Karolyn Sherwood, Author

The Internet Rule Book

Did you get the memo? It was delivered with the Rule Book.

No, not that old dating gimmick, The Rules, but the “The Internet Rule Book.” It was written sometime after “Everything You Need to Know You Learned in Kindergarten.” “The Internet Rule Book” addresses social media. You didn’t learn that in kindergarten.

Rule #1: If you have a blog, you must do an End of Year Reflection. So here goes.

My novel, A Reasonable Price, didn’t sell in 2014. Boo hoo. Question is, why not? If I knew that, I would have fixed it. Then again, maybe I did and we just don’t know yet. Over the past twelve months, I worked diligently to find my novel a home. I received excellent feedback from major lit agents (who shall remain nameless lest they be embarrassed that they passed on a future bestseller) and my instructor and fellow classmates at a novel workshop at the ISWF. Incorporating their best suggestions, I spent September through November doing a major rewrite, then sent out a few queries in early December. I will send out more as soon as the holidays have returned to work days. At times it feels like I’m navigating my little ship through cyberspace—with no certainty of ever finding a place to land. Or, maybe I did make all the right changes, and will soon query the right agent who will snatch it up and sell it tout de suite!

Rule #2: No whining.

GeorgieThis is why 2014 saw so few posts here on your favorite website. They say, “Write with authority to gain readership.” Well, believe you me, I’m an authority on a lot of things … just not on being an author (apparently). For instance, in late June, I got a new puppy. She is George Eliot, a Havanese. I’ve become an authority on her, but I didn’t want to confuse things by writing about my dog on my writer’s blog. Sure, I could have posted an update every day of the year, but “Didn’t Sell Novel Again Today” and “Wrote Some, Deleted Some,” both qualify as whining. I thought it better to stay silent until I have real news.

Rule #3: Be Kind to Others

This rule was stolen from Ellen Degeneres, but I doubt she’ll mind. Only Stephen Hawking could explain how the Internet is both endless and intimate. You can search forever in less than one second. Bullying, name-calling, whining … they will all come back to haunt you. So, as you did learn in kindergarten, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Just go back to your novel and work harder. The harder you work, the luckier 2015 will be.

With that, cheers to 2015, friends! Let’s all play by the rules and make 2015 the best year ever.

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