What I learned in 2013: I am not a widget

My books are actually doing well:

I haven’t been able to retire yet, but I just added up what I got from Amazon for 2013 from my book sales and it was about 87.00 bucks.   I made about 12 dollars in Smashwords (late entry over there).  I know that doesn’t sound like much, and maybe you wouldn’t brag about it, but for someone that can’t devote a lot of time or money in advertising I think it’s pretty amazing.  Bonus?  I checked my library book and it already has been checked out two times in the last few months since it arrived.  Somebody found it and decided that they would take it home!  Plus, Athine Verses: The Beginning is still in the top 10 free of several areas of Amazon and as of today it was #95 in short stories and anthologies.

Some people are just jerks:

I’ve sat back and watched a lot of things transpire this year.  I’ve had the good fortune to not really be too harshly affected by jerks.  I’ve mostly had issues with people that ask you to do things and then they don’t want to help you in return and forget you even are alive….but the main things I see are that as the internet grows and grows so do the bold jerks.  Cyber bullies seem to be all over these days just waiting for you to say or do something wrong.  I think some of these people must just live for the drama.  I’ve seen many people tormented over things this year and read stories about the harsh online attacks and “stalking”.  Advice?  Pick your battles and don’t feed the trolls.  It’s hard.  I know.  But when you are dealing with someone on the other side of a box, phone, email, website….it’s hard to make those kinds of bullies be quiet. Why?  Because right now the world just sees it as harmless words.  They can’t physically come “get you” through their computer.  And you can’t retaliate with more than words or cyber attacks.  It isn’t like they are right in front of  you with a shotgun.  Often it isn’t worth the fight to engage the trolls online.  I’m not saying don’t stand up for yourself, but really you have to pick your online battles carefully because the internet is forever.  Now real life?  That’s different.  Most people when faced with real life in front of you confrontation act different.  Why?  Because the consequences are more tangible.  You can just reach out and choke somebody that is mean to you face to face and really that is much easier than combating anonymous bullies.

It’s my blog and I will say what I want to:

I came to realize that my Blogger blog wasn’t cutting it for me as far as what I could do with it.  I was a complete WordPress novice in 2013, but with the amazing suggestion and hints of some good online friends I figured out I already had been paying a service provider that would let me host a self-hosted WordPress  site.  For awhile, I tried to think of an interesting theme and follow all the reindeer games to get followers and likes.  But I came to realize that I pay for this site.  I chose the domain name.  I had to figure out how to set it up.  It’s more than a webpage, it’s my “internet voice” because I finally can update things on a whim from a cell phone, computer, or my Chromebook.  So, it doesn’t have a theme.  Don’t like it?  Don’t think it will “help my career”.  Oh well.  I wasn’t looking for any advice on the matter, but I’d just like to remind you that you don’t foot the bill for the hosting nor do you have to come up with the content.  (Blogging is harder than it looks) I will host what I want.  I will occasionally get on my soapbox and scream my opinions.  I have the freedom of expression and speech, which I intend to use.  I may even expand out to random movie reviews or music reviews.  Cause it’s my blog and I will say what I want to 🙂

I am a bitch and I’m not sticking my head in the sand anymore:

Sometimes I write things on my blog and then wonder if it will “upset” people or be taken the wrong way.  Will people yell and pump their cyber fists in my face?  I used to worry about how my posts would be taken.  Not anymore.  Again…my blog, my house, my rules.  Nobody forces you to read my blog.  You don’t have to like my opinion.  I’m not going to be totally shitty, but I’m not going to tread on egg shells either.  If I write something that fires you up…well good.  It means you are still alive. You are not a widget.  If somebody takes one of my posts wrong or something I’ve said on the internet wrong….then goes and trashes my book/art or says I’m a horrible person…meh.  You can’t make everyone happy.  I used to collect reviews like fragile stars and cherished each one.  I would tip toe around and be nice everywhere so I could keep out of the “war” I was warned about.  Then some jerky people decided that because of my affiliations/thoughts/ideas/whatever to go and say bad things about me on the internet.  I was upset at the time it happened because I had only just begun into the world of “hey buy my book”.  It made me afraid at times to open my mouth in certain situations.  2013?  I woke up to reality. Fuck them.  If you are going to be a hater just to hate…to create controversy just to create it….act with less manners than a 5 y/o just because you think you have the right….well go right on and do it.  I’m not going to be scared anymore.  I won’t bury my head in the sand.  I don’t do it in my real life. I only became concerned with acting like “not me” when I started turning up the heat on my writing adventures.  When I wanted to be successful because that is what other people who were successful were telling me to do.  Not gonna happen anymore.  I’m just going to be me and you can either like me or not.  I’m not going to pretend to be something I’m not just to make things “peaceful”.  If you think that a book isn’t worth buying because the author is a “horrible person”…especially if you have never met them/interacted with them….well that has to make me wonder what kind of judge you would be for the book anyway.  I always read books for the stories.  If you were not Anne Rice, chances are I didn’t know who you were…nor did I care…..if your book looked interesting!

The sum of 2013?  I am not a widget.  I am a rebel:

What did I learn from 2013?  I have “too many irons in the fire”.  I put them there, but I am a one woman show for the most part and there are not enough hours in the day.  I do enjoy Klout, Facebook, G+, Twitter, etc…but I can’t let them take over my life.  What good is a blog if I don’t have time to write anything?  What good is being an author if I don’t write that next idea swimming in my head?  I have truly enjoyed my online and real life author groups, but I have to pull some of this back.  I have to focus.  I can’t be worried about tweeting every 5 minutes, posting to Facebook every 10, or doing a bunch of mindless stuff to “sell my book”.   So, I am going to stop trying to be like everyone else.  I’m going to start following my gut more.  What works for me may not work for you.  Your mileage may vary.  I’m not abandoning the stuff I did in 2013, but rather I’m going to worry a lot less about re-tweeting and screaming into the endless media stream.  At the start of the year I was so busy with tweeting and re-tweeting that I barely had time for anything else.  I, unfortunately, am one of those moody artists that have to be “inspired” to do my creative thing.   I can’t just say OK at 12:00 on Saturday I’m going to write for 2 hours and get my book done.  That just doesn’t work for me.  Yet, I am also the type of person that has to do their “work” before play.  I realized that I was tweeting and using all my free time to do the promote stuff online thing and I had no room for creativity.  It was leaving me with unspent creative energy.  Too much of that makes me cranky.  So for 2014, I’m going with my gut.  When I want to write a slew of really cool blog posts…I’m going to.  When I want to write on my novels…..I’m going to.   I’m not going to worry about doing anything that doesn’t feel right for my corner of the universe.

I can only hope that you will continue to stop by and read my meanderings…..whatever they maybe for the day 🙂  Happy New Year!

PS—my blog posts are going to get looooonger…..who says I have to keep it short?   That was a dumb piece of advice I took a few years back.


Commenting area

  1. Good for you Shannon. It’s your life, control it, It’s your blog , write it as and when you want but most of all BE YOU and you’ll at least enjoy yourself. If we can’t hack what you write about, we have our own options that start with the off button but we should be adult enough to be able to hold a differing opinion without getting childish.
    I hope 2014 is a Fantastic year for you.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

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