The Use of Social Media

To start today’s blog, I’d like to share a few pictures.

Taken in July 2020.
Taken today…

That is not fog, smog or clouds of any kind. This is smoke from the fires on the west coast of the United States. Which means have hunkered down with the windows and doors closed. That crap is not good for the lungs. I just hope for rain. Both here and down there.

Onto the topic.

Doing a simple google search, I see places like Facebook and Twitter being called the most wretched hive of scum and villainy. While this may be true, there are advantages to setting up a social media account and making use of it. I talk to authors of different calibers. I talk to those who are big names, to those still trying to write their first manuscript. While the subject doesn’t come up often, I have heard of some (mainly those just starting out) who will not touch social media, or if they have it, they refuse to let anyone in.

I find this mindset problematic for many reasons. The first is it closes off the creative from the wider community. Writing is a lonely occupation spending hours by yourself hoping people will look at it, let along read it.

By being involved in the greater community, it’s obvious the writer is not alone. There are thousands of people all trying to do the same thing. While many see them as competitors, they are more like comrades in the same word trenches you are. They experience similar events in their journey. Most are more than willing to talk about their process. These lessons are vital. Growing up as one of five kids, I learned many lessons from my siblings mistakes. Usually by making note of the idiocy they did and not doing it myself. In the creative community, learning from others allows you to jump forward in the journey.

The next is fans. For those starting out, this is probably the last thing on their mind. But its important.

I’ll bring you to the Galaxy’s Edge Universe. (There website is: ) These have all the tropes movies like Star Wars started, but the authors of this series sought to write sci-fi stories the way they were meant to be made. These stories may not have taken off, except the authors were on social media.

People wanted to hang out, ask questions, and get inside scoops. People have an innate need to belong somewhere. Humans will go out of our way to find the social group we belong with. When we are not with that group, we feel excessive anxiety and stress. This is the reason workers went to the pub after work in the 1800s. That was where they had their people. We have the internet. When we find we have the same likes as others, we gather. Look up the, I Love Lucy Conventions. They have been going since 1996. As a creative being on the internet and social media, even if it’s only on a professional level.

The last is networking. The saying goes, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” This is one of the least understood statement of human history. In school and in the horrors of the real world, they teach people to write resumes. When employers look at resumes, they are names (if they even have that.) The art of networking is hidden, out of sight and unknown. By being on social media and talking to other authors, you hear about opportunities. An author friend of mine got excited about the storming Area 51 meme. Produced an anthology about what would happen when people stormed it. He needed stories to be submitted in three weeks. This is much shorter than anyone ever does. But he needed the time. He asked me if I wanted to submit. This gave me the opportunity to submit. There was not a public call for stories.

If I had not immersed myself into social media, I would not have heard about the project. I could not have submitted. I did, and they selected my story. That was not the only project social media has given me access to. There have been others with more opportunities down the pipe. Some don’t turn into anything, while others do.

This journey is not something I can do alone. It takes support from many people for it to become a reality. The easiest way is to visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. They are available in all countries and for free in Kindle Unlimited. I have a tip jar set up at Ko-Fe, where you can buy me a coffee. Or you can also visit me on Facebook. Your help and support are much appreciated.

Ramblings: 6 ways being Anxious about your Novel is incorrect.

Everyone feels anxiety. I comes to each of us differently. Some of us feel scared by circumstances. The fear of the unknown is very common to a lot of people. Change does too. All of this can cause anxiety. When you know change is coming, but you are unsure how it is going to change things or how you are going to be able to enact that change.

How you overcome that anxiety says a lot about your character. Some people can handle it better than others. Some can roll with the situation, while others get chocked up by it.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t judge people that have anxiety issues. I have them too. I get anxious about the unknown and change. I have to plan and then plan some more. I talk able the different options that are available. I do research on options that may or may not be possible. It is how I handle my anxiety.

The important thing to do is to recognize that you have a problem and to figure out a way to overcome that problem. Which is a tall order. I understand.

What brought this one?

I am apart of a couple Facebook writing groups and there was one guy on the site that had a friend that was holding an idea of hers to her chest and wouldn’t tell many people about it from fear that it will be stolen.

I understand that mentality. I was there at one point in my writing life. At the time I was suffering bad from anxiety and fear. I felt self-conscious that my writing was no good and if someone were to read my work that they would ridicule me and tell me that my writing was no good. I though that if they heard my idea that they would take it , use it, there work would be better than mine and then they would get all the glory for such a wonderful idea that I had come up with.

There is a couple problems with that concept.

First. Ideas aren’t copy-writable. Anyone can write an novel with any idea out there and it is fine. It is the execution that is copy-writable.

Second. In order to get your work better, the work needs to get read by someone that you don’t know. Someone that will be honest and tell you more than it is good. You need to suck it up, and hear the things that you may not want to hear about your project. Sometimes the truth hurts.

Third. By reaching to fear in this defensive way, you are letting the anxiety control you. Anxiety is not the boss. You are.Fear needs to be confronted and overcome. Libraries worth of books are written on this subject.

Four. Beginning writers always suck. Period. Writing is hard. Drawing is hard. Graphic design is hard. Any creative pursuits worth going after is hard. It takes hours and hours of work to be able to get your art to an advanced level. Refer to my blog post about my full opinion on the word talent. Here is a link.

Five. Nothing is original. All stories, movies, art has been done before and will be done may times after you are done. It is a fact of the creative life. You can’t get away from it. Avatar is from Pocahontas and the story of Moses. Star wars is a heroes journey. Like Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit was a take on the Authurian legend.

Six. If you disagree with me about the no ideas point. Look at this. We are being surrounded and pummeled to death with media. Youtube, radio, tv, movies. Everything that we get bombarded by can potentially inspire us. You read the news about a heist. Two years later you are writing a novel about one, that has been inspired by it. For those that are creatively minded, these ideas sink into our psyche to resonate until we can use them. They are there underneath the surface. Waiting to strike. They are not original. Sometimes the ideas that you get are cliche and bad. But that is a story for next time.


Late night blurb: Progress as a writer

So the novel that I am pushing to get published was written eight years ago. It has been edited a half dozen times. It is about a group of friends and strangers and there experiences of what happens when technology fails to a solar storm.

I have written another novel that I wrote for the latest NaNoWriMo. I posted a small sample of it in an earlier blog post. I printed it out and I am now reading through the story. I am on page 73 of 264. This book is ten times better than the rag that I wrote before.

They are both disaster stories.

They are both about surviving the end of the world as they know it.

This story gives me hope. Hope that I am actually getting better and not just speaking out my ass in these blog posts and on facebook. I read the novel, and while there was and is some plot holes, weak dialogue and over all spelling errors that need to be filled and fixed. The story itself is not bad. It is interesting. I am excited.

Until next time.