Saturday, December 19, 2009

Being a Newbie

I don't know what to call myself anymore. I mean, I am a writer, Davin said so, I finished a book, Janet seconded it, so what does that make me? Am I still a newbie, green around the edges? Or am I a seasoned writer?

I finished a ms. and revised it. I researched agents for my genre, did my homework, really a lot of homework. I wrote a query letter, polished it, sent it out individually. NOT multiple submissions. I waited and waited, the rejections came in. I am now working on my second ms. in that particular series and have also been working on a YA just because it's sort of fun and not like anything I've tried to write before. (I feel if I write out of genre for awhile, I can get back into my own with a cleaner eye.) I helped a friend with a ms. She liked my suggestions. I've done some stuff on the blogosphere. Kind of critiques but not, you know. I've read almost everything I can get my hands on. And then some.

So with all this work done, one book down, however many more to go, does that make me a seasoned writer, or still just a newbie? Is there a time frame on Newbie-ism? I'm not sure. I feel like a veteran writer. I feel like I've spent the quota of sleepless nights wondering about chapters and missing elements, I feel like I've postponed dinner the requisite number of times so that my daughter and the dogs have ganged up on me. I feel like I've been rude enough to my mother when she calls and I let the machine get it because I'm "working" and she knows I'm home. Does that make me a seasoned writing professional?

Or do I have to get "the call" before I can let go of my newbie status? How many books do I have to write before I can stick a cigar in my mouth and grumble about damn typewriter ribbons and damn postage and damn character evolution (channeling Hem here). Or can I just say, I'm as smart as the rest of the people I meet on the blogosphere and say with confidence, I am a writer, seasoned, like a steak.


Lady Glamis said...

That's a tough question, Anne. I've considered myself a newbie for quite a long time - going on 18 or 19 years now, I don't know. I think it's different for everyone. I've only written 3 complete novels, and none of them are good enough to query yet. I've been published in literary journals, I write poetry, short stories, and novels. I converse with the likes of Davin and Scott and I have countless friends who are either published or going to be published or have an agent. I don't know what I am. I guess I'm not a newbie anymore, but I certainly feel that it's experience and not time that breaks us out of the newbie-name. As with all things, there's levels and layers.

Piedmont Writer said...

See now, that's where we differ, I consider you a seasoned professional. I've read your work. I am in total AWE of your work. To me you are a veteran of the written word, like Scott and Davin. Even if they never publish, to me they are not newbie's. They don't write like it or blog like it, neither do you. But I guess with everything else, like you said, like Shrek said, there're layers.

Lady Glamis said...

Wow, thanks for the compliments! I'm off to rewrite a chapter now. :)