No Country for Old Writers

Miss Crankypants has observed them at every writer’s conference or meeting: Writers of a certain age complaining that they don’t have a platform. And all this social media tomfoolery! Why, in their day, a writer didn’t need newfangled gadgets like Twister, FacePlant or Pin the Rest. When Miss CP gently explains that these “mature” writers might start with a lil ol blog, these veterans of the writing life go into panic mode.
“Oh my,” says Well-seasoned Romance Writer. She’s had dozens of books published but, alas, none in this century. “If I blog, what’s the point? Then I have to find readers!”
Miss CP nods sympathetically, but presses. “I know it’s difficult, but without any readers, you really can’t get published anymore.”
To which the dear sage writer retorts, “In my day the publishers found the readers! All I had to do was sit in my cave and pound out great stories!” She glares.

Miss Crankypants sighs. “Not anymore. That went out with the SASE.”
Grouchy Old Writer, a close buddy of Romance Writer, jumps in. “Speaking of things going out–besides my aching back–why won’t my agent return my calls?”
Miss CP smirks. “Maybe cuz your agent is younger than your grandkids? He’s probably trying to text you right now.”
GOW harrumphs. “Yeah–and he wants to know when I’m going to start blogging and all that poppycock.”
Romance chimes in. “See? Nobody understands us old timers. We show these upstarts how to format a query letter and all they do is laugh when we tell them to use one-inch margins.”
Miss CP says, “Honey, they query over email now. There are no more margins.”
“Aha!” Grouchy Old Writer slaps his knee with his cane. “That’s what’s wrong with the world. Nobody respects us. Why, I mailed in my hard copy manuscript months ago and haven’t heard a word from my editor.”
Miss Crankypants doesn’t have the heart to say he’s totally out of date.
Romance Writer sniffs. “Your editor died.”
Grouchy looks incredulous. “How’d you know that?”
Romance smiles. “I read about it on a blog.”

About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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