Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Life Online

I recently won the whimsical "Avocardo" pencil drawing by MG Higgins (check out her website A Day at the Zoochini ) in an online contest to guess the name of the drawing. I am particularly fond of the avocardo's whale tail. It makes me laugh to imagine why an avocardo would need to drive so fast. I now keep my Vege Pun near my desk to remind me of the silliness in life. But the avocardo also reminds me of the wide world of writers I have "met" in the last year on the web.

Since starting our blog, our critique group has encouraged us to surf the web, post on Verla Kay, individual blogs, and bring visitors to The Paper Wait by visiting other writers' blogs. To say that I was less than enthusiastic with this assignment would be an understatement. But after nearly a year, I've had a change of heart.

That is not to say that I am now a web junkie. I'm not, I don't understand the abbreviations, nor can I make the sideways smiley faces, I don't twitter and I'm not on facebook, and I don't know all the proper terms and lingo, but I understand how people get sucked into the web and form friendships with people they have never met in person. In the last year, I have found tremendous support and, yes, "friendship" on line. I am excited to read the posts of people I "know" and even more excited to see their books in the bookstores. Their rejections and successes have become mine and mine theirs.

In two weeks, I will venture northward to Vermont for my first semester in Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program where I will actually get to meet, in person, a slew of people who have befriended, supported, and accepted me into their community. As I've said in earlier posts, I am excited, thrilled, and scared out of my wits. But it's not as scary as when I went off to college as a freshman - more than 30 years ago. Then I didn't know anyone else who was going, I didn't meet my roommate until she showed up at the room, and it cost a bloody fortune to call home to hear a reassuring voice. Now, because of online forums, blogs, and email I feel as if I "know" people already and my own family will be a mere cellphone call away.

All of this makes me wonder if other professions are as supportive of each other as children's writers are? I seriously doubt if lawyers or doctors have online forums to share their disappointments and successes. I wonder if adult writers do?


  1. I started blogging before I ever thought about writing. The online journal led me to discover I have a knack for words, at least I think I do. I have one of the most amazing support systems online a person could have. I totally get this.

  2. Aimee - funny how we all come to writing on different paths. But how did you start blogging without thinking about writing? Blogging is writing!

  3. Yes, virtual friendships can be sustaining as we struggle with the writing life and the rejections it brings.

    It will be fun for you to meet your freshman '09 class at Vermont College. Perhaps you have pictured some of these people based on their emails. Will there be surprises?

  4. Hahaha...good question. I didn't think I was writing. I thought I was blabbing through my hands. Turns out, it's both!

  5. Ah, Meg, it's lovely to see you embrace the blogosphere. I knew it was just a matter of time....

    Here's a sideways smiley for you...


  6. I am so with you on not exactly embracing all things virtual but finding great joy in making online connections with other writers. This is a very special and supportive community. I'm glad you're enjoying Avocardo!

  7. The online community for children's writers is amazing. I lurked on a few boards and blogs for a long time before commenting, but now I can't seem to stop myself!

  8. Thanks, everyone for coming by...

    Janice, I'm not sure "embrace" is the right word - it's more like MG states, finding joy in making connections with other writers.

    Judy, I agree about lurking first. I've actually just "unsubscribed" to a few sites I wasn't connecting with. I guess that just proves there is something out there for everyone.