Monday, August 25, 2008

Information Overkill

You know, since I haven't written in my blog in close to a month, several ideas squirmed around in my brain itching to barf all over a blog. But, I choked them back and honed in on a topic brought up in a post I read today at another blog.

The poster stated that they'd read something that made them feel gloomy. I imagine it was an article about the publishing business, because Publishers Marketplace Lunch was mentioned.

I've never read the aforementioned mag. These days I limit my knowledge base to reading only Writers Digest. Oh, I know that seems extremely narrow-based of me, but sometimes too much of something really is a bad thing. At least it was for me. I used to surf the internet, read blogs about writing, the publishing industry, agent blogs and the like, but I found myself so saturated with information that I let it remove the joy of writing.

Too much how-to, how-not-to, what to say, what not to say, here's what so-and-so market wants, was too much. After three years of immersing in it all, I was ready to vomit on my manuscripts because every time I thought I was writing the next Greatest Read, I'd read a blog, article, or other informative smack and BAM! my writing went down the toilet. It got diluted, turned into drivel like yesterday's gruel.

What fun is there in writing with a focus on "what's hot?" None as far as I'm concerned. I've come to realize that by the time I finish my absolutely fabulous manuscript, send it around to the lucky agents dying from reading all those "what's hots" they'll see mine and say, "Hot damn! Something fresh! Let's sign this girl up pronto!"

So if I let every article, blog, etc., influence what I'm writing like I have been, I'll never see the lights of New York City. I'll be chasing my own tail trying to keep up with all the how-to, what-not-to-do, don't stop at Go and collect $200.00.

To me it's important to keep it real based on my interpretation of reality - and reality is different for everyone. And to let those somewhat negative articles/blogs have their way with me just ain't gonna happen.

I already allowed that to happen. It's one reason I sunk to new lows and drifted away from blogging for a bit. It was implosion time - I was eying the straight edge, just one slice away from the pearly gates. And then I woke up one morning (after griping, whining, etc. to my hubby) and mysteriously felt better. I like to think that by unloading on my hubby, the Universe listened, too, and ran to my rescue.

And do you know what? Strangely on the day I was starting to feel that "pink cloud" of euphoria, I received notice that I placed FIRST in the Single Title category of a writing contest (The San Francisco Area RWA's Heart to Heart). Stranger than that, I had forgotten I entered. I'm viewing it as an unexpected gift, or maybe it was a sign from the Universe telling me that I'm going to be a-okay, to get off my ass and be the fabulous writer that I am.

Too much information about publishing and all the other do-dads of writing mucked up my days. Now I take small bites because I think it's important to sniff around and stay up on the latest what-nots. Writers Digest once a month - that's all I need. That's all I'm allowing myself. And if too little information keeps me out of the game, so be it. Better to keep my personal edge than eye the straight one.

Thoughts, remarks? Too much information good or bad?

Sunday, August 24, 2008