"You can know people!"
Jen Michalski of the journal jmww at a panel of publishers and editors at the Chesapeake Writers Conference earlier this month.
She was responding to a question posed to the panel members - something about how to “break in” to publishing. To paraphrase, she said that people are always saying, “But it’s who you know!” To which she would reply that it’s true to some extent but that “You can know people!”
I made sure to talk with her for a few minutes after the panel so that I could find out how I too could know people. She was very generous in explaining how she went about engaging with the literary community when she first started to write, and she made suggestions about how I can begin doing the same.
So despite my previous post about my anxiety over being old and boring, I’m still hopeful about succeeding in being a writer out in the world.
I can know people!
"Like in high school, whether we knew it or not, whether we were aware of it or not, or whether we actually received the advice directly or not, there was an underlying understanding that boys wouldn’t like girls who were pensive and smart or who looked serious and intellectual, or worse yet, somber, gloomy, reclusive, or a snob (i.e. shy). Back then, I got labeled “the sad girl.” Is this like that? The bubbly, effervescent girls will succeed as writers too?"
Cris Mazza in this essay on The Nervous Breakdown. The essay was published several months back. I got the link from this post about age discrimination in publishing by Mazza on VIDA’s Her Kind blog.
Two of my anxieties when it comes to the PR aspect of existing in the world as a literary fiction writer - 1) being “old” (a woman over thirty) and 2) not having a fun/quirky/not boring persona.