Five Things That Make Me A Happy Practicing Writer

I’m trying to be positive here. Rather than rant away about certain aspects of our writing culture that tick me off all too often (and, ahem, all too recently), I’m going to praise a few aspects of the 21st-century writing life that invariably make me grateful, happy, and otherwise at peace:

1) Writing-focused Listservs and writing organization blogs that stay on-topic.

2) Writing-focused Listservs and writing organization blogs that remain free of ad hominem attacks (see above).

3) Seeing translators credited for the invaluable work that they do bringing us writing we’d otherwise be unable to read.

4) Seeing writer-researchers credited for bringing quotations, resources, and opportunities to their communities when others pass the information along.

5) Auto-responders that confirm receipt of a manuscript, explain that the correspondent is away until such-and-such time and isn’t likely to respond until after that date, or otherwise reduce one’s anxiety level.

That’s not my complete list, but it’s a start. What would you add? What elements of contemporary writing life and culture do you most appreciate?

8 thoughts on “Five Things That Make Me A Happy Practicing Writer

  1. Sarah Allen says:

    Great post! Its a great reminder for us writers to stay positive. One thing I really appreciate is the accessibility of not only helpful information but of important, helpful people. Getting published may be harder now then it has been in the past, but there is such a strong sense of community, and many successful people who are willing to help those just starting on the path (like yourself).

    So thanks for the great advice and positive encouragement!

  2. austere says:

    1.Net based critique groups like IWW that help one hone their craft.Eternally grateful for this one.

    2.The very fact that sites like WWB, 91st Meridian, and Calque are on the net and take email submissions. Would never be able to find them otherwise, let alone submit.

    3.Quick turnarounds at some sites like Boston Literary and Rutger's Writer's bloc. Reject quickly, if you must!

    (Ok to edit this)

  3. Mimi says:

    Erika, I appreciate you!

    Shalom, Mimi

  4. Colette says:

    …. and writing focused blogs that aren't covered with ads for things you really aren't interested in!

  5. Theresa Milstein says:

    Erika, I also appreciate your blog. It was the first one I joined, and I've found other great blogs and resources thanks to the information you post here. As a result, I've listed your blog as one of my favorites on mine.

    Since I did ten submissions, yesterday, this is what I also appreciate: Editors and agents who take the time out to let me know why they're rejecting me, so I may consider their opinions, and then work on making my manuscript better.

    Maybe this will make you laugh:

  6. Erika D. says:

    I really appreciate ALL of these comments :-).

    The ability to find, read, and submit to journals online is a definite plus–I agree, austere!

    Theresa, I enjoyed that post, thanks.

    And Sarah Allen, you've pointed out a big part of the reason why I'm so glad to see people credit their online sources–I love being pointed to new venues to discover and learn from!

  7. Loki says:

    In olden times it was hard to find a publisher even if you had a great writing ability. and there was no other way to share your writings.

    21st century is miraculous, we now have internet, though it's still tough to find a publisher, it's not tough to find readers, all good writings will earn attention sooner or later, isn't that amazing.

    Isn't this amazing that I'm already following your blog after two visits.

  8. Erika D. says:

    So glad to have you with us, Loki!

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