Thursday, April 29, 2010

In Which I Gush about Blogging

Yesterday I had a great experience blogging. I mentioned, just briefly, that I was getting tired of posting my rejected queries and the love that came pouring out of my fellow bloggers was not only very kind, but really encouraging. This is exactly what I love about blogging.

Here are a couple of examples:

- Hi, Matthew! Don't be tired of posting these, it's lovely to watch your queries evolve and improve. Plus, it just whets our appetites for the successes that'll start rolling in for you - ones that, following such rejection, will be all the sweeter for it :D

- Thanks for sharing your querying journey, Matthew. It's really helpful and brave.

- Don't forget, we also want updates on how things go with your first 30 pages crit, and all that good stuff.

Personally, I'm hoping this batch of queries I've sent out gets me a couple more requests for partials, and eventually representation. I want to be able to guest blog on a Friday!!

- OF COURSE the one time i watch glee on time, you don't do a glee post.

That form rejection doesn't seem like a form rejection at all. it's awesome.

I don't know if i've said it before but i love the sound of your story. I really enjoy stories where kids go to school - ESPECIALLY boarding schools

- Yes, you definitely have some guts putting your rejected queries up but it so gives us an idea of what to do and not to do. I think you deserve a lot of credit for doing this :)

- I still give you props (did I just say that) for putting yourself out there for all of us to see. Bravo, rejections or not.

- Matthew, It's truly amazing to see the evolution of your query letter - already, this one is so much better than the first ones, and I can see that they are going to keep getting better. I think the reason you're able to improve is because you have such ability to step away and get out of your head - thus viewing your own work with fresh eyes. Many of us struggle with this. I wonder if the fact that you're able to do this is in part due to meditation - do you meditate? I did it briefly last year and mean to get back into it. It helps with so many things. In any case, this is a great blog, and I respect you for doing it.

You people rock. I know this sounds cheesy, and it is, but in a small little way you've all changed my life. When I DO GET PUBLISHED I'm going to owe all of you a lot. We'll talk more about compensation when that happens.

Sometimes this blogging thing takes up too much time, and sometimes it is a little tedious, but I have to admit: I love it.

Two and a half months ago I was fed up with my attempts to get published. I had (as you all well know by now) made a lot of early mistakes in the query process, but I had learned from them and eventually found four separate agents who wanted to read my manuscript.

Three of them responded to say that they like my writing, the voice was strong, but they could not even consider my novel at its current length. I was frustrated. I had written the thing passionately, not knowing the hard and fast rules about debut novel word counts, but now I was facing what seemed like an insurmountable amount of editing. Not because I was feeling lazy but because I could not conceive of removing 75% of the words without ruining the plot and gist of the story.

Anyway long story short I had just about given up on writing, or at least on becoming published. Then on a whim I decided to start this blog and now all of a sudden I'm meeting other writers, I've got a beta reader, I'm being critiqued by actual agents (still waiting to hear back from Marietta on my first 30) and exchanging emails with published authors. I know it's not the coolest thing since sliced bride, and I still don't tell my real-life friends about my blog because most of them wouldn't get it, but I have to say that this is all pretty cool. Mostly because of all of you.

So I just wanna say thank you. And here are some of my favorite blogging friends and their blogs, in no particular order. Please stop by and become followers of them when you have a moment.

Justine Dell



Emily White

Miss V

Empty Fridge who I need to apologize to. She was one of my first followers and for whatever reasons I just thought she didn't blog very often because I never see her updates in my dashboard. Then I went to double check and I wasn't following her blog. Doh!

Candace Ganger

Bish Denham

Jaydee Morgan

The Alliterative Allomorph
who is tomorrow's guest blogger, by the way.

Sarah Ahiers

Zoe Courtman

Jennifer Daiker

Talli Roland


Alex J. Cavanaugh


Stina Lindenblatt


To make the list you had to comment yesterday. So if you're one of my good blogging friends who isn't listed, that's why.

Thanks so much to all of you and please make sure to come back tomorrow for the Alliterative Allomorph's guest blog post!


MissV said...

I never expected to enjoy blogging so much either! I started because I read somewhere about needing to establish a 'presence' so I jumped in without another thought and I love it!

Soooo many wonderful people out there -- why did I ever think writers were reclusive and unapproachable? You guys are awesome!

So, thanks for thanking us...but really thank you for helping make my daily journey educational, fun, etc etc.

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Aww, you're sweet. And you really are brave doing what you do. I truly envy you for it. I've even commented to fellow bloggers of mine how much so before we'd even spoken to each other. You should truly feel proud of yourself for putting yourself out there for others to see. I know that I could never do what you do. I just want everybody to see my good side, in all honesty. (although I kinda am showing a bit of crap tomorrow - LOL)

JustineDell said...

This is a very nice post Matt. Like you, I cherish all my blogging friends and I'm very thankful for all of them. Yeah, it's my new time sucker, but I think it's totally worth it! I'm better some days than others, but that's life. I'm sure the journey will only get better from here!

My blog started out, like MissV, as my "presence" that I read so much about...but now it's turned into something totally different. I could care less about the presence, now I just LOVE to do it. Weird the way things work, huh?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Well thanks - don't think I contributed much, though.
I'm rather new to this blogging thing as well. I didn't think I would enjoy it, but there's such camaraderie here.

Candyland said...

You're so freakin' sweet and I appreciate your loyal commenting as well. I still can't believe you put yourself out there with rejections so others can learn from it. It's truly an amazing thing.

We do all "get it" and will encourage and support you no matter what. Don't ever give up.

Tracy said...

Jessica is guest posting tomorrow? Two of my favorite blogs, rolled into one.

This post was perfectly worded. I wasn't at the point where you were with the queries or wanting to give up, but I didn't really have anyone in my real life who truly got what it means to be a writer. A few months later and I already have a small group of awesome people I can turn to online.

Jaydee Morgan said...

I feel the same way about blogging. I first started out using my blog as a place to talk about writing and my WIPs (heaven knows my family was sick of hearing about it). But in blogland, I found a wonderful group of writers who are totally supportive, fun and who understand exactly what we're going through. It's awesome!

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

Hey Matthew! I am sorry I missed out on some of your posts this week while traveling!

Especially since you were feeling so down about your blog content/blogging...don't let blogging get to you that way!

There are days where I wonder what topic I will post - for my followers, yes, but even more for me.

I use Blogger as a network to meet awesome people who may be experiencing similar life occurrences who I can learn from; but I also blog for me. It is therapeutic to put yourself out here.

In a way as writers it is a wonderful tiny step into publishing. Yes, yes, I know its not a book at Barnes & Noble for someone to hold and dog ear and love, but it is a way for us to be ourselves and put forth the vulnerability that comes from being a writer. Not all comments agree with my posts, not all comments like my blog content but those that do, those that come back and say hello they remind me that you can't please everyone but pleasing just one is quite satisfactory.

Your posts are honest, they are extremely brave and they are letting us get to know you. So that when we buy your book and we open the page we will not only be excited for the adventure but will feel like in a way we were there for the first part of the journey. That, Matthew, is pretty darn cool. So yeah, blogging can be time consuming, can be tedious, can be aggravating but it is also freeing, exploring, cultivating and wonderful.

Thank you for being you and for sharing. ;o)

Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Empty Refrigerator said...

No need to apologize! I *don't* blog very often, actually.

Regarding your entry today, I've been thinking a lot lately about the point of this whole, sometimes demoralizing, process - and I think it leads to self-growth as well as connection with others. So I'm starting to see the pursuit of publication as kind of a spiritual exercise in and of itself. And I think blogging (though I'm an irregular blogger at best) is a big part of this.

Matthew Rush said...

Thanks everybody, you're all great!

And I totally agree. I have a saying I just came up with the other day:

If you don't put it out there for others to read it's not even really writing, it's just writing shit down.

Creepy Query Girl said...

Awe. Yes, I'm addicted to the blogging love. Writing is so solitary and I just never realised that there was a whole community of people out there going through the same things I am. It's priceless.

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Aww, you are so sweet.
I love blogging too. Sure, it is hard work but I've met so many cool people. And I always learn/get inspired or feel uplifted visiting others.

I always enjoy your posts :)

Mia said...

All of the people in that list are cool beans :~)

Matthew, you don't know how amazing you really are. As much as this world has helped you along you've really helped and awful lot of poeple too. I honestly think you rock :~D

You post up every query (which it v.brave) and show us how you think you could have improved and what parts were spot on. It's unbelievably useful! I sort of feel bad though because when you were writing these you didn't have this blog and the help of this awesome guy called Matthew Rush.

Although, I guess, you ARE Matthew Rush so I can't feel that bad for you :P

Tabitha said...

I love how writers have created such a great community online. Writing is such a solitary job, and I'm so glad I live during a time when it's easier to find ways to connect with others. I've done that with my own blogs, and have found a few life-long friends in the process.

I think it's wonderful that you're having the same kind of experience. :)

Bish Denham said...

There are a lot of great people out there. And I think the writing community is the best. Thanks Matt for including me! YeeeHAAAA!

FantasticFiction said...

Blogging can be fun for sure and I agree with the process of querying being tediously trecherous... lol :)

Elana Johnson said...

Yeah, blogging takes a lot of time. That's why you have to love it to keep doing it and build a following. Which you've done!

Yay you!

Falen said...

yeah blogging can be time consuming, but for me it also holds me accountable. I can't say i'm a writer and not get anywhere if i have people checking in on me every day.
As for your story, is it possible that, instead of cutting 75% of your novel, you could break it up into more than one?
I have no idea if this is an option for you since i haven't read your book, but i know someone who did that and it worked well

Anonymous said...

I can't even imagine cutting out 75% of a MS. If you talked about that before, I missed it. I'm overwhelmed, just thinking about how to do that.

Thank you for sharing so much with us. It will be a real celebration when you get published.

Shelley Sly said...

I'm glad you're in the blog world, Matthew. Your posts are always interesting, and it can certainly do more help than harm to have a blog presence. Judging by these comments, you've got a great blog going on! :D

(Sorry I've been having some trouble catching up in the blog world, which is how I missed your last post.)

Keep writing -- we want to see you succeed!

Matthew Rush said...

Kim, I may have forgotten to mention (though it is pointed out in earlier posts) that my first draft was 477,000 words long. That is not a typo. I have already cut a lot of backstory and side story that I have saved for another volume, but I have considered (this is for you Falen) simply cutting to about 250,000 and then splitting it in two. Considering I'm already down to 300,000 that would be easy.

Thanks so much everybody for all your support!

Palindrome said...

I agree blogging is muy time consuming but I enjoy it. And it does make not only want to write more but actually write more.

Thanks for including me on the list sice I'm a very recent folllower. :)

Lydia Kang said...

Blogging does take up so time but the support from the blogging/writing community is so awesome. Looks like you have some loyal followers, and with good reason!!! Keep it up, and don't give up on writing, even if you have a few bad days!

Jen said...

Starting my blog I never expected anyone to follow me or want to listen, I didn't even think I was interesting enough to follow!

Since then I've been given a ton of love and tons of inspiration to keep me going, even though blogging takes up time I don't feel like it's a burden, everyone is here for the same reason, to be heard. What's nice is they are also willing to listen.

So thanks for listening Matthew, and thank you for putting my name out there, you are very kind and I feel very honored that you consider me a friend!

arlee bird said...

I will agree that blogging takes up an inordinately humongous amount of time if done correctly. I keep wishing I could get paid to do it so I could blog in the real world. But for that matter I wish I was getting paid to write. I guess that will come soon.

Maybe you need to put aside the big book and do a few smaller ones to get yourself marketable first, then hit 'em with the big one. Isn't that the way Stephen King did it?

May 3rd A to Z Challenge Reflections Mega Post

Ted Cross said...

I do enjoy blogging, and it becomes easier once I know some people are reading.

KarenG said...


These are all fantastically supportive bloggers! Good luck with that publishing thing.


DEZMOND said...

I work in the publishing industry, and I can tell you that even when you find a publishing house which will have more trust in new writers than some other, this is all still a business and needs to bring money. That's why publishing houses have to deal with possible risks and have to plan their investments properly. Not to mention that publishers receive gazillion of queries every day, since today everybody thinks they can be writers.
So, don't be angry with publishers, just believe in yourself, and fight for your novel if you think it has quality, and if you think it can bring something unique, new and impressive to the world of books.