Reaching for Something
Last night, my wife asked me, “so how many followers do you have in Twitter?”
I proudly responded, “thirty.” That’s about twice as many as I had a week ago. “And I just got a new one an hour ago.”
She laughed. “I have 237 and I haven’t been on Twitter anywhere as long as you.”
The wind dropped out of my sails. I had thought 30 was a huge achievement. I mean I know a couple of those are spammers, trying to lure me to their lurid web sites. Still, thirty people sounded like a lot to me. I compared our Facebook stats. Wow, I have a total of 94 friends! Then I checked hers. 1081. I don’t know a thousand people. I don’t think I know a hundred people. I don’t even know some of my own Facebook friends.
I don’t even want to compare blog followers.
I know her secret. She’s an net-ho, following each and every person she finds. She throws herself out there like party girl, enticing all those unsuspecting victims into her web of iniquity. Me? I’m like, “Hey, what’s up. You can follow me if you want. Or not. Whatever. No big deal.” I want to earn my followers through my brilliant analysis and fascinating blog posts (too bad I don’t have any—which is why the 30 followers surprised me).
So that brings me to my next thought.
I’ve added so many feeds into my reader that it now says “1000+ unread posts” at the top. I’m following 123 different feeds, although some of those don’t actually have activity anymore and need to be pruned. I’m inundated with posts from aspiring writers, established authors, agents, and editors, not to mention just other random feeds I find interesting (running, etc). I’m getting a sense of what topics are interesting to writers, what agents are dealing with, and what the book market is like (getting published, idiots, and depressing in order).
I’m trying to find a way to share these lists. Google Reader has some kind of “sharing” feature but I want to share subscriptions, not posts per se. I can add a bunch of feeds to my blogger page, but it only shows the last X posts. I don’t know if anyone would even find that interesting. If you go to my blog you can see some of the blogs I follow. Just scroll down the side until you see a bunch of faces. There’s some way to see what I follow through that, but it only lists Blogger blogs. If there’s a good feed-sharing site out there, let me know.
On to the next topic.
I’ve made a decision that I need more beta-readers for Dawn’s Rise. I feel like self-editing is only getting me 50% of the way there. I’m improving things, but I’m also missing tons of problems, not identifying flat areas, and since my ms keeps growing, I’m not cutting things out like I should. My critique group is around page 40, and I’m dealing with issues on page 150. At this rate, I won’t be completed until next year, while my brilliant epic fantasy novel languishes. I never realized this would be so hard or take so long (or how crappy my previous drafts are).
I’m therefore beginning an active search for beta readers, including posting some chapters out on Critters. And of course I’m willing to exchange whole-novel critiques. If are interested or know anyone out there willing to exchange critiques let me know. All I ask is that once you commit, you stick through to the bitter end, no matter how cheesy and unbelievable the novel becomes.
Now for a Medical Update that has no connection with the rest of the post.
There’s nothing wrong with me. I basically wracked up tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills (still waiting to see what insurance covers) because—listen to this—I had a STOMACH ACHE. What I’m left with is my original theory: I overdid it, eating and drinking too much, maybe got dehydrated, and things just got a bit clogged up. Maybe if I had drank some coffee and gone for a walk, things would have resolved themselves. I don’t have Crohn’s. I don’t have cancer. I don’t have diverticulitis. I don’t have ulcers. I don’t have Inflammatory Bowel Disease. I’m 100% disease free (AFAIK). I feel like I should be happy about that, but this knowledge comes at a great cost, and doesn’t change what I already knew. I’m not disappointed that I’m well, I just feel I sacrificed a week of my life and have nothing to show for it but bills.
So I’m trying to get back to my workout routine, but I’ve been unmotivated lately. I’ve missed a few of the big races I wanted to compete in, and I really have nothing I want to sign up for right now. I just want to get my novel out there into agents’ hands, but I can’t in its current format. I don’t where all the time goes, and I don’t know if my novel’s getting any closer to anything. My self-confidence is starting to slip away like Jell-O left out in the sun.