March 21, 2009

A Fox in the Henhouse

Ultimately, I write because it's one of the few things I can do in decent fashion and enjoy it. Sure, the craft and the process can be aggravating and all that jazz, but you experience those feelings at some point whenever you're doing something you care about. It's a hobby for me at present for the simple fact I am unpublished, and being able to say I am a published author is a goal of mine. It feels like a pipe-dream too, but I'm a realist and a bit of a cynic, so it comes with the territory.

Professional writers do things which I do not though, and because of that, I feel like an outsider trying to pass myself off as a writer sometimes. Network, they say. I would love to get out there and do just that, but I'm a ruralist—not always by choice. Outside and away from the in-person opportunities to meet and talk with writers, agents, and editors, I must rely on my online presence—difficult when your access to the Internet is less than dependable.

To make up for it, I try to content myself by being the passive participant in the online community. I belong to a couple of message boards, started this blog, and visit several other blogs and sites. The information is bountiful—and dubious if you don't know where to look—but with only a finite amount of time to spend at a public computer, I can't while away my time in an active fashion. So, I have to download everything I can get a hold of to a data stick I received as a Christmas present, take the topic threads and blog posts home, and read them on my own computer. God forbid I want to respond to something right away, as I usually have to wait a week before I can get back online again. Anything topical is now a week old, and I'm out of the loop ... or on the outskirts waving frantically.

Writing was a very personal exercise to begin with, but when you have very few opportunities to bounce your ideas off others who share your love of writing, it becomes an even more personal endeavor. Enough so, that the few moments you get to share company with a fellow writer (online or in person), you feel like a bit of an impostor because the resources just aren't there from which to take advantage the way they do.

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