Escape the Madness

If you’re like me, you’ve had a difficult time these past few days. Maybe not because of who won the election necessarily, but because of the tension that seems to be everywhere we look. I want you first to know that I love and accept each and every one of you, no matter who you voted for, no matter how your beliefs, decisions, views, and pathways differ from my own. I fully embrace the diversity of my army of amazing readers, and I want you to know that you’re in a safe place here, with me. My hopes are that we can pull through this time as one, learn from each other, look past our differences, and lead our children, and our nation, toward a bright future, in whatever ways that may materialize.

That being said, I’d like to offer you a chance to breathe, take a step back, and get a small reprieve from the noise, the best way I know how. Reading is such an amazing way to relax, give our monkey brains a rest from the constant chatter up there, and treat ourselves to a mental vacation. I encourage you to breathe, love, and read your way into peace, and–of course–I’ve got plenty of free books to give you, so you don’t even have to spend a dime to do it. 😉

For 11 free Scifi and Fantasy books, click >HERE<

To shop from 70 free books from various genres, click >HERE<

Short Update:
The third book in my best selling Mature YA Dystopian Scifi “Treemakers Trilogy” is scheduled to release on December 3, but is now available for preorder at a 25% discount >HERE<
For a peek inside of book 3 of the Treemakers Trilogy, check out the trailer below. 🙂

Happy reading!
And don’t forget to breathe ❤
xo Christina L. Rozelle

Advertisements

From A Hopeless State

On this day 12 years ago I woke up and emerged from my dark cocoon for the first time. Behind me was a devastated past, leveled by the wake of my pain and rage, and my many addictions. I’d lost everything; my pride, my soul, my hope, my dreams, my dignity, and perhaps worst of all, my daughter.

I rolled out of a strange bed in a strange place and planted my bare feet on strange carpet. I took a sober breath, and there it was, in the soil of my sadness, a tiny green sprout of hope. The air smelled sweeter, and when I heard the birds outside of my window, they weren’t the machine gun melody I’d remembered from the days before. They sang a song of reassurance, of encouragement, and rebirth.

That day I made a decision: I’d open my heart to these people and let them help me. I’d admit that I was powerless over so many things, and I’d be willing to go to any lengths to get better. I wanted to learn how to live differently, to be happy, fulfilled, and high on life. I wanted to put the past behind me and start fresh, and I wanted, more than words could say, to have my little girl back, and to learn how to be a good mother.

It took many years and a lot of stumbles to get to where I am today. I’m so grateful that I got right back up and tried again those times I stumbled. I kept searching for the light, kept seeking my own truths, kept opening my mind and heart for ways to continue healing from a (mostly) self-induced traumatic past, and I kept forgiving myself (and others) for not being perfect. I learned to be true to myself and to follow my bliss, and eventually my path led me to the amazing life I lead today.

But when I say amazing, I don’t mean easy. I’m now a single parent of four children. The past I left behind is riddled with broken pieces. The financial abyss is one of nightmares, of which I’m sure many of you can relate. Finally finding the right therapy for my Borderline Personality Disorder helped me recover from a hopeless state of mind and body, but I still have BPD tendencies, and I still have weak moments that bring me to my knees in tears behind closed doors . . . My life is definitely not easy.

But I’m a mother today, and I’m showing my children the way. I’m a daughter my parents are proud of. I’m a loving sister and friend, a giver, an encourager, inspirer, survivor, and overcomer. I’m a beacon of light and hope for those lost in so many dark oceans. I’m proof that there is a way out, and that all is not as lost as it seems. I’m following my dreams and showing you that it is, indeed, possible to go through hell and come out of it alive, and not just alive, but actually living life.

Today I’m grateful for my past and see it as an asset, despite the immense pain, heartbreak, and turmoil there. Not only do I use it all to breathe life into my stories, which, in itself is very cathartic for me, but I also use it to relate to others who may be experiencing similar hells in their own lives. I use it to bear witness. I use it to guide, love, and understand my children as they grow into adults. I use it to remember to be grateful for all I have, to cherish every moment I get to experience life. Because today, I get to, when there were many times I thought I never would. But I do, I am, and I cherish every second because nothing is promised. Today is a gift to that shattered young girl who will forever reside in my heart, the one I once thought would never make it out alive. She did. And I’m so very glad she did. ❤

xoxo

Christina

It Began in NaNoWriMo: One Writer’s Debut Journey

As we approach the frothing mouth of the great NaNoWriMo, many of you are gearing up to spew those sexy words like machine gun wielding cheerleaders. Hell yes, game on! Sure, the peanut gallery is across the field bitching about how NaNoWriMo is a waste of time because you’ll have to rewrite everything anyway if you want it to be worth a damn, but get your game on anyway and plug cotton in your ears. Don’t listen to the naysayers. We’ve all got to learn what works best for us, and we can’t spend our lives letting others decide what we should or shouldn’t do. The truth is, YES, you will probably do some rewriting. But that doesn’t mean National Novel Writing Month is a waste of time. My self-publishing journey began in NaNo, and I’m happy to say I now have a novel I’m proud of that bounces around on the Amazon bestseller’s list from time to time, and currently sports 84 reviews and a 4.7 star average. Did I rewrite? Yep. Was NaNo a waste of time? Absolutely not.

I had a blast! I learned who my characters were and what I wanted my story to be, and I also learned a ton about myself as a writer. I learned that there is this frigging amazing community of writers out there, whom I have grown to love and adore tremendously.  But perhaps most important was learning that I can write every day, no matter what, despite the excuses I had let hold me back in the past. NaNoWriMo gave me my very first taste of being a word-slinging BADASS, and I spread my tattered Dystopian Scifi wings and soared into action. NaNo jump-started me there.

If you’d like to watch my journey, you can here:

If you’d like to check out reviews or purchase my NaNoWriMo-spawned debut novel, “The Treemakers,” (Mature YA Dystopian Scifi Horror) you can by clicking on the cover. 
UPDATED EBOOK COVER WITH TAGLINES

So, happy writing NaNoWriMos!! You can do it!! And here’s a nifty little calendar I found for making sure you hit that daily goal. Good luck!!

2015_nano_calendar___tardis_by_margie22-d98fgll

And as always,

Write on ❤

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

Don’t Water Yourself Down

It’s the home-stretch for publication of “The Treemakers,” my YA Dystopian/Sci-fi, and I’ve been super squirrelly. This is a special kind of limbo. Admittedly, yes, it is a fabulous problem to have, a complex, beautiful conglomeration of fears, hopes, and worst-case-scenarios, replaying in my mind continually. Yes, most of these fears are irrational, but being new at all of this, it’s easy to run with them, not yet having seen the actual outcome of publication. Here are a few:

What if everyone hates it?

What if I’m delusional and it’s not really as good as I think it is?

What if people are just being nice to me when they say [fill in blank]?

How will I handle bad reviews?

What happens when friends, family, and others read this story and it doesn’t meet their expectations?

What if I let everyone down?

What if I am not successful?

There are likely hundreds, if not thousands more fears writers share when faced with putting their work in the hands of the masses. For me, I’m thinking, “I labored over this for a year, scrapped 103K words and started over from scratch. I put my heart and soul, both the dark and light of me, all into this, and if it falls flat, maybe I’ll fall flat, too….”

Truth be told, there are a ton of themes/events in “The Treemakers” that can–and will, probably–make certain people uncomfortable. I’ve doubted myself over the past few days, afraid that people, particularly, ones I know personally, might raise an eyebrow and wonder WTH I was thinking. Also, it has been quite nerve-wracking waiting for word back from my advanced reader/reviewers that may never come. They may hate it. They may not even finish reading it.

BUT.

I saw this meme yesterday and it gave me an “AHA!” moment.

Don't water yourself Down

How on Earth could I ever please EVERYONE? It’s not possible. I told the story that was in me to tell, leaving out nothing, and that’s the best I could ever do. Be true to myself.

Coming from a bleak past into the light where I am today has given me a unique viewpoint from which to tell a story. This is why I enjoy writing and reading fiction that shines a light in the dark, is fearless, honest, makes me feel, provokes thought, and pushes the limits. I pull very few punches, because I believe the punches are where the magic’s at.

It’s when we are faced with life’s toughest trials that we are given the opportunity to rise above and shine brighter, and brighter, and brighter still. Yes, at times things get dark in my fictional worlds—as in reality—but there is always that inherent hope and light, urging, yearning, pushing onward.

So, no. I will not be watering myself down because others can’t handle me. I’ve seen some sh*t, have had experiences in my life others could never imagine, or have only seen in movies. I have been near-death and seen death. I’ve been dangerously close to permanently losing my children, have struggled with psychological malfunction, and addictions of all sorts. And I have overcome. (With help, of course. 😉 )

Though those themes aren’t blatant in “The Treemakers,” the quest for love, strength, freedom from bondage, the yearning to rise above and fly up from the rubble–it’s all there. I can’t help but write that, it’s what I know. It’s me. And I can’t water down or sugar coat me or my fiction out of fear that there are people out there who won’t like it.

The fact is, my life is a miracle. I should not be sitting here writing this to you right now with children watching Sunday morning cartoons in the background, and a toddler continuing to bring me random items from around the house because mommy’s at the computer and that means it’s time to bug her now. 🙂

Most people who experience the bleak past I came from lose their children, end up in prison, or dead. The number of people who actually make it out, heal, grow, get their children back, and THEN go on to be any sort of successful, is so small, it’s super sad.

That being said, of course there will be themes in my fiction that make people uncomfortable. But the gift I have to offer is that on the other side of that there will be hope, discoveries, redemption, justice, and magic. Because on the other side of even the darkest night, there is always the precious, living dawn.

So, as I wait patiently these next ten days, in hopes that my fictional baby will do well, I also have to let go and have faith. And move on to the next project. Letting go is difficult, but it has to be done. I’ve done my part.

I hope that you will not water yourself down, either. If we worry too much about what is “right” or “acceptable,” or what everyone else is doing, we are selling ourselves short. This is why I believe so many writers are unhappy in their craft. Maybe they’re afraid to dig too deep, unearthing the story inherent in their soul that begs to be told. It can be scary. It can be very uncomfortable. It can dredge up all sorts of emotional baggage. But it’s so cathartic, and extremely fulfilling, like scratching an itch that has pleaded for relief, once it is written, it is seen, heard, validated.

Be true to yourselves and your stories. Tell the story that begs to be told. Don’t worry so much about what everyone else will think or what everyone else is doing. Do your own thing. Your readership will find you, and they will love you for this. These are the things I will continue to remind myself over the next few days, as those fears try to creep in and cast shadows on this glorious moment. Because this is no easy feat. Writing and self-publishing a novel that you’ve worked on for a year is something to be proud of and excited about.

So, let’s do that. Focus on the positive.

To thine own self be true.

Until next time,

Write on! ❤

***UPDATE 11/13/15*** The Treemakers is now an Amazon Bestseller! And you can one-click it right here for currently only .99: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B015DC4Q5E/

Book 2, “The Soultakers,” will release 12/3/15, and you can check out early reviews on Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26206748-the-soultakers

Because I Can’t Not Do It (or… Why I Write)

einstein-imagination-book-10hj8iv

That is the short, simple answer. The question was brought to me along with the nomination to partake in a blog-hop, in which the topic is “Why I Write.” Thank you,  >Bexy McFly< , for thinking of me 🙂

When I first started brainstorming on what I thought would be a very simplistic, possibly boring blog post, I realized that in this simple question, lies the very marrow of my own existence. In contemplating the question, I once again realized how much writing means to me, and just how important it is in my life.

I’d like to do something a little different. Being a fairly new blogger (this blog will turn one year-old in December), I’ve seen some things from other bloggers whom I adore, which I would like to encompass in my own space. I’d like to make this blog more interactive, which will allow me to get to know you better, as well as allow you the opportunity to connect with other, like-minded individuals.

To start, I want to involve you in this post. After you check out Why I Write, I invite you to write your own compilation of reasons of “Why I Write” on your own blog or website and link back here in the comments below. I’m excited to see what you have to say. 🙂 You may do this at anytime–there is no time restriction on this.

So, without further ado, I present to you, ten reasons why I write:

#10. Because all the other cheap jobs were sold-out  😉

Truth be told, I suck at jobs. I don’t know how many I’ve had over the years… fifty, sixty? I lost count years ago. There were those ten years as a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ (rhymes with bad tipper…?) which we won’t talk about because I wouldn’t want to spoil the future novel that will be inspired by that time. But before and after and mixed sporadically throughout those years were a plethora of other job “mishaps.” There were the hangovers early mornings (4am to be exact) at the donut shop in Worcester, MA in the dead of winter…2 weeks. There was the night shift at the gas station… I mean, who wouldn’t lock the door and sneak to the carwash to smoke a joint every morning at 4:20 am, right? Then there were the bookstores, where I met my first husband, and later, his replacement… the ice cream shop where the bathroom seemed like a nice place to “enjoy” another employee… while on the clock… Um, yeah. So, as you see… I’ve had to shop the clearance aisle on jobs for a long time.

It took years to discover a few truths: a. I had various problems that led to my plethora of job “mishaps” (which have been addressed and arrested) and b. Everything that has happened in my life up to this point has been fiction-fodder. I was always meant to write. Which brings me to…

#9. Because it’s the only thing I do really well . . . minus rocking handcuffs. (Seriously, I make them look good.) 

My entire life has been a series of broken promises and things started and not finished. High school and later, college, failed marriages, abandoned projects, dreams, plans, goals, etc. One thing that screwed me up was I always thought “just being a writer” wasn’t good enough–or the flip side of that–“I’m not good enough to just be a writer–” I spent years searching for where I fit into the grand scheme of things. And failing, always failing. Most of my life, I believed I was a failure. As a friend, a wife, a daughter, a mother… a human being in general. Writing was the only constant in my life, from the time I was fourteen years old. I have tons of journals, loaded with depressing and drunken bad writing, but there were times when those journals were literally my only friend. Writing itself saved my life more times than I can count. Because if I took my own life, then who would be left to write about it?

I once thought I was going to be a chick boxer. (Laugh it up, I have a mean left hook headed your way), except I got drunk one night and landed a DWI, a breathalyzer-refusal got me a suspended license, and I ended up in jail for a while. Long enough for me to realize I was going in the wrong direction, as I replayed over and over again what I slurred to the nice officer who escorted me to jail:

Me: “I’m a writer, ya know….”

Him: *Raises an eyebrow* *glances at me in rearview mirror* *nods*

Me: “I’m gonna write a book one day. And juss ta show you I’m *burp* I’m not pistet you fer takin me ta jail . . . .I’ll let you bein my book…”

Him: *Raises an eyebrow* *glances at me in rearview mirror* *nods*

Me: “It’s gonna be a besssellar, ya know…”

So, there you have it. Be on the lookout for a future book with Officer So and So squeezed in somewhere. 🙂

It has been a long hard dark dark road, but I see the light now and I’m standing in it, walking in it, dancing, and even singing in it. Writing is what I’m supposed to do now and forevermore. There is not a spec of doubt in my mind about this.

#8. Because if I don’t give my brain some programs to operate continuously in the background of my life, it wants to make up fictional stories and create drama in my real life

and

#7. Because if I don’t, I’ll be spending way too much time at those free government psychiatric hospitals

I honestly believe that when a highly creative person hasn’t yet figured out how to direct his creativity in a positive manner, or with the correct “hobby” (I know, I hate that word, too, sorry), or stifles it purposefully for whatever reason, then that creative energy will find other means of expressing itself. Like a dog or even a child who seeks out negative attention if they don’t receive positive, encouraging and affirmative attention, creative energy will intertwine itself around whatever it can get its hands on. Mine was in the form of attracting drama and bad relationships and codependency into my life. Only when I discovered and wholly accepted who I really was–a complete word nerd–did I begin to grow into a healthy, happy human being. Yes, it also took therapy, but after being on tons of meds for twenty years, suffering from serious depression for half my life, I am now medication-free. Let me reiterate. I am a formerly drug and alcohol addicted writer who does not drink or do drugs, or take prescription medications (prescribed to me or otherwise), and no longer even smokes cigarettes. These days, if I go too long without writing, fiction, in particular, I honestly feel like I’m going batshit crazy. For me today, writing is my medication for happy living.

#6. Because I am a closet narcissist, and love to indulge in the awesomness of my written creations

Come on, who doesn’t love to stroke their own ego by rereading a really awesome line/para/chapter/post a few times over? Granted, I’ll probably look at it in a year and think it totally SUCKS, but hey, right now, it’s the bomb!

#5. I wanted to be a rockstar, but I can’t sing worth a damn

and

#4. I also wanted to be an artist, but we all know the REAL money lies in being a writer . . . . right?WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING

I was in choir for 11 years and always loved art. I’m decent at singing and a little better at art, but only when I focused on writing did I see how they all kind of tied in together for me, especially when I decided to go indie and also do my own cover. And listening to different types of music (without words) in headphones, during different scenes, actually totally puts me there. Lately, I’ve been listening to “Invincible Radio” on Pandora. I love it because there are a lot of darker film scores that go awesome with my dystopian/sci-fi/horror debut YA novel, The Tree Makers (out this fall.) (Come on, I had to throw my plug in there 😀 )

#3. Because I get to sit on my ass all day and eat chocolate and drink coffee

Does this really need an explanation?

Can I get an Amen?

#2. Because the voices in my head tell me to

I see dead people. They talk to me and tell me to do things….

*clears throat*

What I mean is, my characters talk to me, even when I’m not writing. Or new ones come along and beg to be written. Something in my life will trigger a thought that says, “Oooh . . . he would say that,” or “She would do that. The bitch . . . .”

There’s that nagging inside me, as I’m sure is inside every storyteller that is like thousands of voices from beyond the grave, begging for their stories to be told. If it’s not we that tell their story  **GASP** then who will?

#1. . . . . See blog title

Now that I know to my core who I am and what makes me operate, I know that to withhold this gift, would not only be detrimental to my growth and wellbeing as a human and a writer, it would also be keeping my light from the world. No one can write like me. No one can put words together in just the way I do, and that is special. Same as you. We all have a way of being in the world and with our writing that only we can be. Let’s be that. Let’s not hold it back.

Let that light shine!

So, there you have it! If you haven’t already, and you’d like to read more inspiring writer crap, you may do so by clicking >HERE<

What about you? Why on Earth do you write? Speak your mind in the comments below. 🙂

 

Take care of you ❤

And Write On!

 

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

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