Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Thursday, May 12, 2011

What I am Not

As I scroll through the writerly blogoshere I sometimes feel strange and out of it.

I'm a writer who is totally and completely uninterested in finding an agent. At all.

I'm an editor, a pretty good one, but don't feel like an authority and dislike taking that tone on my blog. Yet I mostly post about writing, editing and publishing issues-- just not as an expert.

I am with a small press and have absolutely no desire to go anywhere else. Yet I think I am ambitious. Sort of.

I follow so many blogs that I can't keep up with all of them and still have a life and a career. Sometimes I have to pull back when other chores take precedence. Hopefully everyone is okay with me not stopping by and commenting as regularly as I'd like.

I am not 30-something. I am as old as your grandma. I'm totally uncool.

I am not thin and attractive. It's really hard for me to find any photos that make me look halfway decent. You won't see photos of beautiful me plastered all over my blog. It's all I can do to get one for an avatar that doesn't make me look like a witch.

I don't drink coffee or alcohol like writers have done through the ages. I eat cookies. I shouldn't, but I do anyway. I love cookies.

I am not outgoing. Which is why I am much more comfortable talking to you like this instead of in person.

I'm not someone who appreciates interruptions when concentrating. Or sleeping. So phone calls like the one I just got asking for donations for my alma mater really annoy me. "Just ten dollars." No! Go away! And why I will now close this post because I also am not one to vent on my blog. Much.

So that's me. Who are you not?

40 comments:

  1. I am not an organized person, no matter how hard I try my desk is always a mess, my floor has papers everywhere.

    I am not a morning person- I get up with my kids because I have to- beyond that I don't get up. I'm also no fun in the mornings (tend to be grumpy)

    Great post- I enjoyed getting to know you better.

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  2. Who am I not? Hmmm, good question. I am not young and svelte, and not an exerciser, although I know I should be. I'm not a complainer, whiner, or boat-rocker, but I'm also not a person who can sit in the back of a meeting and keep my mouth shut, so whether I like it or not, I usually end up in positions of leadership and/or authority. I am not a person who cares about the latest exploits of celebrities, nor am I one who cares about movies, the latest fashions or supposedly must-have gadgets. I am not very good at saying NO, but the older I get, the better I'm getting at it.

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  3. I am not a person who gives up on what I want to accomplish. I am not egotistical or selfish. I am not normal!

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  4. There's nothing wrong with being yourself. I'm not: an idiot (I hope)!

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  5. Karen,
    nice to get to know you a little better.

    i'm not outgoing but like to talk to people one on one. i blog to encourage, not to build a platform or try to sell my book to hundreds. i'm a grammar snob who's trying to overcome it by breaking the rules. i don't want an agent either. i'm happy self-publishing and not having deadlines. i'm not looking for a huge following. i don't like interruptions. i can read a good book to the point of not eating. i think i'll put this in my bio on my blog. :)

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  6. Awww and you sound just fabulously lovely too!!! Cos you like Giraffes!

    What am I not? A carnivore. :-) Take care
    x

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  7. Love this post. But I think you are beautiful, plus you are a very nice person!

    I am not a conformist. I hear my own drummer and am happy in my own little world.

    I am not mean.

    But I am not a pushover either. As I tell my husband, "I'm never mean FIRST."

    I am not afraid to follow my own path in this world of publishing. I actually have an agent, and it seemed like a Big Deal when I landed that. But I am starting to see that in this constantly changing publishing world, there are other ways to go. And I'm not afraid to go there.

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  8. I'm not an expert on a wide range of topics. I'm just good with Google.

    I'm not especially comfortable in large groups. I prefer smaller groups and to engage one to one.

    I'm not someone who believes in settling for second-best. I dream big and work to make it happen. If I'm in a relationship, whether professional or personal, it's because I believe it's the best way for me to find satisfaction and happiness.

    I'm not given to saying "it'll do." When I'm working on something, I want it to be the best it can be. Until I get that, I keep working and improving.

    I'm not shy when it comes to talking about something I'm proud of.

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  9. I went to look at your avatar after your post about it, expecting to see someone who looked like a witch, complete with a wart on the nose. B your picture is fine! There's no way you could look like a hag! lol!

    I hate interruptions too, so I can totally relate.

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  10. Hi Karen I think your, are not’s are just great. I am not 30something and Interruptions are not appreciated in my sphere.

    I am not an expert on very much of anything. I love reading your posts on writing. They are ever so helpful.

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  11. I am not an over acheiver. I am not a good speller. I am not an active blogger, but I am an active follower. I am not a gym rat. I am not going to write a blog today because we are going to the beach instead. Bye.

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  12. Hey now, no bagging on witches, some of my best friends are witches. (Although I am not, personally, a witch.)

    "Attractive" is in the eye of the beholder. Some days I feel like I would not win runner-up in a dog show, other days like the world should be falling at my gorgeous (if extra-wide)feet. I like to think that soul/spirit/joy shines through, most of the time, as yours certainly does.

    I am not rich, famous, or published (yet.) But I am happy to share the journey of writing with great people like you. Writing in Flow

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  13. I like that you are happy with writing and not finding an agent and I agree with old Kitty that you are lovely.

    I am not a person who drinks alcohol either or workd well under pressure: fright flight or fight it's fright almost every time! ;O)

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  14. I am not someone who is good at marketing myself...or likes interruptions when I am writing.

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  15. Hi Karen, I have been a lazy blogger lately. I love your list, you always come across as outgoing.
    I love the searching for the non-witch photo, don't we all?
    I am not..judgemental, materialistic or selfish.
    I do however, love coffee and books.

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  16. I am not a YA fan. I cringe when I hear the word. But I still force myself to read them if they're by a blogger and try to forget the label it's been given. It's the label. Sometimes labels do not do a work justice! Especially for people like I am not. :o)

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  17. What a great post.

    Me? I'm not a 30 something but can remember that far back (just). I'm not an exerciser or a dieter. I love cookies, chocolate, coffee, wine and chocolate. Did I mention chocolate? I'm not outgoing but I've come to love blogging, Twitter and Facebook. That's probably because I spend all my time in scruffy jeans and no one can see me. :)

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  18. I'm not interested in an agent and I can't stand coffee. But you are cool, Karen!

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  19. I am not what people expect or what they may necessary fall in love with. I am not a writer of the most popular things or of things that make one comfortable, but I am proud. Great post!

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  20. Being yourself is a good thing, and knowing what you like - and liking who you are, will stop you from trying to conform to someone others may think you should be.

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  21. Hi,

    Modesty becomes you as does the sweetness and compassion of words oft seen on your blog!

    Like the saying never judge a book by it's cover, same can be said of fancy photos (airbrushed/posed/). Physical beauty is often barely skin deep, and some of the most appealing covers are better than content.

    A golden heart shines no matter what! ;)

    best
    F

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  22. Blogger crashed and lost this post. It's back now, but all of your lovely comments are not :((

    At least I got to read them before they all disappeared.

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  23. I lost all of mine from yesterday, but the post is still intact.
    And I still say you're cool, Karen!

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  24. I'm not a coffee drinker either!
    Nor am I a supermodel or a superhero.

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  25. And yup, happened to me too (losing comments etc)

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  26. My last couple of posts never came back! Your post "what I am not" sounds like you were describing me. Love the comfort of blogging without actually being face-to-face.

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  27. I like you just the way you are, Karen!

    ~Suzie
    (who is not 30-something anymore and loves cookies too)

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  28. Very fun post. I think I might do one just like it on my blog. I need to venteth

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  29. I really loved this post, especially the part where you say, 'I am totally uncool.' That made me laugh.

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  30. LOL--this is great. You may have created a meme. I'm right there with you on most of the points (except I do want an agent, and I feel you're totally misguided on the coffee issue). :)

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  31. Nice post Karen! I think you are an interesting person because you have the courage to be yourself without following any kind of prefabricated "model" that they try to impose upon us.

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  32. None of us like interruptions!!! LOL! Awesome. And I think you're authentically you. Which is what makes you great. And you embrace it, which is what makes you happy! Keep up the great work, and I'm still wanting some of those cookies!

    you forgot to mention you also MAKE them~ <3

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  33. Hmmmm, then I must be as old as my grandma, too! I am interested in getting published, but first, I have to finish writing. Yay. I am also someone who's found out the hard way that posting once a week and visiting only on the weekends is the schedule that's workable. As for pics of me on the blog? I think not!!!! LOL, I want people to visit, not run screaming!

    Have a great weekend!

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  34. I could have written this post, Karen. I feel so many of the same things. But here's the thing. Look how many people keep coming back to your blog. Doesn't that number under your follower widget read 811? Do you think we'd be here if we didn't find you cool and interesting and fun and informative and, and, and....
    So, I am not any of the things you mention, nor am I rich, famous, beautiful, as thin as I'd like to be, as happy as I'd like to be, as wise as I'd like to be. I am, simply, me. And that should be enough for all of us.
    Love to you,
    karen

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  35. I sometimes feel the same way you do about blogging. I'm far from expert status, so I try and write about my experiences instead.

    I think you are pretty cool for writing this post.

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  36. I think you're cool! And I think you should do a post about all the things you are... as that trumps all the things you're not any day of the week. :)

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  37. I was nodding as I read this.

    It sounds to me as if you are just like the rest of us! I could have written this post ;) Everything you write, I could relate to.

    And you will see from all these comments that people like you simply for being you.

    Because you touch us, we like you all the more and will keep coming back, irrespective of whether you get to our posts or not. We're all in the same boat.
    x

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  38. What a nice blog, first time reading it. I'm a lot like you, quiet, shy, but lots to say on a blog. What a lot of followers you have. I'm in a genealogy community, and hoping to reach 150 followers! Look forward to reading your posts.

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  39. Karen, this is why we all absolutely love you! You're so honest and unassuming. Perfect.

    I'm not young either, and I didn't start writing seriously until I hit 40 (shhhhh!)

    I'm not rich or sophisticated, but wealth for my husband and I is raising our amazing sons.

    Oh, and I'm not cool either, but you probably already guessed that :D

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  40. This is such a fabulous post. I'm glad that blogger was an ass and made you repost this so I could actually get to witness what you've written.

    I think you're an inspiration for all writers. I think it's cool how you shared what you're not but what you love and why you love doing it!!

    I'm not as outgoing as I appear on the blog.
    I'm not one to stand in front of four people and give a speech which means I am not one who can get in front of a crowd.
    I'm not normal or cool either, I'm quirky, strange, and speak Jen I'm just now realizing that's cool in it's own right.
    I'm not stalking you.... or am I?

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