Barrett Manor

Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

Six more weeks of this?

Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett

Six more weeks of winter. Surprise. YOU try pulling a ball of fur out of a box into the glare of television lights. Chances are he'll not only see his shadow, but be scared to death of it. It's cloudy in Punxsutawney today. Would any groundhog other than the sainted Phil see its shadow?

We haven't had much winter to speak of, save for the day of snow and ice late in December. Last night when I went to bed it was 62F and muggy as all get out. It's still foggy. I'm hoping for the light to get a little better so I can shoot today's picture. I'd like to show you just how early spring is coming to our neck o' the woods. I've little doubt that before the month is out we'll have at least one hard freeze that will kill many of the buds on the trees.

Oh, yes: I did have something writing-related to talk about. I've been so deep into web database stuff lately that I've had to put several other things on the proverbial back burner. At last I think I can come up for air. Miss Snark had a great entry the other day about when to stop writing. If you're discouraaged (or not) read this. Of course, someone had the temerity to call her advice "rubbish." Certainly the man is entitled to his opinion, but I'd like him to call back when he gets a real book published. After reading his pontification on how much publication matters I went and checked him out on Amazon. His one book is a self-published POD, and his blog is utterly incomprehensible. One poster actually asked if he was pregnant due to the lack of periods.

Yes, here she goes again. Folks, there are good reasons for going the POD route, but paying to get your own words in print does not automatically make you a published author. Yes, sometimes a self-published book does cross over to the mainstream, but for very Lord Vishnu's Love Handles there's a dozen or more Night Travels of the Elven Vampire.

If you want to pontificate on the merits of getting published, then get published. Work with a real editor, not someone who charges a grand or so to copyedit your 100,000 words. Send out your short stories. Write some articles. Go write copy. It's not sexy, but it's a great learning experience that pays money.

Lest you think I'm harping on money, there are non-paying markets that provide plenty of experience. But I'm also with Miss Snark: Getting published is nice, but it's not why we write. I've got so much stuff crammed under my virtual bed that there's no room for the virtual dust bunnies on my hard drive. Sturgeon's Law is true: Most of it is crap. And yet, every time I write I learn something. That's what's important.

Feel free to disagree.

Okay, I'm off to do a little inovicing and then finally take a look at all the Round Robin posts before I dig in to work. When the light gets a little better I'll go out and shoot today's picture.

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Filed under: Writing   Life         
2/2/2006 6:55:00 AM
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