Today, my favorite place to visit, the blog by agent, Betsy Lerner, ended. She kept it up for four years and that’s got to be some kind of record. She indicated she would drop in from time to time to check on “us,” (her regulars) but the regular postings that always came with a creative picture, and were presented as titles of songs, those daily doses will be no more. After reading about her decision, I felt like I was untied from the ship, left to swirl around in the ocean, adrift. She never minced words about the realities of the publishing world, and she didn’t mince words at the end. I realized I’d held my breath until I was finished reading her decision.
The appeal of her words? She had a unique voice, a way that she wrote her thoughts and opinions, always ending with a probing question to us, her community of readers who hung on those words. She understood the workings of our writer minds, our quirks and grievances, our weakness, and strengths, our desire and willingness to keep on, even though the rejections piled up. She understood our moods, like some sort of virtual mind reader and we gathered ’round while she slid her eyes over us, seeing us for who we were, and still loving us all.
She had the reputation of dropping the “f” bomb without any hint of regret or shame. It was casually tossed out when the topic called for it, the emphasis always right and never, ever overly used. It was spice added to our daily plate of Betsy, and allowed the dullness of our palate to get a taste of what it was like to be such a writer. We were never overfed, we always wanted more or whatever she had to offer, even when the taste of it was bitter, but mostly, it was sweet.
And the other thing about her blog community was that I felt like one of the “us.” Even though we may have wandered in and out, we were always welcomed back with open arms. We worried about the others when we didn’t hear from them, like an online family, with all of the typical personalities that come from such a diverse bunch. Slowly, lurkers found they were brave enough to speak out or speak up, and I applauded them, because once, I too, didn’t think I had anything to say. We all had something to say out there, in Betsy’s world.
I will miss her wisdom about publishing, her stories about writing, her sharing of dreams, and mostly, her “voice.”