This is Betsy...
I found out about Betsy by reading one of her books. This is Betsy's book...
Now the hard part. I'm really not sure how to present this blog. Betsy is probably a very nice person, but man, you wouldn't know it from her posts sometimes. She says clearly that she blogs to help writers and to vent about the publishing business. Boy does she vent, and so do those who read her.
Betsy is a writer, former publishing editor, and now an agent. Her book above is excellent, and I'll probably read it again, though I get the feeling her view of writing - shared by the multitude that comment on her blog - is that it [writing] is all or at least mostly about...writing. The written word is the be all and end all, the alpha and omega, the self-licking ice cream cone. Story or message is simply a platform for presenting language. It would be like a painter emphasizing color over composition. Nothing wrong with that. I have at times responded to the language for its own sake, as in this post on Wind, Sand, and Stars. But ultimately my reading needs a purpose. I want either to be entertained or edified.
Which is why it's strange that I keep checking in on her blog. I don't feel much of a connection with either her or her readers. These people are passionate about writing. I enjoy it, but I have too many other interests. One good thing about Betsy, though, is that she posts almost daily - that's key for blogging success - something I don't do - guess I'm not angry enough. Another key is to write what people want to read - something I also don't do. Betsy is a successful agent and writer, and I don't doubt many of her readers are looking for advice on being published and probably hoping for an invitation to float a transcript her way.
Whoa! I've got it! Betsy is the Oprah of writers! Not in the book club way - writers don't need help knowing what to read. She's Oprah to all the suffering writers out there. I wonder if she knows. Maybe that's why I keep going back. Except that I'm generally pretty happy, not suffering, and I'm not in any way troubled by the fact that I haven't written anything yet.
Or maybe I keep going back because every now and then, Betsy posts on something fun and positive, like what's your favorite used book store. I enjoyed that one. But mostly it's angry, bitter, sarcastic, often funny, and spiced with F-bombs aplenty - Betsy and her readers have created something like a locker room for writers.
Or maybe I have a morbid fascination, much in the way people are attracted to stories about violence and disaster in the news. If it bleeds, it leads..and Betsy bleeds.