November 12, 2012

The good new days -- Violet Nesdoly

This month's theme of remembering in the context of writing has me thinking back to when I first started writing and all the changes I've seen in a mere 15-or-so years.

Horse and buggy days

It was in 1997 (March to be precise) that I made my first manuscript sale to Keys for Kids. What an exciting day that was! I had begun my ICL course "Writing for Children and Teens" just a year before and had promised myself five years of trying before I'd give up on my childhood dream of becoming a writer. Now I had made my first sale just a little past one year in!

Those days my ICL Magazine Market Guide was my writer's bible and a laid-in stash of Canadian and U.S. postage stamps my calling card to request magazine samples and send out manuscripts.

I operated like that for a few years, until the internet came to our house. During our family's first days online we only had the family computer connected so I was still relatively free from the distractions of email and online life. But once I connected my computer to the web, how quickly everything changed for me and my writing business.

Writing goes digital

One by one publishers began accepting email queries and submissions. The speed of this was pushed ahead by 9-11 when publishers suddenly became wary of opening unsolicited packages (after a few mystery deliveries contained ominous white powder).

The internet had other attractions too. As search engines improved, a world of information became available at a mouse click. And I found places online where I could post my writing—places that had "Buy this Article" next to every piece I posted, implying that there were buyers out there who might be interested! My naive hopefulness changed to realism after a few months of offering pieces there without receiving a single offer. But there were other payments to vie for—comments, clicked stars, votes, possible inclusion in anthologies, altogether far too much excitement to ignore!

And then blogging came along. I first got on the blogging bandwagon with with my personal blog  promptings in October of 2004. Of course I soon found out that if I wanted people to read and comment on my blog, I had to read and comment on theirs. I recall how nervous I felt the first time I left a comment on someone's blog with my signature a link back to my blog. I don't know what I thought would happen—the world would come flocking to my little place on the web to find out who violet was? I'll bet you can guess what did happen. That's right. Nothing!

All these changes brought with them not a little dis-ease too. I remember, even in the early days when the speed of online life was still half the pace it is now, thinking—What am I doing? I should be back in my old womb-room writing instead of indulging in all this online gadding about.

But I couldn't go back. It was as if I had shed too-small clothes, moulted,* if you like, and returning to the way things had been before was as unthinkable as a snake trying to fit himself back into the outgrown, shriveled skin of last week.

Changes have continued. I've begun many blogs, joined Facebook, become active on Twitter, set up my own web page, read and sifted through books and articles about blogging, self-publishing, marketing, publicity and selling, and earlier this year published a book...

At each new stage I get some of the same feelings I did when my writing life changed from solitary to web-based: I'd like to go back to the way things were before. But  just like then, I can't. In some strange way I feel like I keep outgrowing the old.

Too much of a good thing

Changes are in the wind again. I've come to realize that I'm a little burned out with blogging and have decided to simplify my online life.  A few weeks ago I shut down my  writing blog (Line Upon Line) and have now begun blogging from my website. This will become my main blog.  Though I will keep recycling my kids' devotions and writing my daily adult devotions, my dear old personal blog promptings will change to a photolog with mostly photos and less words. This will be my last post on the Inscribe Writers Online for a while as I'm taking a break from posting to group blogs as well.

Where is God in all this? I trust that He is in the restlessness to shed some of these commitments  now, as I sensed His go-ahead to get into them years ago. But as in many things, it's faith, not sight.

Will I be back? In the comments for sure. But as a blogger—perhaps, perhaps not. You see, it all depends on what the next moult allows.

*"Molting, or Moulting, the shedding, or casting off, of feathers, hair, horns, shell, or a layer of skin by an animal. Molting is a periodic process of renewal, the cast-off parts being replaced by a new growth." (emphasis added) - Animal Planet



~ by Violet Nesdoly
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8 comments:

  1. Violet:

    We will miss your entertaining blogs on Inscribe, but certainly understand where you are coming from.

    Probably most people under 40 will wonder what all the fuss is about, not knowing the slower, simpler life of earlier years.

    But I like the way you are making life simpler without ducking out!
    A lesson for all of us--older or younger.

    Keep up the good work,

    Bryan

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  2. Hi Shirley:

    I have great admiration for those like your childbook author who can find that beauty in the simple things of creation.

    It's a wonderful thing that the peace and tranquility that those experiences bring are available to us in reality through our faith.

    Thanks for your insights.

    Bryan

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  3. I enjoyed hearing about your writing journey, especially how things keep changing. the 'moulting' metaphor is spot on! We'll miss you here, but on the other hand, I totally get it. I also thought your reference to the horse and buggy in your title was apt, because in many ways this is exactly the kind of revolution those of us that started writing before the computer age feel

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  4. Thanks so much, Bryan and Tracy! I must tell you that the evening of the day I wrote and scheduled this (after giving a lot of thought to how I sensed this was God's direction anyway, and all I could say was that it was by faith) our supper Bible reading was from Isaiah 43. These words jumped out at me:

    "Do not remember the former things
    Nor consider the things of old.
    Behold I will do a new thing,
    Now it shall spring forth;
    Shall you not know it?
    I will even make a road in the wilderness
    And rivers in the desert" vs. 18,19.

    So now I'm embarking on this new phase with a sense of excitement and curiosity, wondering what the 'new thing' will be!

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  5. Oh Violet... yes, we shall miss you here.

    But we are excited with you about that 'new' thing that is in the wind for you.

    Keep us updated on your newest adventures. And we already know He will guide your steps as faithfully as He has been doing.

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  6. Violet, not that it matters, but St. Benedict would approve, as he sees simplicity as the virtue that most likely draws you nearer to draw near God.

    And if I may: http://growmercy.org/2012/02/13/toward-simplicity/

    Blessings as you prune.

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  7. ...sent my comment too soon, let me edit that last sentence: ...simplicity as the virtue that most likely draws us nearer to God.

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  8. Good for you for following your heart and God's leading. I am just glad that we've connected through Inscribe so that I know where to go to get loads of inspiration and warm fuzzies from your poetry and all your writing!

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