Finding Friends And Good Writers
You can tell a lot about a person by the way they write. The good writers are wide open. They don’t pull any punches. They’re honest about their feelings – sometimes to the point of being raw. They’re not afraid to integrate their lives, their feelings, and their experiences into what they write.
I am constantly appalled at the poor quality writing to be found on the Internet and in published materials. Conversely, I am always delighted when I discover well-written blogs that make me cry, wonder, sigh, gasp, ponder, or even laugh out loud. The following are a few of the later. I share them because I am sure you will enjoy them as much as I do:
Random Thoughts From The Beach
Colleen from the Outer Banks is a personal friend of mine who writes about her crazy life, thoughts, and moods with humor and feeling. Sometimes she makes me laugh and sometimes cry, but I always enjoy reading what she writes.
Jeff Baker Talks
Jeff Baker, the son of a preacher, grew up in the 60’s in Montgomery, Alabama. In his own words, he is a philosopher, he has an opinion, he is curious, he can be cynical. And he admits that he still hasn’t found what he’s looking for. I discovered him recently and I LOVE his writing.
The Fabulous Geezersisters’ Weblog
Two sisters in their 50s who were both born in Oklahoma and grew up mostly in West Texas. In 2007 Ellen moved to northern Poland to work as an English teacher. Ruth is still in Austin, Texas, where she recently quit her job to return to her own writing. This is some of the best writing out there. You will laugh as they take on the world.
What is really interesting to me is that I am actually making ‘friends’ out there in cyberland. In some cases this consists of leaving comments on my favorite blogs, but in other cases, these relationships have resulted in real-life contact and subsequent friendships. Lately, I have been conversing with Laura Lee Carter of MidlifeCrisisQueen.com about the trials and tribulations of becoming a published author. Laura Lee shares my dream of writing for a living and she, too, is frustrated with the process. She wants to write about important issues that are of concern to our Baby Boom generation – issues like how to deal with the death of a parent – but so far she has been unable to find a market for her writing.
Publishers are unwilling to authorize subjects such as these because they are “too depressing.” Frankly, most magazines would rather focus on trite celebrity gossip or the newest shade of eyeshadow. Like Laura Lee, I suspect that there is a market out there yearning for a publication that has the courage to address real life issues. And like Laura Lee, I think the venue for this publication is likely to be an online magazine. I am intrigued by this idea. Since our initial conversation, I have received emails from other women who are suggesting the same sort of thing, with variations on a theme. Over the years, I have also learned that when something – a thought, an idea, an activity – keeps being presented to me, I am supposed to pay attention.
I did a little research and discovered that there are few printed magazines that are targeted to the Baby Boom generation. The two online magazines I found were composed of information that had been scraped from other sites around the Internet and filled with advertising. The stores were shallow and contained no byline. I think there is an opportunity for an online publication that would carry bylined articles by reputable, respected authors; articles that would deal with a broad spectrum of issues, including the ‘tough’ issues that almost certainly begin to crop up as we age. I envision it as a sort of HuffingtonPost.com of Baby Boomer issues.
So here it is, dear readers. I am asking for your help. Is this or is this not a good idea. Would you read such an online magazine? If so, why? And if not, why not? Please leave your comments as I am really interested in your thoughts on this idea.