Tag Archives: social networking

The writing life is like Family Court, only Family Court was more fun

This blog post was inspired by Vaughn Roycroft’s post What Building My House Taught Me About Writing.

In Vaughn’s post he said: “Writing a book is a big undertaking. Are there projects from your past that prepared you for your writing journey? Building our house was one of mine.”

For some odd, screwed-up reason, I thought of all the years I spent in Family Court, mostly at the behest of my screwed-up ex. You should have seen our file. Or rather, files. If I sneezed in the ex’s direction, he hauled me back into court.

And, yeah, I would say that my multi-year Family Court project prepared me for this writing life. Though none of my writing friends has pointed a shotgun in my face, smashed my 35mm camera with a hammer, or slashed my favorite dress with a razor blade. Not yet.

Wonderful people

There were some wonderful people in Family Court. People that helped me. People that commiserated with me. People that held my hand while I cried on their shoulder. Writing is exactly like that when you have the awesome writing friends like I have.

Funny in a bad-sort-of-way people

I met a few funny people in Family Court. Mostly in the waiting areas. If you observe long enough (and if you are waiting to see a judge, you’ll wait a long time), you can discover who is glaring at what ex. And who should be approached with caution!  Same goes for the writing life.

Outrageous fakery

Some witnesses tell the most outrageous lies and literally made me laugh out loud. You really shouldn’t laugh in front of a judge. If you watch people and their campaigns on Facebook or Twitter and see what they post over and over, you know what I mean.

No matter what you do, there will be one person out to get you

You can be nice, give of yourself, and make sacrifices, and there is one special person who would prefer to eat you up and spit you out. Doesn’t matter what you do, there will be that “one person.”

Egos

People that fight for attention – nearly every post or tweet is about them, their book, their Fan Page! There are people who think self-promotion is the ticket to gather favor in the court (or in writing and publishing). But they are really just stroking their egos.

Liars

Mostly my ex, who lied to get what he wanted. But also a couple of his witnesses. Just like writing – a smattering of people are here for their own gain while the bulk of people are here for the good of the babies, our stories.

Struggle and giving it up for a friend

Every freaking little bit of Family Court was a struggle. You want the love seat, too? Then you’ll have to give up the coffee table. You want the birthday weekend? Then you’ll have to give up Thanksgiving weekend. If you see a friend in need, give it up and help out! You can get back to your own baby tomorrow.

The paperwork is endless

It’s writing letter after letter (blog after blog, query after query); social networking; saving critical blog posts for a rainy day; saving information on e-pubbing for the “I’m-ready-to-publish” day; developing meaningful relationships with people that are helpful and really believe you; waiting for good news or bad news to come in the mailbox.

Stories, Family Court has a million of them

Some stories go on and on when you would like to chop them to bits with a butcher knife. Or a machete. Yeah, a machete.

***

Thanks, Vaughn Roycroft, for the inspiration.

In the sixth grade, Vaughn’s teacher gave him a copy of The Hobbit, sparking a lifelong passion for reading and history. After college, life intervened. Vaughn spent twenty years building a successful business before his return to writing. Now he spends his days polishing his epic fantasy trilogy.

Connect with Vaughn on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to read Vaughn’s What Building My House Taught Me About Writing.

***

What arduous projects prepared you for the writing life? Did you expect the writing life to be so tough?

Photos, Photobucket – Reactionkc26, Ylva51, Byrdeth

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Filed under Blogging, Branding & Platform, Personal Articles, Social Networking

Karen’s Blog Survey Results

I asked you to participate in a blog survey a few weeks ago, Karen’s blog feedback survey and name a Sock Monkey! 

You had to make a comment on the blog to be entered in a random drawing. The winner of The Hunger Games boxed trilogy is Tonia Marie Harris!

Tonia Marie was a guest on my blog during Romance Week with In a Heartbeat. Tonia Marie is a mother, writer, poet, and blogger who “procrastinates in her spare time.” Tonia is working on a YA ghost story and exploring self-publishing vs. the traditional market. See Tonia Marie’s wonderful blog, PassionFind. You can see Tonia Marie on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Blog survey results

Overall, I think I’m doing okay. The very positive feedback was mostly in the 70+ percentile, the positive feedback often took me to 100%.

Questions and responses

FYI, I have rounded the percentages to the closest whole number.

Do you enjoy the theme weeks like Fright Week, December Holidays Week, Romance Week, North Dakota Week? 73% liked, 18 % said okay. One person said stop. One person commented, “Haven’t read all but what I did I liked.”

Do you enjoy the posts from creative professionals like musicians, artists, book cover designers, and photographers? 67% said yes and would like to see more, 25% said they were okay, one person said not so much.

Are you enjoying the Editor Spotlight series and would you like to see more? 67% said yes, 33% said they were okay. Comments included, “I think it is a correct balance right now … more? No,” and “Not too often, but they’ve all been excellent.”

Do you enjoy the bulk of my guest bloggers? 50% yes, I like the guest bloggers and have found these posts helpful in connecting with awesome new people, 50% yeah, guest bloggers are okay. One comment, “I like a balance with more from you than guests.” (I had been thinking that I was maybe having too many guest bloggers. I’m going to remedy that and write more myself.)

Have you found value in the blogs on writing, inspiration, writer’s block, and general publishing stuff? Split 50/50 under responses, yes, very helpful and yes, usually helpful, I learn a thing or two.

Do you find value in the blogs about social networking like FB, Twitter, and LinkedIn? 33% said very helpful, 42% said I sometimes learn a thing or two, and 25% said yeah, okay, but the market is already too flooded with social networking. (I have had my say – for now – on social networking, so won’t bug you too much with those any time soon!)

Do you find value in the blogs about word origins, language, grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary? 75% said yes, 25% said somewhat. I had two additional comments – “I love to learn more about language” and the other “LOVE THIS!!!”

Do you find my blog easy to navigate and leave comments? 83% responded, yes very easy, mostly easy got 17%. One additional comment was “Google+ button doesn’t let me add a comment (I use Chrome).”

Sock Monkey names  

Jo-Jo

Scary Possessed Ape J

Bobby

Curious Abraham

Mr. Marbles

Somkey

Rupert

Bippy Muffin

Woolis Lamb

Lorenzo St. Simian

I am partial to Lorenzo St. Simian!

Blogs you like

Question #10 asked you to share other blogs you liked. I thought if a subscriber likes it, then I should share the love. The quoted material is from your comments.

Ordinary Courage by Dr. Brené Brown. “She sticks to her theme and always provides food for thought.”  http://www.ordinarycourage.com

August McLauglin – health, fitness, eating disorders and nutrition http://www.augustmclaughlin.com and blog  http://augustmclaughlin.wordpress.com. “post variety, life topics.”

“Barbara Swafford has a blog that she has named “Blogging Without a Blog.” She usually writes once a week on a topic and asks a specific question related to her post, as you do. I follow it because it is very user friendly. She receives a lot of comments from readers who answer her questions.” http://bloggingwithoutablog.com

Joanne Gaskill’s blog. “Because it contains parenting tips, shares a bit of her life, and her journalism career.” http://www.bloggymoms.com and http://www.bloggymoms.com/profiles/blog/list

Descent Into Slushland, Brian Taylor. http://descentintoslushland.wordpress.com. “He’s a new writer on the scene-fresh, honest, and fun material.”

http://www.37days.com. “Patti Digh has been a friend & an inspiration for over 5 years now, and she lays the bread crumb trail!”

Indies Unlimited. Celebrating independent authors. “So many contributors with information, humour and support.” http://www.indiesunlimited.com

Kana Tyler’s, Kana’s Chronicles. “Witty, touching, fun, and very informative re both writing and just living in the Big Bad World.” http://kanatyler.com

So, there ya have it

For those who participated in the survey and made comments – Thank you so much! If you didn’t do the survey, feel free to comment now.

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Filed under Blogging, Guest Writers & Bloggers, Social Networking