of the many hundreds or thousands of others who were are sat at home just like you.
I guess writing is like anything in life, you have such ups and downs. When I’m on an up, I have this amazing self confidence, this overriding belief that I will become one of the chosen few and be published. Then I get a down, and I’m convinced that everyone else is doing a better job and deserves to get published. The problem with the wonderful internet is when you're on a down, you can see what other people are up to which can jolt the confidence even more.
I know I’m moaning again! But I’m wondering if I’m the only one who wonders whether it was better to be an aspiring author in the pre internet days?