I guess you could say I’m a “long-time reader, first-time blogger” to the Insecure Writers Support Group.
Yep, that image over there means I’m finally jumping on the IWSG blog hop.
The IWSG is a group of writers who blog about their insecurities, progress, and other writing-related stuff. I had a whole post planned about the etymology of tips and why they make Americans seem rude. Then an even bigger thing happened.
My first ever IWSG post comes to you in the wake of the GDPR deadline. After a two-year grace period, the ominous law had authors and bloggers scrambling to become compliant.
Luckily no computers exploded.
(Though it felt like my inbox did)
Why did it go viral in the last week, anyway, after two whole years of the law being on the books?
My theory is that the big companies weren’t scared at all. They saw the law coming (probably flagged by their compliance department in 2016) and quietly spent the last several months creating documents, software, and plugins to transition smoothly as soon as the law took effect. No, it wasn’t until the final days when these corporations began implementing their new policies, that the frenzied buzz began.
What a Buzz!
Any time a big legal event happens, there seems to be a “Week of Anxiety” just before – at least in the United States. I think this is because lowly nonimportant citizens have heard too many stories about the unsuspecting “little guy” unknowingly breaking the law and being slapped a ginormous fine because of it.
So, down in the grassroots of cyber society, a panic ensued.
“What if my website is not compliant?”
“What if I have EU subscribers on my list? I don’t think I do, but how can I be sure?”
Actually, I’m fairly certain I have EU visitors who have commented on my posts. (Thank you, btw!) And, yes, they left personally identifiable information in the form of a name, email, and sometimes a website. But I’m also certain that all of the “processers” - as the GDPR law calls them (i.e. my website provider and follow buttons) - have already updated their policies and covered their legal butts. The way I figure it, as long as I disclose what information I have access to, store, and use – then my legal butt is covered too.
If you don’t agree, please don’t give me your information. I can’t misuse what I don’t have.
WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH WRITING?
Now, it might seem that because I’m a newbie to the Insecure Writers Support Group that I’ve already broken rule number 1: Don’t write about unrelated content under the IWSG badge.
Fear not, dear reader, I have a point.
Many, many times I’ve had that “Week of Anxiety” in my writing journey. It usually happens when a submission deadline is approaching. Like when there’s an “above the slush opportunity” expiring at the end of the month. Or when there’s a twitter pitch party coming up.
You see, I’m never ready for those opportunities. Or if I am, I think I’m not.
What if my manuscript’s not as polished as I think?
Or worse -
Ahhh, my manuscript’s not ready at all!
Do I submit? Do I pitch anyway?
Usually the answer is no. I know these opportunities will come around again, and if I jump on them before my manuscript is ready, it’d be worse than being at the bottom of the slushpile.
Or worse than if my computer exploded.
But sometimes, it makes sense to submit anyway. Like if I think my manuscript is as polished as it can be or if the opportunity includes a professional critique.
The one thing I shouldn’t do is let my anxiety dictate my actions.
And neither should you.
Even if your computer explodes.
(OK, actually you can panic then.)
So, tell me, have you ever felt anxiety about upcoming submission or pitch opportunities? Did you worry about GDPR? What did you do about it?
I write about, with, for, and around kids all day. (Well, maybe I do the dishes too. Sometimes.)