Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11

by Jina Bacarr

9/11. It's a number that resonates with anyone who reads this blog, picks up a newspaper or checks out a news website. A day no one will ever forget where they were when they heard the news.

In one morning our world changed forever.

What can I say about 9/11 that hasn't already been said?

I shall leave that to the pundits and reporters on this eighth anniversary and instead ask you a question: how has your writing changed since 9/11?

I don't mean what you write, but how you submit what you write.

Before 9/11, few agents, editors and publishing houses accepted queries, proposals and manuscripts by email. Many still don't, but back in 2001 it was a novelty to send material as an email attachment. The Anthrax scare contributed to that change since snail mail could be dangerous to your health. Since then, we've all discovered that email has its own dangers (is your anti-virus software up to date?).

It seems like it all started with 9/11. Something changed in us that day. We weren't as safe as we thought we were in our own backyard. We never expected that. If you traveled abroad, you understood the risks.

But 9/11 happened here, on American soil.

An urgency was born in us that day to know instantly what was going on as the horrific scene of the Twin Towers coming down unfolded before our eyes. I believe that same urgency has carried over to our daily lives, and that includes our writing.

We want to know without delay if our editor or agent loves our latest work, what our Amazon numbers are by the hour (admit it, you check more than you should), how many hits we have on our blog that day. E-books and Kindle have made it easier for us to transport reading material with us everywhere we go.

The submitting process may have changed since 9/11, but writing your manuscript hasn't. You still put your butt in the chair with a cup of your favorite java nearby and write from the heart.

I believe that will never change.


Jina Bacarr is also the author of The Blonde Geisha , Naughty Paris, Tokyo Rendezvous, a Spice Brief, and Spies, Lies & Naked Thighs, and Cleopatra's Perfume.

Coming in February 2010: The Blonde Samurai
"She embraced the way of the samurai. Two swords. Two loves."