There are many reasons I’m fortunate to be writing today, instead of 30 years ago:
- I hate mailing things. Really, really hate it. Don’t ask me why, I just do. Mailing a manuscript – at the special fourth class manuscript rate – with a SASE (Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope) pretty much demanded not just mailing, but a trip to the Post Office. That was a form of torture for me. Yes, I tried a few times over the years, but it was awful. I hated it. Today, all the markets I submit to take electronic submissions. For a while it was a mix, some electronic and some postal; and the postal markets were always dead last on my list. Sometimes after last.
- Finding markets is so much easier.
- Research… Once upon a time, research for writers meant getting in a car and driving to the library. Nothing against libraries, but that wasn’t practical at 3 a.m. Today, there’s a world of research material as close as my computer.
- It’s a cliché that writing is a lonely business. It still is, usually: when you’re writing, you’re in your own head, putting thoughts into words. But if you need a break and some company, you have a world of friends right next door on social media.
But one of the most important reasons is the combination of research and social media: asking friends for help. I post a request for information on social media; and in minutes – every single time, it’s in minutes – my friends appear with feedback. Some of it’s right on point, some of it’s far afield, but all of it is freely offered and sincerely intended. It makes me truly grateful to know such smart, helpful people.
I’m the author. In the final analysis, either I do the work and do it well, or the story goes nowhere. All the responsibility, all the blame finally rests with me. But along the way, I get by with a little help from my friends.
Thank you for that. It means so much to me.