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Monday, March 02, 2015

About My Experiment in Internet Power...

Yes. I'm guilty of trying to start a viral sensation this past weekend. I'll be honest with you--it started out as a tongue-in-cheek comment about getting 5000 copies of Unfolding Life sold in 3 days. But then my mindset changed when I started getting more public and private encouragement and support than I expected.

Before I ever tweeted and posted on other social media, I really did do the math: selling 5000 copies directly from Createspace would have given me a year's salary in one month (Note: by "a year's salary" I'm talking about just above the poverty line for my state. Most other places would have landed me under that line). Selling 5000 paperback copies from Amazon would have given me the chance to get out of the hole that I dug myself into the last couple of months and get relocated anywhere in the continental United States. And selling 5000 digital copies of the book would have helped catch up, but probably not enough to relocate on my ridiculously stringent and nearly impossible timetable. A mixture of sales would have left me somewhere in between all of these scenarios. This is just a little information for those who are still on the fence about indie authors and throwing support their way. It does make a difference.

Did my little experiment end up working? Of course not. Do you know what I had to compete with? With all the stir about #thedress and #llamadrama, the passing of Leonard Nimoy and then the discovery of the other dress, the idea that I would get buzz about my book didn't stand a chance. I very well could have done a hostile takeover of any or all of these hashtags for my own benefit, but I hate when people do that. Then I got the idea that I should use a clever hashtag for my promos, but I quickly realized that #5kin3days was already taken and had absolutely nothing to do with book sales.

Still, I tried. I asked for support. You don't get what you don't ask for, so I don't regret it. I may look like a fool to a lot of people, but so what? I'm a fool. At least I'm a fool who still has the capability of dreaming.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Let's Write the Winter Blues Away

The sun was out today, but it's like eight degrees outside and we're all still surrounded by snow. I want out. Not just out of the Midwest, but out of winter. I'm done with it. I will gladly trade in my snow boots for spring dresses and my winter hat for... well, anything else not winter related. 

Enough complaining though. Compared to the Big Picture, I'm still immensely grateful for everything else. Even on the days I feel totally lost, I can still spend my day writing. The one-year anniversary (I'm deeming it a publish-aversary from now on) for Unfolding Life is coming up and I've been working on a series of posts about that for next month. I seriously can't believe it's getting close to being a year since I first embarked on that journey. Crazy, crazy times.

Even with all this work I managed to get that grant application in on time. I've got my fingers crossed until the recipient is announced in April. And there's no slowing down either--a lot of literary journals have their submission periods closing this week, so I'm getting everything organized to send out tonight and tomorrow. I don't care how much I tell myself at the end of the every night that all this unpaid and unappreciated work isn't worth it. I still wake up each morning believing that it is, and that's all that counts.

What are you working on this week?

Monday, February 09, 2015

The Ups and Downs of Mondays

I watched the Grammys last night and I'm pretty sure I'll never make that mistake again. I could go on for hours, but I'll just say these two things: when Jeff Lynne is on stage, YOU STAND UP. And no one turns off Paul's mic. NO ONE. And these weren't even the issues that anyone thought were controversies... I mean really. This made me regret not switching the channel to Sister Wives.

Five versions of the same song--this is love.
At least my mail carrier loves to brighten my day. Three packages came, all of which have contents that were totally free or paid for with gift cards (don't want anyone to think I'm just pretending to be poor!).


Seriously, the highlight of my Monday. I've been able to add to my vinyl collection and I received another Influenster VoxBox. As always, if you want to read more about the products from this box, please visit Showered in Beauty over the coming days and weeks for reviews, photos and other fun stuff.

Products provided free from Influenster for testing.

In terms of writing, I found another social media site that may be worth checking out. It's called Biosgraphy and is looks like a great place for personal essays and photo essays. In fact, I'm currently working on something to post into my Thank You/It's All Your Fault biog. Stayed tuned for that.

I think I may be giving up on Tsu--because of the potential to earn money, no one on that site is interested in making a genuine connection. Pity, because there are some great people over there. They just need to stop concentrating on the pennies that the site divvies out.

Aside from hanging out on social media, I have been working on that grant application I mentioned last week and revising the heck out of a few pieces so I can get them out by the end of February. Still looking for gainful employment as well, but I'm not to the point where I'm lowering my standards. I have to believe that I'll be my authentic self in my job, and nothing that's quick or easy to get has been the right fit yet. Although, if you talk to me again in a week that may change. ;-)

Monday, February 02, 2015

Back to Reality

I know I've been absent from the blog. It doesn't have to do with lack of time or ideas to write about. I just couldn't bring myself to write a blog post without putting a negative spin on it. I don't feel like the world needs any more negativity, so instead of opening my mouth (technologically speaking) I just stayed quiet. Then I realized that if I'm being real and giving the world my experience on life as a writer, negativity will inevitably be a part of it. So advanced warning: this post is in no way uplifting. There. Let's continue.

You know how happy I was that I had the motivation and the determination to make 2015 great? That's not quite how I feel anymore. I turned right back into a realist once I hit the end of the first full work week in January. That's when work starts up again from its holiday slump, only it didn't come back this time. At least not enough of it came back to get myself where I need to be to start thinking of the future instead of wallowing in the present anxiety. The work I do have is more long term, which means I'll wait weeks or months instead of days for a payout. 

I also spent a lot of time contemplating one of those regular jobs again. Hey, time is something I have plenty of anyway. There are some writing related jobs that I know qualify for, but with weather and all of the other things that like to block my path, traveling for an interview could end up being a huge waste of time and money. Of course, I could just be using all of these excuses to hide the fact that I haven't put myself out there in a good long while and I'm just a little nervous to do it. As long as the listings are still up, I'll try to talk myself into taking a real chance.

And about those local jobs--you know what those are, and they give me a lot of anxiety just thinking about them. Customer service is not my forte. I feel like I'm belittled enough in my life without having to deal with it for part-time minimum wage.

That doesn't mean that any of this has stifled my creativity. That's still running a mile a minute. I have tons of ideas, but because the guilt set in again, I haven't strapped myself to the computer to finish them. Then again, I have a list of places to submit to this week including an application for a small writing grant. So at least I'll be keeping myself busy until I can find some answers. I'll probably be so busy trying to figure out a path that I'll forget I'm supposed to be angry and bitter about Valentine's Day. Sweet!

Monday, January 05, 2015

Starting the New Year Off Right

Some days it just hits me. There are so many ideas in my brain that they can't be contained any longer. Since the 1st I have written half of a short story, a new novel outline and I'm about ready to tackle another previously planned novel outline. I also managed to squeeze in a couple hours of revision. A lot is getting done, so I'm way more optimistic about this year than I thought I would be. Write on, people. Write on.

Since this is the first post on TSW of the New Year, it's also time to do a little roundup for those who are just joining us. First, I want to let everyone know that I love connecting with other writers and creative people all over social media. I know everyone has a favorite platform, and some of you already follow me on a few of them. I don't do a whole lot of cross-posting, so if you want to follow all of my accounts, here's a rundown of where I'm at:


Twitter:
My freelance life in 140 characters.


Facebook:
As you can see, a big 2015 goal of mine is to get more Facebook likes so I can access my analytics.


Google+:
I'm here, but not every day.
 

Instagram:
I love photography. Some are weird, some are fun and some are just me. Enjoy.


Tsu:
A relatively new social media site. If you are a writer, artist or musician I definitely recommend signing up. This is a great way to gain exposure and Tsu lets you earn ad revenue share off your posts.



And I may also have a little haiku book out there you may have heard of called Unfolding Life. If you don't already have a copy, check it out.

In the coming year I hope to publish more, so stay tuned of all of that good stuff.