I’m like that petulant kindergartener, fighting the first day back to school after a delightful summer vacation. I’m digging in my heels, whining to…well, in my case, Libs the poor dog. “I don’t want to,” I moan as I tackle the latest obstacle.
Not that Libs cares. She doesn’t understand that I resist because things change, and my lazier self gets tired of learning the new way, even though while I’m in the midst of learning, I’m also often thinking, “Oh! This is much better!”
Take a query, for example. It wasn’t that long ago when there were general query guidelines that one could reasonably follow and send in a simple email to an agent. But then every writer began throwing queries out there and inboxes overflowed like quarters spilling out of a winning slot machine.
So agents realized that they needed a new and better way to deal with queries. Many agents went with a managing platform like Submittable, which required a writer to get an account. Now, an agency may have their own query manager set-up or a client portal or I don't know...a digital mind-meld?
The point is, it’s that technology bugaboo rearing its scary head. Technology, that’s the crux of much of the change that writers face. We live in a digital age so new and better tech comes along every day and what was cutting-edge just a few years ago is now passé, right? It’s a fulltime job keeping on top of it all!
But you just want to write, you say. And writing hasn’t changed—it’s still thinking up stuff and putting words on the page.
It is, dear writer. And if you’re only concerned about the words in your journal, then you’re sitting pretty (maybe in front of your typewriter). But if you want to get your words out in the world, your poetry, your articles, your books, your podcasts, then you’re likely going to have to learn something new.
But here’s the good news: learning new things keeps your brain fit and you healthy. So even while I’m resisting—and perhaps I mentioned that’s practically a daily occurrence over here in the Hall house—I feel pretty darn good when I conquer the new thing. And the older I get, the more important it is to me to fight the good fight, to stretch beyond the “I don’t want to!” to “Okay, I got it now!”
It’s survival of the fittest in this industry, y’all. So embrace the changes that will keep you in the writing game and I promise you, it won’t be just your brain that stays sharp. Your emotional well-being will thrive as well. Yay for resistance
~Cathy C. Hall (who conquered book cover design like a Thor! So what have you conquered lately?)