I made a big mistake in Googling myself recently. I wanted to see how I came up. Depending on how I entered the search, my amazon postings and blogs came up either on the first page, a couple back, or not at all. Worse, there are other “Robert Raymonds” writers (like who would have guessed there’d be clones out there) who tended to end up higher than me.
My first inkling was to panic. It’s usually my initial reaction to just about anything, this combination of fight and flight (life, nothing but a fighting withdrawal). The thought is that to be famous and ranking, one has to go out there and drive up one’s postings. I spent about 20 minutes grinding my teeth about how I could do this.
Then I got the reins back in my hands and slowed my team of horses (named Creativity, Literacy, Knowledge and Ego, if you must know) back to a trot.
Yes, it’s nice to be at the top of the list, to bask in internet fame, to sell books to the casual searcher and lazy gift-giver.
I can’t play that game. Not well, anyway.
I need to focus on strengths, on my writing and storytelling. I also need to get off my can and get my books back to agencies, in order to hire someone through 15% of royalties who can steer me through all this.
The reason I’m mentioning this is because a number of readers of this blog are probably like myself – they wish for fame and do their best and suffer the slings and arrows (hell, the siege boulders) of rejection. At the very least, we post to agencies and get our SASEs back in the post. Or perhaps we even go through the trouble of self-publishing, which leads to the pinnacle – a booth at a bookshow, watching people walking by). Tough world.
But I have to remember to put my horses before my cart, not behind it. I’ve got to keep trying and writing, and not let myself get discouraged by the success (and google-hits) of others. There is a calming sensation that comes from putting one’s head down and striving to write well, to do one’s best to explain one’s heart. When one is a serious writer (and not just a self-published, self-promoting bookmaker), one reads other works and critically appraises them. One knows writing and, like the samurai who trains through times of peace, continues to improve. I can only hope to better my ability until, like that happy day in 2005 when an agency contracted with me for Fire and Bronze, I can repeat that event (hopefully with a better outcome this time around).
If you want to google anything, try The Serenity Prayer.