Growing pains

I’ve heard from more than one reliable source that agents and publishers don’t look kindly upon personal writing blogs. Particularly ones that go into detail about the struggles of writing. They think it reflects badly on the professional conduct of the writer.

While I’m sure this doesn’t go for ALL agents, I don’t want to run the risk, especially as I’m currently looking for representation. I plan to set up another blog under my real name and attach it to my site, but it will be mainly for updates and latest news. Meanwhile, the Virtual Onion will continue as usual, candidly (but anonymously) chronicling the ups and downs of this writer’s life. When I’m finished with my novel and it has been sold, I plan to end the blog, which has always been my intention. But it is so weird to talk about that right now, considering I’ve just moved!

I spent the weekend packing and transferring around old files and comments. Imagine how pleasantly surprised I was that I’ve progressed in the past few years––a kiddie who has grown a few inches over the summer, yet never noticed as she went about her daily games. The pencil-marked-wall that is this blog, shows my changes month to month, year to year, not just in my prose but in terms of confidence. And while I think I will always be one of those neurotic obsessive writer types, what has improved has been the realisation that I can hang in there, doing what I love to do, despite the challenges.

Perhaps that is something that should be visible to agents and publishers. But I’m reluctant. It isn’t as if I just arrived perfectly formed one day. It has been (and continues to be) an uphill struggle. So allow me this rare moment of privacy on a public forum. Having blogged unmasked for such a long time, I have to tell you how strange it feels to put the mask back on. Almost as if the person writing this were someone else.


  1. I hadn’t considered that agents and publishers might not look kindly on personal writing blogs. I thought if nothing else it showed commitment to the written word, but I suppose it just as easily highlights how unprofessional you are (in my case!) Certainly food for thought :o) And good luck with your novel.

  2. Is that true? I’m wondering if I should do the same… I’ve started to get nervous about it. I don’t link to my blog from my writing website, but I do use my first and middle name in the blog url on wordpress, which I’ve been wishing I had thought about first before setting up.What do you think? I’d love your advice if you have any.

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  4. agents and publishers don’t look kindly upon personal writing blogs — particularly ones that go into detail about the struggles of novel writing.great. i’m toast.ambled over here from nova’s site — interesting stuff. i blog anonymously to keep my corporate bosses away, not my agent, but since he’s persona non grata with me (or rather, i with him), it really doesn’t matter.

  5. In my opinion you should base your decision on what type of representation you’re looking for. Personally I can’t imagine being in a working relationship with someone who would regard my occasionally public displays of mental instability as a ‘liability’ or whatnot. In a profession dealing with something as emotionally draining and inherently unprofessional(I mean, it’s only called professional writing because someone pays you for it – there is no standardized uniform or universally accepted code of conduct) as creative writing, I think it’s a bit far-fetched to assume that people are going to come across as pristine fountains of literary greatness who write profound observations about the human condition without getting a little twitchy in the process.That said, you do what you have to in order to get your foot in the door.

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