Saturday, July 30, 2005


Writing in the Sand
Originally uploaded by Martin Burns.
I had planned to call this entry "Writing vs. Blogging" but once again, the photo tag proved more telling. It captures everything I love about blogging. It's impermanent. It's both free and freeing. And if anyone happens to be walking down the beach and enjoys it, so much the better. You can even embellish your sandwriting with a castle or a mermaid wearing seaweed jewelry if you want to.

What's even better, no one can send you a curt rejection letter saying, "Lots to admire, but didn't quite meet our needs." Nope, you take out your stick and speak your truth on the beach and bingo, you're published beneath the wide blue sky. No angst spent wondering if it's good enough. If it will be accepted. You live, you breathe, you create. What's so complicated about that?

Well, try telling that to my agent who wants to know why I'm so behind on my current project.

"Yes," I say. "But have you seen my blogs? How about that photograph of the little girl in the yard? Those colors were incredible!"

"Blogging's fine, but you've got to be disciplined about it," my agent advises. "Real work first. Then your little hobby."

"But I've met all these wonderful people. I read their blogs, and they visit mine. You have no idea how much fun I'm having."

"Fun? When people start getting paid for having fun, or blogging, for that matter, then we'll talk."

"But can't you just look at it? You might like it. Really, just last week one of my commenters said--"

"Sorry, Patry, but I'm a busy woman. And if you have any chance of making a career of writing, you should be, too."

Okay, so now I'm off to do my real work. Right after I check in on a few of my favorite blogs. (Is there a 12 step program for this yet?)


Perfect Virgo said...

Surely blogging is real work. I am hoping to make a career of it, that and sand-writing of course!

Money? Ah yes, money...

Woz said...

Who needs money when grains of sand could become a means of exchange?

(Apologies to Adam Smith)

gulnaz said...

your agent must be an intelligent successful woman but she sounds very curt and stand-offish.

its true, blogging does becomes addictive, its happening to me! :)

Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

Oh I know exactly what you mean! Here it is Saturday and perfectly lovely outside, and am I enjoying it? NO, I'm reading blogs! Then thinking of what I want to post next in my own...


rdl said...

I don't think there is (12 step) but there should be.

finnegan said...

Twelve steps indeed. But if you're going to get addicted to a "hobby" while building a writing career, it may as well be in the sidebar.

And why not? At least you keep your chops honed. Your agent should be grateful you use don't spend your time beach writing or tagging on walls and buildings.

Blogging is a sort of digital "street theatre". A place for writers, photographers and goof-offs step up to the platform and lay down a few riffs for the passers-by.

Well, that sucked. Here's Carl Sandburg. (Please leave a token of your appreciation).


Out of your many faces
Flash memories to me
Now at the day end
Away from the sidewalks
Where your shoe soles traveled
And your voices rose and blend
To form the city's afternoon
Hindering an old silence.

I remember lean ones among you,
Throats in the clutch of a hope,
Lips written over with strivings,
Mouths that kiss only for love.
Records of great wishes slept with,
Held long
And prayed and toiled for. .

Written on
Your mouths
And your throats
I read them
When you passed by.

Patry Francis said...

I'm afraid I made my agent more of a "bad cop" than she really is, and myself, of course, the "good cop." (One of the most addictive aspects of blogs is that not only am I the star, I can paint myself into whatever flattering role I choose.) The truth is more like this: she's business oriented and disciplined, and I'm neither--though I do plan to mount a major attack against my sloth in the coming week.

Thanks for all the interesting comments, including a few from my favorite sand-writers.

And Finnegan, love the poem. Also love your description of blogging as "digital street theatre." That is is, and as one who is too shy for real street theatre, it's yet another reason I'm addicted.

Dave said...

"Agent" is such an interesting word, isn't it? So often associated with either disease or espionage. And "agency," which can denote either independent responsibility (the philosophical meaning), or its bureaucratic antithesis.

Uh, you did say she wasn't reading this, right? I might need an agent too...

Melly said...

I've been trying different time tables to divide the time between blogging and writing. I'm on my third time table (keep changing them around, first blogging then writing or reverse or intertwined).
So far nothing worked and I'm rather angry (myself of course).

Discipline - where can I find some?

OvaGirl said...

I feel like blogging is the thing I do inbetween the inspiration and the perspiration.

hobby? jeez that's like when you tell your dad you want to be a writer and he says that's good but what about a REAL JOB?

Patry Francis said...

Melly: I've been working on those kind of time tables myself. Today I'm pretty proud of myself for doing my writing before I even looked at the blog.

Ova: Good to see you here. And if anyone hasn't checked out your blog, I hope they will. It's a wonderful anti-dote to grimness of any kind.

Meanwhile, my agent called yesterday to say she's been reading my blogs (gulp, gasp) and likes them. Seems she's really not a bad cop, after all.

Anonymous said...

Blogging is fun - but you can also see it as a warm up exercise for your writing and a way of honing your writing skills.

Blogging is also free publicity - so when that book is done and out there, you already have an audience for it.

Clifford Duffy said...

my agent __ and patron pays me to blog. bloggin is already a form of publication which many writers, esp. middle class money grubbing would be writers jockey for. tis boring an not too spiritual but one must forgive the idiots desire to be famous. cheers!

SquirrleyMojo said...

sure--but blogging has made me soooooooooo lazy in soooooooooo many unfathomable ways ..........

just one quick example:
my jury is still out on
blogging's health benefits too

Anonymous said...

If blogging were a job I wouldn't be unemployed, oh, and Money? What's that?


Vickie said...

Wouldn't the ideal solution be to have editors out there searching blogs and when they see something they like, have them tag it? Then, we would have no more submissions with rejections. Of course, some of us would be overlooked... It started to sound good!

Vickie said...

oh, the solution is, blogging is the reward for doing the work. Set yourself realistic goals...write 3 pages...then I can blog. Finish chapter...then I can blog. Always, always, always, work comes first. But, what a reward, huh?

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