1) Fiction as an Undergraduate.
2) Poetry as a Grad Student, with a few publications.
3) Nothing for a long time while I stopped drinking and started a family.
4) Have idea for children’s book and decide to start a draft for the heck of it.
5) Start looking into the world of writing (and publishing) for children and, like most newcomers, am surprised by how vast it is, how competitive.
6) Am not dissuaded by all this, only more determined.
7) Dive in. Hard. Fast. Foolishly. Start researching like crazy, join SCBWI, read The Book, make publishers information sheet on Excel (learn how to use Excel), join critique groups, revise, revise, revise, write five more stories, revise, learn how to blog, join Facebook, join Twitter, research authors, research publishers, research agents, draft cover letters, check out hundreds of books from the library using both my account and my husband’s. (Thank you Ferndale library for turning a blind eye to this frowned upon behavior), submit to contests, register for the conference in Los Angeles, research everyone who is going to be at the conference, et al.
8) Give up housecleaning. Run less. Sit at computer more. Gain 5-10 pounds.
9) Love it. Imagine doing this for the rest of my life. Feel like I’ve found my calling as a writer. A fresh start. That I am good at this, but have a lot to learn. Am willing to put in the work, to learn from all those by whom I am humbled. Very excited. Very positive.
10) And then,
11) one day,
12) I look on the KidLit411 website.
13) I click on the topic Blogs To Follow. There is a link called “The 100 Best Websites for Writers in 2015.” 100! Another called “50 Best Writing Blogs for 2015.” 50! And just for this year. And then below that there are links for other favorite blogs, of which there are 66. 66!
14) And Blogs is only one topic. There are 33 other topics to click on – Diversity in Kidlit, Agent Spotlight, Revisions, etc. – which I can only imagine have lists of links within them. Let me check. Yup. There are 29 links to articles about How to Write a Query Letter. 29!!!
15) Oh yeah. QUERY LETTER!!!!!
16) And this is ONE website.
17) I spend next day using most of writing time to stare at Google Home screen.
18) I am overwhelmed. Finally. By the big big Internet.
19) Writers! How do you discriminate between the countless resources out there, which are there to help us, but just make me feel lost?
20) (Something I should say about myself is that I have an “all or nothing” personality. The fact that I cannot keep up with all of these blogs, all of the Twitter accounts, all of the posts and comments made, makes me what to say, “Screw it. I’m not reading anything. I’m going to hide in a corner with a pencil and pad of paper and do it that way.”)
21) I obviously need to find a middle ground. What’s yours?
22) Ask for help from other writers. Which is as good a first step as any I guess.