11 Things All Readers Should Stop Doing Right Now- Guest Blog by Kyle Perkins

Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome Author Kyle Perkins to the stage…

 

This article is collection of my observations in the indie community. While some of these opinions are my own, many are just complaints I have heard from various authors. So readers, please don’t bite my head off. 😀

11. Criticizing authors.

Do we want your feedback? YES. Do we want you to personally message us to shit all over our work in a thinly veiled attack, disguised as constructive criticism? No. Whether you know this or not, bad reviews and negative feedback does hurt our feelings, no matter how tough of a face we put on. Authors are never supposed to react negatively to reviews, so most act like bad reviews don’t bother them in an attempt to either save face, or prevent fans from calling them crybabies that can’t handle criticism. For most of us, this has been a life dream, and this makes our work, our life’s work. We want reviews, and honest ones, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be constructive. Tell us what you didn’t like, but offer what you did like. A “This book was fucking garbage” doesn’t really help anyone, and it’s a poor reflection of you. Negative reviews are fine as long as they are constructive and not just personal attacks. We just ask you to have a little tact when dealing with authors, because after all, we’re people too. You’re not writing a Yelp review about a McDonald’s down the street, you’re reviewing an author’s life work, so be conscious of that when contacting the author. We don’t come to the park and say, “Man, your kid is really good at monkey bars, too bad he’s ugly as shit.”

10. Returning E-Books.

This behavior is so disgusting. You’re not sticking it to the man and ripping off a Walmart to fight the system, you are robbing an indie author that is likely struggling as it is. This is incredibly selfish. Sometimes it takes an author months of hard work to get a book out, reallythe least you could do is keep it. What’s worse is, I have met people with the audacity to try to justify their returns. I’m sorry, but if you have to go back and spend your precious time on refunding a 99 cent book, you should not be buying books. I have never met ANYONE in a position where they couldn’t afford 99 cents, so you are STEALING their work. Now, there is an exception. If you accidentally hit the one click button on a book and bought it by mistake, by all means return it. If you are abusing the system however just to get free books, you are a horrible human being.

9. Rating a book on the genre, and not the quality of work.

Look, we all have different preferences in books right? Cool! That’s totally fine. Giving a five star book a three star rating because it’s not your typical read is not cool however.  This behavior is nothing short of insanity. I don’t go to an Italian restaurant and rate it based on how Chinese the food was. “The food was delicious, service great, but I usually eat at Chinese restaurants, so two stars.” I mean, come on. If you rate a book, rate it on the characters, the story telling, or how engaged you were. Your personal preferences are irrelevant. Cool, you like westerns, what does that have to do with the dystopian book you’re rating?

8. Using your network to bully authors.

So, some of you have a small network of readers, and pals that come to any event you invite them to, which is AWESOME for authors. Your pull in the community helps authors tremendously, and we love you for it. However, a few of you abuse this and get a big head. I have seen these small networks bully authors out of gift cards, prizes, and so on with the threat of pulling their friends from events at the last second. Even worse, some authors cave to the bullying and give these people what they want, reinforcing their behavior. That part is on us. Never use your pull to threaten an author, it’s a scenario where everyone involved gets hurt.

7. Demanding an author’s attention, and harassing them.

No surprise, authors are busy, right? Not only are we constantly writing books and building our market, but we need time to ourselves to create these worlds you like to spend a few hours in. I think a lot of readers think because they see an author online all day, that we aren’t working. Truth is, if we are online, chances are we are working. So please, don’t make us feel like horrible people for not responding to your messages in what you personally consider to be a timely fashion. We already feel guilty when we don’t have enough time to interact with fans, please don’t make us feel worse. Always feel free to message us, tag us, or interact with us any way you’d like, but don’t get salty if we can’t respond back.

6. Don’t trash our genre!

People have this idea of what “real writing” is and cling to it like it’s the last Furby on Black Friday. Dystopian may be your thing, and that’s great, but that doesn’t mean erotica books are somehow “less” of a book or genre. It takes the exact same amount of work, foresight and planning. Seriously, I have heard of people being put down, or blacklisted because they write in a genre that some people don’t feel is “good enough” or “true writing.” Of course, this is absolutely ridiculous. It’s like saying because you like football, baseball players aren’t real athletes.

5. Not leaving reviews.cmon

Okay, so you read our book. You either loved it or you hated it, but either way, give us a
well thought out review. At the very least on Amazon, but if you can, do so on Goodreads and anywhere else you can think of. Especially if you received the book for free. We sometimes, like I have said before, spend months of our time on these books. How much is a month of your time and work worth? I bet it’s a lot more than we get paid, so you’d be pretty upset if you wrote a 60k word book and don’t even get a “Neat book” out of it.

4. Asking for free paperbacks.

Ask most authors, and if you really want their book or to sample their work before making purchases, they will send you a free e-book. Most authors give out free books all the time! Asking authors for free paperbacks though is a bit much. Not only does it cost us money to pleasehave them printed, but then we pay for the shipping to us, then to you. If you live in another country, it’s another whole ordeal. As I have previously stated, most indie authors are flat broke. We love to share our stories with you, and let you venture into our minds, but asking us to venture into our already depleted bank accounts puts us in a pretty awkward situation. Would we love to send you all hard copies of our books? Of course! Maybe someday we will as a thank you, but as an indie author, we don’t have the resources. So please, don’t make us feel terrible about this.

3. Posting spoilers in your reviews.

You have likely been on Earth long enough to know that spoilers are universally hated. It’s right up there with smallpox and drowning puppies. So please, don’t spoil our books in the review section! This hurts our sales and may stop readers from even picking up the book. This doesn’t just bother the author; it bothers other readers. If you are one of the people doing this, you are doing the same thing as people live tweeting the newest episode of GOT.

2. Putting pressure on us to write sequels.

We are really happy that you are excited about our books and want more of them, however, giving us unnecessary pressure isn’t needed. Trust me, we of all people put the most pressure on ourselves to get a sequel out and while your reminders may seem friendly enough, it just causes us much unneeded stress. Some books may not even have a sequel, and as bad as you want us to make one, that was never part of our artistic vision for the characters. Any good show knows when to drop the curtains.

1. Sending penis pictures.

To be fair, this one doesn’t happen to me often (but totally has happened). I have heard of female authors from all genres getting unwarranted dick pics. Fellas, we get that you’re proud of your junk and want to show it off, but there are laws in place to prevent this verypenis pics thing. If someone wants to see it, they will ask. Considering you’re sending random dick pics at all would suggest it doesn’t happen often for you, but be patient. Your number will get called. The last thing any author wants to wake up to is a random picture of your penis. Whatever happened to flowers?

 

Now, with all that said….

We as authors adore and love each of our fans. Your support means the world to us, and you are the very reason we write. Sure, a lot of professional athletes say that, but they get paid millions. We don’t make a ton of money, so rest assured, everything we do, we do for you. This wasn’t meant to be an article taking shots at readers, but instead a guideline to break some nasty habits that cause us harm.  Please, if we do anything that bothers you, let us know directly, or in the comment section below. This is a two-way street. =)

 

About the author: It was only recently that Kyle Perkins discovered his love of putting his imaginative daydreams in writing for others to enjoy. He founded and managed some of the largest text-based roleplaying groups on Facebook, which sparked his passion for storytelling and helped him sharpen his skills as an author. Since the January 2016 release of his debut dystopian novel, Reddened Wasteland, Kyle has published three other works with plans to release several more in the upcoming months, including the second installment of the Reddened Wasteland series. He’s a dog person, an Aquarius, and he lives in Florida, though he’ll tell you he lives on the internet.

Website: https://kyleperkinsauthor.wordpress.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kyle-Perkins/e/B01BO9SYUI/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14924560.Kyle_Perkins

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KylePAuthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KylePerkinsAuthor/

Play Your Violin Amidst the Madness

violin3

Well it’s that time again. 2014 has come to a close, another year has passed us by. How was it for you? Horrible? Fantastic? Just kinda meh? Best year ever?

For me, it was mostly fabulous, with sprinkles of meh, and a few jiggers of heartache.

I did an amazing thing this year. I wrote and self-published a novel while single-handedly raising four children. That, alone, is cause for celebration, right? So, why the meh and heartache?

On top of all of the loss, death, and devastation present in everyday life around us, which makes it difficult to focus on life’s beauty sometimes, I have struggled with the disenchantment of my love of writing.

This masterpiece of mine (“The Treemakers”), which has garnished such fabulous (though few) reviews, hasn’t brought my children and I out of the poorhouse (yet!), and I have been dealing with some grim realities of my existence as an indie author.

Sure, there are things I love about being an indie author, but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t sell out to the first big publisher with a five or six-figure advance. Because struggling sucks. Right? I know we all struggle with different things. A lot of you can relate to mine, I’m sure. Skimping on the groceries toward the end of the month because you’re almost out of foodstamps . . . . Having to go without things so your kids don’t have to . . . . We could sit here all day and whine about how much it sucks to be poor. And bitch about why it is that people say they care about us, want the best for us, totally support us, but then won’t/don’t even buy/read our books/art/etc… Or, they read it and don’t review it/recommend it to others… (why? Do they not realize that this is the bread n’ butter of our existence as an indie author/creative person?) But none of that wallowing and complaining and whining would do us any good. It won’t make us rich, and would only be counterproductive. It would irritate those around us, and bring more negative results into our lives.

But still, I wonder about those people. A little birdie pointed out to me that some of them are perhaps just quiet souls who honestly aren’t of the reviewing/recommending-variety. And some of them are just lazy. But then . . . there are those of the hater variety. Even people you may share blood or long-term friendships with. They see you shine and it reminds them of how dull they feel, so instead of lifting you up and adding to your brightness, they shoot you down, or try to ignore you altogether. They secretly want you to fail. Your greatness makes them realize how un-great they secretly think they are.

So. What now? What to do in the dim light of the people who want us to fail? Who want our children to go without? Who secretly want us to crash and burn because they are so flipping self-centered that they can hardly see the world around them for what it truly is? Shall we lie down and die so the poor haters may feel better about their wittle selves?

HA. WE THINK NOT.

our-deepest-fear-quote (1)

I’m not a millionaire yet. I’m not even a thousandaire. Hell, I’m not even a hundredaire. But I’m not dead yet, either, and neither are you. I sure as heck don’t plan on making things any easier for me or those around me who can’t handle the light, do you? Put on some sunglasses, haters, because we’re just getting started. And hey, those who may be in need of that permission to shine, will look at us and find the strength to do so. Our strength will make them feel stronger, too.

I’ll tell you what I did once I saw “The Treemakers” plateau at a level of un-greatness (for me). . . I cried.

I cried good and hard. I died inside for a short time. I gave up writing (for a few hours) and imagined what life would be like without it (horrible). I cursed the day I ever decided to do this for the long-haul, and I wallowed in my morass of self-pity until I was so drenched in the muck that only two choices remained: give up and “die,” or take a nice hot shower, put on some fresh clothes, and do what I do best.

Stick my two middle fingers in the air . . .

and then get back to writing.

A friend and I were discussing how difficult it is to be heard in the chaos of social media land. When you have a book out, especially when you’re new, she said it can be much like standing on a runway filled with jetplanes and screaming to be heard. I thought about this for a long while. It didn’t sound like anything I wanted to do. How pointless. I thought, “why not do something that would make the pilots stop the planes and get out alongside the passengers and watch?”

This is what happened next (in my head)[you may have to skip a stupid ad first]:

No matter what life brings us, no matter what elements lie before us, we have to “play our violin” amidst the madness . . . or the calm, or the heartache, or the bliss, or the riots in our minds, or the joy, or the sorrows . . . we let our light shine on, and don’t give up.

What is that thing you do that makes you stand out, like in a good way? That’s your violin–Do that. Writing is my sweet violin, and I know if I just keep playing it, eventually, someone will hear me. They’ll see me, feel the music pouring from my soul into theirs . . . the pilots, passengers, and all the people inside the airport will gather ’round to listen when it’s my time to shine.

Same as you.

It may not be our time to shine for everyone all the time. Sometimes we may stand alone on an empty runway with no one around for miles. It’s at those times we must practice practice practice, preparing for when it’s our turn. When the world and time stop and wait, and listen. For us. It will happen if we believe, plan, practice, prepare, and continue to play our violins amidst the madness.

Believe it will happen, and make the best out of this miracle before you. Another year awaits to unfold before our eyes.

Happy New Year to you, my friends.

And no matter what, always . . .

Play on

To check out reviews or purchase “The Treemakers,” follow the links below. Thanks!
Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00P49KVKG
Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00P49KVKG/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22036603-the-treemakers

Talent will Find a Home

books magic black background light blue 1280x960 wallpaper_www.wall321.com_31“It’s always hard to break in, but talent will find a home.”

This quote from an agent at a New York literary agency was pinned to the wall in my work space forever. I often looked at it with that misty-eyed look of longing, slipping into a daydream about the day that it would happen. I’d get that email–you know the one–saying something like, “We think your story is brilliant and we wish to offer you representation, along with the promise of fortune and fame forevermore.” I remember thinking, “that’s when I’ll know that I have arrived; my writing is good enough (and so am I) . . . .”

It was months after I made the decision to go indie that I read that quote and saw what it was really saying. First off, it was telling me that this thing I love to do–writing, storytelling–has to be a struggle. Second, it was implying that the destination and key to my happiness as a writer is out there somewhere, waiting to be found.

I had an “aha” moment, ripping the paper off the wall and tossing it in the trash. Though this agent meant well, and was trying to bring hope and perseverance to struggling writers, this manner of thinking is from the Old Testament book of writing and publishing. Sure, it can be difficult to land an agent and make it “big time,” but no, the joy in writing is not anywhere but right there, in you, in me, between us and our computer screens. There, the magic is born.

When I was so worried about getting an agent, I fell into the belief that I wasn’t “good enough” until that happened. I became discouraged, disenchanted, and depressed. I cried a lot. I cursed myself with every rejection letter that came. I vowed to never write again on a few occasions. The joy and magic of writing became muted in the quest for being “good enough.”

As soon as I decided to go indie, things changed for me. A weight was lifted. A light turned on somewhere in the background, growing brighter and brighter each day. Once I began doing this for the joy and the magic of storytelling, not only did my writing improve drastically, but my life did as well. I began to see clearly the lies I had once believed; the lies of the Old Testament of writing and publishing that don’t realize they are lies–that I can’t be successful and happy unless I land an agent and get a big publisher.

The year is 2014. There are tons of ways to get my stories into the hands of readers. I don’t have to depend on anyone else to do it for me, or to wave a magic wand and grant my wish of being “good enough.” The truth is, when I am focused on the art of storytelling, telling the story the best way it can be told, and I am committed to constant improvement, and I am okay with me enough to look at my flaws humbly and be willing to make improvements where they need to be made, then I am good enough, and my story–once it is completed–will be good enough as well. Sure, there will always be people that don’t like what I write. They can go read elsewhere. And yes, the possibility of becoming super wealthy as an indie author is there, though not extremely likely. But that doesn’t mean I can’t strive for perfection, and set my sights on a prize.

Many Olympians dream of winning gold medals and never do–if their successors looked at the ratio of gold-medalists to non-gold medalists and used that as an excuse not to try their best and train like gold-medalists, we wouldn’t have any gold-medalists. And being an Olympian–like being a novelist–is a great feat no matter how you look at it. A small percentage of people who start a novel actually finish one. We can’t all be gold-medalists, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t achieved a measure of greatness already.

Don’t ever place your happiness, joy, and the inherent magic of life and storytelling into another’s hands.

Until next time writers and readers whom I love and adore, keep the amazing art of storytelling alive, and stick your middle finger in the air to anyone who tries to hold you back! ❤

UPDATE:

You can check out my books on Amazon here:

The Treemakers (YA Dystopian Scifi Horror) http://amzn.to/1H3tqFw

The Truth About Mud (YA Fantasy Adventure) http://amzn.to/1EoAme8

21 Reasons Why Life without Facebook is Totally Awesome

flower girl

So many things fall to the wayside when chained to Facebook for endless hours days months years. Some time away allows you to see the many ways it negatively impacts your life.

For the past two weeks, I’ve spent a total of fifteen minutes on Facebook, which is no easy feat. As you can see >HERE<, getting off for even an hour was once a near-impossibility.

If you are anything like me, you too, may be unhappy with the amount of time you waste in the vice-grip of status-updates, friend requests, and all the jingly bells and screeching whistles that go along with a life glued together at the seams with good old Facebook. Because I’ve enjoyed my break so much–I wanted to entice you to give it a try.

Here are 21 Reasons why life without Facebook is totally awesome, and why I’ll be limiting my time there to fifteen minutes, one day a week from now, until further notice. 🙂

21. Less chair ass

If you’ve experienced the torturous hell that is hours of writing, whilst fighting Facebook distraction (and losing), followed by the darkest moments of a writer’s existence–chair ass–you understand. Often times, this is accompanied by mouse-wrist and/or typing-elbow. (Yes, I am aware I just made these up, but these writer ailments should have names, shouldn’t they?)

20. More exercise

19. More time outside

18. More time with children/friends/family

First on any list of dietary restrictions should be Facebook: Serving size I’LL SLURP OUT YOUR SOUL AND SAUTEE THAT MOTHER WITH TWITTER BALLS AND PINTEREST NUTS SO JUST SIGN YOUR LIFE SAVINGS OVER TO CANDY CRUSH NOW AND CALL IT A DAY.

Last week, I walked a total of four miles. On purpose. And not just to get to the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot, either. I did it because, hello, I opened my eyes to the wide world around me and decided, what the hell, I’ll go for a stroll. Destination? Starbucks. There was a venti nonfat carmel iced coffee calling my name. Funny, I didn’t hear it when I had my Facebook earmuffs on. Who knew those things were soundproof? Distance: two miles. It was a beautiful, sunny, relatively warm, late-spring Dallas, Texas afternoon. There were bugs. And noise. I perspired. I pushed my son in his stroller as he experienced the wide world around us from little toddler eyes. It was beautiful. 

It’s common sense; less time playing kissy-face with Facebook leaves room for endless possibilities of fuzzy-feeling real life stuff like being active and spending time with family and whatnot.

17. More time to write

Okay, raise your hand if you’re guilty of using “platform” as an excuse to insert Facebook into your body intravenously?

Uh-huh. *gives you evil eye*

I don’t wanna hear it. Platform shmatform. You don’t exactly need platform if you don’t have a book to sell, right? And even if you do have a book to market, think of how many more you could have if you didn’t spend so much time stroking the Zuckerburg…. I have a lot of writer friends, and not a one of them has ever gushed about how Facebook sells tons of books. If you’ll check out your top NYT bestselling authors, you will rarely find them spending hours–if any time at all–on Facebook. They do what writers are supposed to do. They write.

16. More time to do housework and other things you’ve been procrastinating

I get it, I really do. Hunting down the perfect meme-of-the-hour is way more appealing than doing the dishes. But your significant other is tired of doing them while you harvest friends on Facebook. Or your kids are tired of wearing dirty and/or wrinkled clothes because surfing meaningless status updates and filling your little brainy with mindless chatter that means ultimately jack to you and your life–seems more important to you than doing their laundry.

And shower, cuz… damn. *pinches nose*

15. More time to do other (than writing) things you love

Facebook is a drug that should come with dosage information and a warning label. And certain people should really cut it out mostly, or entirely from their life. Being a recovered drug addict/alcoholic, I have an addictive personality. I get “stuck” on stuff if I’m not careful, and then hours days months years go by and I look up and realize EVERYONE IS DEAD AND THE WORLD HAS BECOME A DESOLATE WASTELAND IN WHICH THE UNDEAD HAVE TAKEN OVER AND I MUST NOW LEARN HOW TO SHOOT A CROSSBOW LIKE DARYL DIXON AND TELL TIME BY THE SUN’S POSITION IN THE SKY AND LEARN THAT MOSS GROWS ON THE NORTH SIDE OF TREES OR WHATEVER AND ALL THAT’S LEFT TO EAT THAT HASN’T BEEN LOOTED ARE THOSE LITTLE DRIED CRAWFISH THINGYS WITH EYES THAT YOU FIND AT MEXICAN SUPERMARCADOS…

Not a good scene.

Would I rather spend my pre-apocalypse moments on Facebook, stalking Daryl Dixon (well, actually…), or doing fulfilling things that make me happy, like making cool stuff with my hands?

Tough call.

*sighs*

*stomps foot*

I guess I’ll take the art. (As long as I can watch reruns of “The Walking Dead” after.) 😀

14. You see who your true friends are

I’ve made a lot of good friends on Facebook. Almost 3,000 as of last Sunday, actually. And every other Tuesday, we get together and go bowling and then go to the spa afterwards and I catch the tab on a few rounds of those little umbrella drinkys…

Yeah.

I can count the true friends I’ve made on Facebook on two hands. From what I can tell, most of them out there are looking out for numero uno. I am but a drop in the bucket, of which may as well be a toilet. Taking a step back, I was able to see who I miss, which is a surefire way to tell who you really care about. And most of those people have my email address and some of them have even acquired the much sought-after 10 digits of happiness, and I don’t mean fingers. Some of them even call me on the… phone. *GASP!*

13. You can address your festering narcissism and get some effing humility

If no one has told you today, you are a precious little snowflake and everyone on Facebook–all of the internet and the world even–should stare at the exquisite uniqueness that is your Facebook profile. They should soak up every single status update from now, until the beginning of time, memorizing the luscious deets and “liking” every post, every comment, every picture, and every single little marvel that is your totally real, unfiltered, un-photo-shopped real life. Really.

And if they don’t…

Gah, how dare they. The nerve.

12. No Facebook drama

Does this really need explanation?

11. No Facebook trolls

*please hold while I squeeze into my ranty-panties*

There is nothing that pisses me off more than those still-living-with-momma social outcasts that have never seen the sun rise nor fall, that tell me what sort of sunscreen to put on my poochy. And worse yet, even blatantly judge me for putting the stuff on his furry be-hind in the first place. Hey, buddy, if I wanna put a gosh-dern t-back and tap shoes on my dog, that’s my own damn business and I don’t need you or anyone else to tell me how to–or not to–do it.

*tosses ranty-panties to neighbor’s poochy*

*snickers*

10. No more constant marketing

If I see your book cover one more time I’m going to hang you upside down by your toenails from the ceiling fan in my mind and flip the switch to the “on” position. Then I shall pop popcorn and set my demon puppy loose to chase you around, snapping at your hair or ears or what-have-you. And I shall laugh.

9. No more creepers/perves

In case you weren’t aware, Facebook just recently became a free dating site for the uber creeps and perves and still-living-at-home trolls. If you have never seen troll genitalia, be warned… the sight of this in an unsolicited private message has been known to cause vomiting, insomnia, loss of appetite, and in serious cases, blindness.

(NOTE: If you experience an erection that lasts for four hours or longer, well… you may be part of the problem. Seek professional help immediately. And in the meantime, please, stay the bejeezus away from Facebook.)

8. No more game requests

Do you hear that? It’s the sound of every harp in Heaven simultaneously playing Queen’s “We are the Champions,” because we have done it. We’ve won. People, ONE. Facebook game-requests, ZIP-O-ROOONIE.

7. No more clogging your mind space with unimportant crap

No, I was not aware that the African spotted muskrat is endangered. Please, post that Upworthy video all about it so that I can lose four minutes of my life learning all about them, and what I can do to ensure their future safety.

6. No more depressing selfie sessions to find that “perfect” profile pic

Of course, I have no personal experience with this one… but I had a friend once that, um…

yeah.

Next.

5. You no longer have to pretend to care about things you don’t care about

Hear that? (Isn’t it amazing how much you can hear without your Facebook earmuffs on?)

It’s the sound of 2,500 people clicking the “unfriend” button as they learn that I wish (I really do) I had enough mind-space, time, and heart, to give two squishy turds about what you ate for dinner, or how your husband wants you to get a bikini wax, or how your new Ferrari unfortunately had to go to the shop today to get the problem with the vibrating seats fixed. Because you paid extra for those  damn vibrating seats and by-God, they better vibrate on “GO.”

4. You no longer have to bite your tongue to keep from being an asshat to other asshats

If you hang out in a barber shop long enough, you’ll either get a haircut, become a barber, or try to eat that thing that looks like a candy cane because you’re hungry and you can’t take the curiosity any longer…

(Note: It does not taste like a candy cane.)

In the same manner, if you hang out on Facebook around asshats for too long, you too may start to present symptoms of asshatedness. You must ask yourself: Is it worth the risk?

3. You get a new perspective on life

This isn’t my first Facebook-free stint. I actually deleted my account three or so years ago, for a whole year. My finger hovered over the “deactivate account” button for–I shit you not–a whole hour. I sweated profusely. I pulled my hair out and I cried. I banged my fists on things and broke many pencils. Facebook had taken over my soul, and was eating my family, my life, and my sanity away at the seams like greedy little blue termites. When I finally pushed that button, I literally grieved the loss of my intangible, fabricated cyber-life, and all of the “friends” who would no longer “get to” be a part of my life.

Notice the self-righteous asshatedness (above) than soon became apparent. Once I stepped back, a week went by and I realized the sun was shining… “Whoa, when did the snow melt? What day is it? June? When the hell did summer get here? Where is my family?”

I had to integrate myself, not only back into the lives of my family–relearn their ways, their schedules, their habits, likes, dislikes–but I also had to be integrated back into society. It was serious culture shock. When you spend five or six hours a day on Facebook, you may as well be spending five or six hours a day at a dope house. Some of you may not have it this bad, but some of you can drink alcohol without it ruining your life, too. Others of you, like me, may hit a wall, where you have lost control. We are powerless over our Facebook addiction and our lives have become unmanageable. Stepping away removes a dark shroud that you didn’t even realize was there. You will experience life anew.

2.  Live life in the ever-mysterious and spontaneously beautiful now

Without the distraction of Facebook, I remember to enjoy life right now. Instead of “building that platform,” “marketing that book,” “cultivating that following,” all of which are future-oriented visions and aspirations, I can just enjoy the awesomeness that is my life right now. I can sit on my back porch and look at the sky and quiz my third-grader about what type of clouds are out today. I can play. I can breathe in deep the official first day of summer because I am experiencing it firsthand, not because I saw someone’s status update reminding me of it. I can be present in my life.

1. Freedom

Facebook is designed to hold you hostage. It is a prison without walls or bars. Sure, there are some good things therein… there are bible scriptures scrawled on prison walls, too, but that doesn’t make me want to go to prison any time soon. You?

Without Facebook to tie you down, you walk a free human. Free from ego, from narcissism, free from garbage-in garbage-out, free from the poisons there, disguised as profit, prosperity, popularity…

Without Facebook, you are free to just be. And live.

Until next time, fellow humans…

Just be. ❤

 

You can check out my books on Amazon here:

 The Treemakers (Book 1 in the Treemakers Trilogy) (Mature YA Dystopian Scifi Horror)

The Soultakers (Book 2 in the Treemakers Trilogy)

The Seeker’s Keys (Book 3 in the Treemakers Trilogy)

The Truth About Mud (YA Fantasy Adventure novelette)

11 Rules for Being the Best Writerly Soul You Can Be

type11. Don’t be an asshat

It’s unfortunate how many of us are afflicted with this terrible disease. Asshatedness is a virus of the writing world, spreading to unsuspecting and unfortunate others, who may in turn, spew asshatedness onto others. I have been both a recipient of the side effects of this illness, as well as a host. Though I try my darndest not to let the asshat fever take over and make me do asshat things, I admit, sometimes I get delirious and lackadaisical, and forget I’m trying to not be an asshat. It can be easy to let this sickness rule your life. Beware its repercussions. Just because someone is an asshat to you, doesn’t mean it’s okay to be an asshat back to them. A few months down the road, when that sexy little book of yours comes out–and that asshat hasn’t forgotten or forgiven you for that asshat thing you did/said, watch out for that evil one-star asshat review on Amazon.

10. Support other authors

I had an author once ask me to read and review his book (which wasn’t very good), and when I read his bio on Amazon, he was knocking other authors. He said some asshat thing like, “I can only hope to rise above the sea of crappy authors using their first two initials.” Not only is he breaking rule #11, but he’s also taking a big nasty poo in the hands that feed. When you are first starting out, especially, other writers (the non-asshat ones) are there for you. We’re on the same team! We’re straddling this tightrope together and pulling each other’s wedgies out! We are like, FAM, yo! And even if you aren’t just starting out, writers are readers, too. Knock other writers and you might as well crap on your own head because you’re screwing yourself out of potential badass customers. Because what’s better than a reader? A writer-reader!

9. Get off Facebook, you addict!

“Could you hold on just a second?” (Me, to the cashier at the grocery store while checking my Facebook)

Seriously.

This could (and–UPDATE–it is, now) a whole ‘nother blog post. (Read it >HERE<)

Get the heck off Facebook! Platform shmatform!! What matters most is that you are not an asshat and you write a badass book. Facebook can be evil. I am not even sure if it’s a necessary evil for the writer yet. Or for humanity in general. Remember life before Facebook? When people actually talked, and went outside and things? Yes, I am aware everyone and their dog is on Facebook. But you wanna be a badass writer, right? Well get off Facebook and write! All right?

(ANOTHER UPDATE: Read about my leave of absence from Facebook >HERE<)

8. Read

So you wanna be a writer who doesn’t suck? Read read read read read READ. It’s important to be well-rounded in what you read and well-read if you want to write stuff worth reading. And not just in your genre, either. You write erotica? Read some classics. You write literary stuff? Read genre fic. Write children’s books? Read some erotica.

What?

It might do you some good to step into the adult realm and take a stay-cay every once in a while. *winks*

Which leads me to…

7. Take a break

Don’t burn yourself out. Though I firmly believe in following rule number one (below), there comes a time in every writer’s life when he/she must chose between throwing the laptop off of a very tall building and committing themselves to the nearest mental ward, or taking a break. It doesn’t have to be a long break. Even just a day can work wonders. Long enough for you to take a step back and see the whole picture. To remember why you write. (Here are 50 right >HERE<) To regenerate those creative juices that can dry up sometimes if we overwork the engine for too long, too hard.

6. Quit beating people over the head with your book cover

This branches off of #11. Sure, a certain amount of marketing is necessary for sales, but when you are whipping your cover out every chance you get and violating every slot you can fit it into, not only do people seriously consider calling security, but some may even sick Uncle Jeb on you for being such a violating, indecent asshat. Not everyone wants to see your cover ten times a day, whether it’s in different Facebook groups, or Twitter or whatever. People will get numb and jaded and tune you out, and unfollow or unfriend you. And they definitely won’t read your book if they feel violated and/or annoyed by it. Again I say, write an awesome book and be an awesome person (not an asshat), and you will find you will operate more on a level of attraction rather than promotion. People like people who are confident and talented, not needy, forceful, and annoyingly persistent. If you write it (and it’s fab), they will come. Keep the faith. Do the work. Keep the cover in your pants unless it’s concentual. 😉

5. For slop’s sake, quit taking yourself so damn seriously

Lighten up. Just because your book may not be doing as well as someone else’s, doesn’t mean you have to get grouchy and be a meanie. Or if your book is rockin’ and you become a self-righteous prick, a.k.a. asshat, because you are so awesome and everyone should bow to your insurmountable wordliness skills, so you turn your back on the little ants that you used to call your author friends…well that’s just uncool, man. See rule #11.

4. Take constructive criticism like a champ.

“Thank you, Sir, may I have another?”

These should be your words to most beta readers and critiquers. Yeah, sure, it can sting and you might have to rewrite. But how many authors out there are so scared to move into uncharted territory, that they cram cotton in their ears when you try to point out things they can work on? And they continue to produce work that isn’t up to par…. And do they not see their own reviews? This is baffling to me and makes me want to smoke cigarettes and contemplate existence.

How art thou so safe in thoust writing, that thou neverest hath the guts to improve? That ’tis the question.

3. Look at everything in your past, good and bad, as fiction fodder

You’ve been through some tough times, eh? Great! Use it as fuel. Put it in the book. Nothing makes all that stupid stuff we’ve done more worthwhile than turning it into an awesome book.

2. Don’t give up

Sleepless nights. Tears. Bad reviews. Plot holes. Rewrites. Endless hours in the editing cave.

I know, I’m trembling, too.

But this is where the rubber meets the road. This is how our character is molded. That’s where good books become great books, and authors become bestselling badasses.

1. And most importantly, the no-brainer is WRITE! Write every day.

The writer-mind is like any other muscle–it must be used constantly for it to be at 110%, which is where it needs to be for you to be totally awesome. Keep a “Don’t-break-the-chain” writing calendar if you are having trouble disciplining yourself. Mark a red “X” on every day that you write for at least five minutes. The truth is, once you sit down, five minutes may turn into ten, twenty, thirty, or an hour. You’ll soon find that time you thought you didn’t have to write, is in fact, there. You have to make time for what you love. Because:

“A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.”
― Franz Kafka

For real. There’s nothing worse than a creative person who is not being creative. Poor miserable little souls. 😦

So, to sum up:

Write the best book you can write and don’t be an asshat. The rest will fall into place.

Until next time, writerly souls…

Write on! 😀

 

UPDATE:

You can check out my books on Amazon here:

The Treemakers (YA Dystopian Scifi Romance) http://amzn.to/1H3tqFw

The Truth About Mud (YA Fantasy Adventure) http://amzn.to/1EoAme8

Group Hug!! (Thank You for 10,000 Views)

What-this-world-needs-is-a-group-hug

Just recently, I had the pleasure of watching the numbers on my blog flip over from 9,999 to the big 10,000. I am ashamed to admit how giddy it made me. Well, okay…maybe not so ashamed. But I did feel a little silly for getting so giddy. After all, most of those views (over 6,000 of them) came from one slightly-ranty and relatively smart-ass-y post that went semi-viral on New Year’s Eve 2014 (See that post HERE).

It’s funny how something like that goes viral, but the posts I would love to (like this one HERE), don’t. After 4,288 views of one post in one day, it is somewhat discouraging to write things that are truly from my heart, wishing more people would get to read them, but knowing that, unfortunately, what draws the most people are rant-sessions and throwing the “f” word around. Those of you who have been here with me since the beginning, know that I am quite partial to that word. In fact, my blog used to be littered with it. But alas, as I am a mother of four and a YA author, I figured it was time for me to use my big girl words and clean up my act.

Fuck.

There. I had to say it one last time before I put on my Saint-hat and chastity belt. I’ve been shopping thrift stores for old nun garb (shoot me a message if you have any you’d like to donate.)

Anywhoo. The point here is . . . um . . .

Oh yeah, the point is that this last six months of learning how to be a bloody blogging badass, has been one hell of a crazy, fulfilling, and sometimes insanely maddening experience. I have learned so much from all of you awesome people who actually take the time to read my words and comment. I’ve learned that I write things others actually enjoy reading, but more importantly, I’ve learned I have something to say. I write (mainly, here) about writing because it’s what makes my world go ’round. I’ve learned that sharing it with you makes me happy. And the cool thing? It makes some of you happy, too. 🙂

It’s not really the numbers that matter, though 10K views seemed like a good milestone–that clearing with the pretty blue flowers, halfway up the mountain, you know?–to take a moment to tell you all how grateful I am to be a part of this super cool club of introverted intellectuals. I love writers. And readers, well, heh heh . . . don’t get me started on the complete and total awesomness those guys are. Where would we writerly folk be without that precious breed of human there? Such a nasty, dirty, terrifying word…

UNREAD.

omg

Can you imagine? The darkness, the misery, the unthinkable hell that would be our forsaken lives?

So, thank you. For the total awesomness that is your writerly half, and the precious jewel that is you, the reader. I look forward to many cozy moments by the fire with you.

XOXOX

Until next time, writerly, readerly humans that I love so dearly,

Write on! ❤