I've been blogsurfing lately, and it's making my head hurt. By blogsurfing, I don't mean clicking the links on our family's blog to read our friends' updates and see the pictures of their kids. I mean, I start at QueryShark and read the latest query that has been (artfully and usually rightfully) ripped to shreds, then sort through the comments about it to see if I can glean something useful. After that, I usually make my way over to the blogs of a couple of literary agents (Janet Reid and Nathan Bransford are some of my favorites lately) to see what they've said recently. Their posts usually have hyperlinks to enough other blogs to keep me busy until the sun goes down, the baby goes to the sleep, and the house is dark enough that I can't see the mess I've left until morning. And then I think I ought to start writing.
You see, ever since I started writing my first novel, over a year and a half ago, I've become obsessed with getting published. It's not vanity, really. At least, I don't think so. It takes so much more time to write a novel than other stuff I've written; the only way I can justify this selfishness is to actually see it in print. A poem dashed off here or a short story there is no big deal. But a novel is page after page of husband and kids pulling the house apart in my absence, dishes piling up in the sink, laundry growing moldy in the baskets, and toilets growing a fungus that I never knew existed before I started writing novels because I used to clean them every week.
I've gained a whole new vocabulary, diving headfirst into this market of agents, publishers, queries, synopses, partials, fulls, and weblogs. I don't know how much of it I would have learned, had I opted for the MFA instead of the MA, but if that's what it takes, then bring it on, by gum.
But...I am also coming to realize, as I blogsurf on my iPad while I nurse the baby and the toddler watches Go Diego Go!, that I'm going to have to get into the conversation if I want to make a presence for myself as an author. And I'm not sure how that's supposed to happen the way things are now. WHEN I have a few minutes, I sit down at the computer and dash off a page or two. This blog consists mostly of posts written at very odd hours of the day or (usually) night, and certainly isn't one that would consistently jump to the top of people's lists of blogs ordered according to most recent posts. (Ack. That's a very awkward way to state it, but thereagain, it's so late, and I'm too tired to revise.)
It's just that I want to say something. I want to contribute to these discussions, to be out and about electronically, even while I am sitting at home, talking about body functions with a two-year-old, and listening to my seven-year-old read from the Monster Book of Jokes (who wrote that anyway and did they realize what it would do to me?). Because even though I spend my days with these sweet, little terrors whose collective knowledge base does not extend beyond animals found in Florida and singing the months of the year to the tune of "O My Darling Clementine," I still have my own thoughts. And they're good thoughts. Grown-up thoughts. Thoughts worth listening to. I think.