Social Life

Since I began to write as more than a hobby I’ve been told you have to ‘have a online presence’, ‘the days of the reclusive writer are over’, ‘Myspace is where it’s at’. Only some of that turned out to be true. To start my online presence I joined Myspace and every other social media I could type my name in. before long I had my name in everything and was coming up for plans on how to make each account different from the next.

Then reality set in.

There was clearly too much to do. We’re given 24 hours in a day and some of that time needs to be spent on writing. Like actually writing. Who could imagine such a thing? But how are you going to do that when you’re spreading yourself thin on multiple platforms?

Quotes_Creator_20180311_111630.png

In the past couple of weeks I’ve been seeing the mass exodus of Instagram users to a new platform called Vero. the familiar sensation to follow suit and not be left behind…then I thought better of it.

I’m not saying that I’m a hero, but when the call arose I stood up and said no.

I’ve learned that if something is the next best thing or the Facebook killer chances are it’s not. Remember Ello? How about Google+? Heck, even I don’t remember Peach. These things come and go. And by the time you learn how to build a brand on there it’s dead and you haven’t written a thing.

It’s true that the time of the reclusive writer is over and social media can have you connect with so many amazing people from across the world. If it weren’t for social media I wouldn’t be on this blog. But it has to be used responsibly.

As a writer it’s your job to, well, you know, write. If social media is hampering that then remove it. At the very least make your social media work for you. For myself my Facebook posts to my Twitter. My Instagram posts to my to my author page and my Tumblr. And my blog posts everywhere. That’s kind of it for me. Three main social media outlets that I use sparing throughout the day. With what few hours I have this works for me. What works for me won’t necessarily work for everyone but the issue is in finding your own balance. Whatever your social media outlets may be just remember to write, write, write! Also if you join a new site read the terms. This Vero thing keeps your posts as their own, along with some other very shady stuff.

Until next time have a writeous day!

_______________________

Matt Williams is an avid reader, a collector of many pens, an ever improving father of two, and an all-around fanboy. When he’s not wrestling with cats or building the inkslayer army you can find him hunkered down writing something imaginative. You can read his first book Beyond Here, a middle grade story involving a coma and a singing flower with a bent stem, along with a few projects with his other daughter. Follow him on Facebook and Instagram.

Allow Room for Some Praise

Perhaps this post is just for me. It happens sometimes where you have several ideas rolling about in your head, but that one you keep ignoring keeps fighting until you submit. What’s been nagging at me is the fact that I can’t receive positive feedback. Calm down, I can hear your eye rolls but hear me out.

Recently I had my evaluation at work. Nothing special just a job I’ve been at for the past nineteen years. There’s never been an issue performance wise, in honesty I wanted to speed through so I could get back to work and go home. This year we have a new president at our job and a new manager. We went through the whole rigmarole before the part came to manager notes and president notes. Usually it’s nothing other than keep working hard. On this occasion I got rave reviews on my work ethic from my manager and the president who I only met three times. I was, for the first time in my life, finally able to accurately emote being gobsmacked.

Quotes_Creator_20180210_130107.png

But in spite of that I sat there and said “Oh, okay…can I go back to work?” I kicked myself later for not letting a bit more gratitude show. Afterwards though I looked back at my life and realize I usually default to not accepting the darn compliment or believing something good is going to come.

So what the heck does this have to do with writing? When you put yourself out there you leave yourself open to rejection, to hurt, to negativity. I think any writer or creative person you have to build up a thick skin, to portray that everything is fine when in actuality you want to scream or cry. I spent several years trying to get my book Beyond Here traditionally published. There were a lot of times where I questioned the purpose of writing. Through all the rejection it was hard to hear that it was worth putting it out into the world. All I heard was the negative and my thick skin wouldn’t allow any praise to come through.

What I’m trying to say is: keep going. Roadblocks and tribulations will come, but along the way there are paths of stability to give you respite. Breathe in these times. Take it all in. Don’t allow your tough skin to push you out of the life you want, from creating what you were meant to create. Taking in that positive feedback here and then can be that spark to light your way when things seem dark. Just keep going and trust in you.

Until next time have a writeous day!

_____________________________________________

Matt Williams is an avid reader, a collector of many pens, an ever improving father of two, and an all-around fanboy. When he’s not wrestling with cats or building the inkslayer army you can find him hunkered down writing something imaginative. You can read his first book Beyond Here, a middle grade story involving a coma and a singing flower with a bent stem, along with a few projects with his other daughter. Follow him on Facebook and Instagram.

Know Your Value

Recently I was talking to my daughter when she brought up how she was asked to do an art piece and how there was a kerfuffle when my daughter brought up payment. It was expected to be done for free because “well, it’s just art.” That because it was an artistic endeavor it didn’t mean anything. I was proud of her for holding to her stance of not just giving out work unless she feels genuinely moved to do so. And that got me to think about value. There’s value in what you create, even if you aren’t a mega success, you created something. It goes beyond just dollar signs. Plenty is put into your creation which cannot be accounted for.

“Time is more value than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” -Jim Rohn

You spend time plotting. You spend time outlining, researching, and actually writing. Then there’s more time invested in cover selection, creating or updating your website, etc… Your time goes beyond just writing and it shows in the finished product. Don’t let anyone diminish that by convincing you to undersell your work.

Quotes_Creator_20180107_183304.png

“This is the key to time management – to see the value of every moment.” -Menachem Mendel Schneerson

Time daydreaming is time well spent. Drifting off into space where your imagination takes over to have you creating new worlds where foxes are moon men who desperately want to get to Earth to gather enough honey to fuel their Cosmo Cannon is well worth it. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.” -Henry David Thoreau

When I published my book I had so many people come up to me or message me over social media to be there to support me. But as with the situation my daughter encountered, more than a few wanted free copies. Uh…no. I don’t come to work for free, and writing IS WORK! You’re purchasing a piece of the author (let’s not forget the cover artist, editor, etc) when you get a book. Aren’t they worth something? Giveaways are fine or giving a copy to a reputable blog or someone with solid connections, but just putting time and money down to just pass it out like gum? I think not.

“Every job from the heart is, ultimately, of equal value. The nurse injects the syringe; the writer slides the pen; the farmer plows the dirt; the comedian draws the laughter. Monetary income is the perfect deceiver of a man’s true worth.”
-Criss Jami

Don’t let sales or lack of them change who you are. To change the core of who you are for fame does no good for anyone. Stay true to who you are. Cherish and value your true self at all costs.

Trust in yourself, love what you do, and make you know your value even if others don’t. Until next time have a writeous day!

_______________________

Matt Williams is an avid reader, a collector of many pens, an ever improving father of two, and an all-around fanboy. When he’s not wrestling with cats or a long commute you can find him hunkered down writing something imaginative. He’s working on publishing his first book Beyond Here, a middle grade story involving a coma and a singing flower with a bent stem sometime in 2016, along with a few projects with his other daughter.

The Human Revision

Revision is a necessary evil when it comes to writing. You plow through the rough draft only to edit and revise until what you started with is barely recognizable, but considerably better. We have to do this for the betterment of the story, the craft. Yet do we do the same with ourselves?

Renewal is great for the soul and the body making for a better you. A better you makes for a better writer. Don’t wait for the new year. A new beginning can start at any time. Here are a few ways to renew yourself for the betterment of you.

Quotes_Creator_20171211_092925.png

Breathe

Find time in your day, even if it’s a small moment, that’s just for you. Sit in the car before work and jam out to a song you love, lay claim to the shower for ten minutes when you get home, grab a cup of coffee from a local coffee shop. Something. Anything that is just for you! Reconnect with you.

Break Away From Normal

It’s easy to fall into habits to the point where if one thing falls out of place your whole day is ruined. But let’s turn that around. Let a little change be for the good. If you read romance take a stroll down fantasy lane. Try a show you never would have tried before. Shop at a different store. Doing one new thing can help rewire your mind and help you look at your writing in a new way.

Meditate

Relax and empty your mind. Find a quote or have an ideal to focus on throughout the day. Create your safe space in your head and carry it with you through the trials of the day.

Choose Your Happiness

Choose to be happy and make it so. Easy to say but happiness is totally a decision. And one that is certainly better than the alternative.

So as Christmas is around the corner (at the time of this writing) remember the best gift you can give to others and yourself is a better you. Renew yourself daily. Revise who you are until your story is perfected. Until next time have a writeous day!

16 Quotes to Get Over the Hump

Happy NaNoWriMo everyone! At the time of this posting it will be nearly the halfway mark of the competition. For those who are participating perhaps a little roadblock has popped up. The dreaded wall, much like the one’s runners face when doing a marathon. It’s okay. It happens to us all, even when not pumping out 50000 words in a month. For you I have 16 Quotes from those in the kingdom of PublishedAuthoria to help you along the way for the rest of the month.

Quotes_Creator_20171112_193953.png

People say, ‘What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?’ I say, they don’t really need advice, they know they want to be writers, and they’re gonna do it. Those people who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it. —R.L. Stine

It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly. — C. J. Cherryh

The nearest I have to a rule is a Post-it on the wall in front of my desk saying “Faire et se taire” (Flaubert), which I translate for myself as “Shut up and get on with it.— Helen Simpson

Find your best time of the day for writing and write. Don’t let anything else interfere. Afterwards it won’t matter to you that the kitchen is a mess. — Esther Freud

It’s not always about writing more words or drinking more coffee. Sometimes getting to the end of a novel simply takes remembering that the world is more complicated than we know, and then sticking some of those complications into the story. –Scott Westerfeld

Don’t worry about what you’re writing or whether it’s good or even whether it makes sense. –Lauren Oliver

A word after a word after a word is power. –Margaret Atwood

Write the kind of story you would like to read. People will give you all sorts of advice about writing, but if you are not writing something you like, no one else will like it either. – Meg Cabot

Write. No amount of self-inflicted misery, altered states, black pullovers or being publicly obnoxious will ever add up to your being a writer. Writers write. On you go.  — Al Kennedy

Don’t just plan to write — write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.  — PD James

You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.  — Jack London

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.  — Louis L’Amour

Write while the heat is in you. … The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with.” — Henry David Thoreau

Keep writing. Try to do a little bit every day, even if the result looks like crap. Getting from page four to page five is more important than spending three weeks getting page four perfect. –Alan Dean Foster

You have to finish things — that’s what you learn from, you learn by finishing things. –Neil Gaiman

Keep a small can of WD-40 on your desk — away from any open flames — to remind yourself that if you don’t write daily, you will get rusty.” — George Singleton

Until next time have a writeous day and happy word hunting!

_______________________

Matt Williams is an avid reader, a collector of many pens, an ever improving father of two, and an all-around fanboy. When he’s not wrestling with cats or a long commute you can find him hunkered down writing something imaginative. He’s working on publishing his first book Beyond Here, a middle grade story involving a coma and a singing flower with a bent stem sometime in 2016, along with a few projects with his other daughter.

Dream Big {ish}

Dream big.

For most of my life this has been instilled in me. I was raised to dream and work hard to make it happen. When grow up in a destitute area such as Chester, PA you need dreams and writing became my escape from reality. When you dream (well, at least I dream) you reach for more, the impossible seems more tangible. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming…it’s the waking up that sucks.

A few months ago I released my first novel into the world. After the years it took to finally hit that PUBLISH button my mind had come up with a million and one scenarios as to how my release day would go. I dreamed big or as big as my non-existent budget would allow. Release day came and…#101,000 in Kindle sales. For me that was sweet. A debut, self published author with no budget almost cracking into the 100,000s was awesome…then I started to obsess over the number.

Needless to say I allowed the Amazon algorithm to get in my head, to define me as writer as that number I had been so proud of plummeted hour by hour, day by day. Being competitive it was hard not to take that as a sign of how awful I was. But it has nothing to do with your skill. It certainly doesn’t reflect how hard you work to put out something you’re proud of.

What you can do at this moment when you bucket holding your confidence is punctured is take a step back. Take notice. See what worked for you. Was it advertising? Was it blog work? For me it was word of mouth and the little snippets offered up on Instagram. For my next release I’ll hit these harder as well as trying different avenues that I wasn’t able to the first time. This wasn’t a failure, just a learning experience.

Quotes_Creator_20170928_143450.png

Another learning experience was recognizing my competitive nature was not helping. Checking my ranking on and off left me stagnant. There’s still the rest of my series to get out. Watching the chart did not put words on the paper. I had to step back and let it go. Queen Elsa was right. Let it go! If it’s not supporting your craft let it go.

Keep dreaming big. Shoot for the stars. If things don’t go how you planned…Switch up! Learn from your stumbling blocks. Until next time have a writeous day!

_______________________

Matt Williams is an avid reader, a collector of many pens, an ever improving father of two, and an all-around fanboy. When he’s not wrestling with cats or a long commute you can find him hunkered down writing something imaginative. He’s working on publishing his first book Beyond Here, a middle grade story involving a coma and a singing flower with a bent stem sometime in 2016, along with a few projects with his other daughter.

 

Spending Your Energy Wisely

It’s easy to find yourself pulled in many directions. In a multimedia/ social media world you can get swept up in the flood of news and information. Face it, politics, weather, justice, memes, family issues, etc are a part of our everyday and there’s no way to escape it all. With that being known what do you focus on?

Recently my girlfriend and I were discussing the DACA situation and it came up that she found herself unable to write for a couple of days because she was spending a good amount of time and energy on it. When she said this I thought about the art of Judo where you use your opponent’s energy to your advantage. You make the already spent energy do the work for you as opposed to expelling your own to little or no effect. The worldly energy of information overload will be there, but there are ways to manage them.

Quotes_Creator_20170910_120122.png

The Post and Go

Each morning I do a positive message on my Facebook and Instagram. This mostly happens right before I clock in to work. Ten minutes tops. This is a set aside moment in the day where I post something and leave it be until I can respond later, usually a fifteen minute break towards the afternoon. I used to be a FB junkie, refreshing my app to see who said what, but I had to evaluate if that was helping me in the long run. Short answer no. Long answer still no. The internet will be there later. Right now there is work to do.

I’m Fine With My Two Cents

You’ve seen them. Maybe you’ve posted a few. You know, the landmines. That thing or topic you’re passionate about where you can’t understand how everyone else doesn’t feel like you. There are those people who can skillfully continue to scroll past them, yet there are plenty of others who can’t and wind up spending the day trying to defend their stance. Does this help you? Is your writing getting completed? If you had all day to argue with strangers to no avail you could have put that same energy into your manuscript. Just say no to landmines.

My Phone Makes A Great Paperweight

On my phone I have one game. I know myself. The more games I have I would need to play them to completion or until I got the high score. Hours of productivity would come to nothing in the end. Instead invest in an app like Forest that can block out your notifications. What you don’t know can’t hurt you. And what you don’t see on your home screen can’t suck your life away.

Schedule. Schedule. Schedule.

Take an honest look at your day to see where you spend your time. Prioritize what you need out of your day and stick to it. It may seem tedious but scheduling your day can become a life saver, well at least a productivity saver in the grand scheme of things. You’ll also see where time can be better utilized to write, research topics in this ever changing world, and possibly  (gasp) when you can have fun and socialize.

Social Media Vacation

Whether it’s a week, two weeks, a month or longer, if you know you can’t resist the siren song of the internet remove yourself from it. There’s no shame in it. I know several people who make a habit of doing so every couple of months or so. Leave a little message saying your plans (seriously, don’t just vanish. That’s rude) and take some time off. The world won’t end tomorrow if you remove yourself for a bit.

These are a few ways in which I or people around me have gotten themselves back into the writing flow in the social media world. What ideas have I missed? Until next time have a writeous day!

_______________________

Matt Williams is an avid reader, a collector of many pens, an ever improving father of two, and an all-around fanboy. When he’s not wrestling with cats or a long commute you can find him hunkered down writing something imaginative. He’s working on publishing his first book Beyond Here, a middle grade story involving a coma and a singing flower with a bent stem sometime in 2016, along with a few projects with his other daughter.