Hello, Goodreads!

by Doc Coleman on May 12, 2011 · 0 comments

in Asides, Writing

Even though I’ve been an avid reader for most of my life, I’ve never paid much attention to book-finding tools. I have tried using Amazon’s recommendation tool, but it always seemed like it would recommend one or two things I might actually like, and five or six things that they were currently pushing. My tastes ares pretty eclectic, so “what’s popular” usually doesn’t appeal to me. I’m either not interested, or I’ve already discovered it before it became popular. So, despite the fact that many (if not most) of the folks that I interact with online are using Goodreads.com, I was never really interested in it. I’ve done pretty good finding my own reading materiel.

I’m not sure what changed last week. Maybe it was seeing the occasional status update on Twitter that mentioned Goodreads, or someone mentioning putting reviews there. Something happened, and as a result I went over to Goodreads and created an account. As I mentioned before, a lot of the folks that I follow on Twitter and Facebook were already on the site, so I began accumulating numbers of friends in chunks. I also began the effort of listing and rating the many, many, many books that I have read over the years. So far I’ve barely scratched the surface.

In the process of setting up my presence on Goodreads, I stumbled on one of my friends who had rated an issue of Flagship magazine from Flying Island Press, and noticed that each of the writers who contributed to the issue was listed as an author.

I’ve been published in an issue of Flagship.

I went digging and pulled up Flagship issue 4, the issue with my article in it. Sure enough, in the list of authors was the name Doc Coleman.

I clicked it.

Naturally, it linked to an empty profile. All that was there was a name and a link to the Flagship issue. And another link that said, “Is this you?”

I clicked it.

I typed up a little note telling the Goodreads folks that I was new to the site and I had just discovered that an author profile already existed for an article that I wrote and asked them for access to that profile.

Last Monday I got a notification that I was now a Goodreads Author.

It is kind of interesting, considering that I have never really pursued the idea of being a writer, the way this made me feel. I guess it is the sense of achieving a milestone along the way. Having that byline on Goodreads makes me feel proud, as if I’ve arrived. Not that my reputation is made by any stretch of the imagination. There are a lot of steps necessary to become successful at writing, however you may personally describe success. Arriving at the party is an early step, but an important one. Arriving at the party is no guarantee that someone will dance with you, but if you don’t show up you definitely won’t have a dance partner.

In the big scale of things, it isn’t much. Especially not compared to how much so many others have achieved. Or all the hard work that they’ve put in building their writing careers. Compared to them, this is a drop in the bucket. A nothing.

But it is my nothing. And it makes me happy.

And now I need to get back to writing. I need to rack up some more bylines on that listing. A body of work will not create itself.

Hope you enjoyed this small moment.

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