Monthly Archives: March 2015

Should you chase ‘likes’ and ‘followers’

More than once I have hit the publish button for my blog and seconds later my inbox shows a ‘like’. It is impossible to read that fast. It is as if that person wants me to like them back or follow their blog. I have gotten the impression over time that many bloggers and tweeters want to be liked. It is a chase for numbers that somehow justifies their social media presence, that makes them feel popular.

I don’t have that problem. Here is why.

I am accustomed to being disliked. In my high school yearbook I was voted Most Likely to be Forgotten. They showed my picture, but not my name beneath it. The Prom was held on a secret night as girls were afraid I would ask them to be my prom date. I was a running back on the football team. I never carried the ball the entire season. And I was the starter.

My family had a dog and cat. I tried to play Frisbee with the dog, but he grabbed it out of my hand, and got the cat to play with him. The cat thought my bed was a liter box. Especially when I was sleeping in it. Speaking of family my sister told everyone she was an only child. After high school my parents moved, not just to another town, but to another state. They left no forwarding address. I sent friend requests on Facebook to aunts, uncles, and cousins. I never heard from them.

I tried going to church, but the minister told me it wouldn’t do me any good. I tried joining a writing group, but they disbanded after one meeting though they had been together twelve years and all of them were published. In fact they quit writing period. As a child I was exposed to the bubonic plague virus. It didn’t take. I had an imaginary girlfriend who, when she broke up with me, said “Get real!” 

Some people have a fear of success. Not only do I share that fear, I have a fear of being liked.

Of course I can’t stop you from liking this blog. Nor can I prevent you from following this blog, or the other two I write. But I am not going to chase numbers. I will try to be sociable, like it or not.

My e-novels which you may not like are found at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Terry-Nelson/e/B00EEVHN38

 

 

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The heartbreak of blogging

It is not so much heartbreak as frustration, confusion, and all that jazz.

If you’re a writer first, a blogger second, you understand you want your voice to be heard, you want a response, to be understood, to make a point, to entertain. You want to communicate and writing, for writers, is easier than blabbing because you’re always interrupted in conversation and when interrupted you lose your focus. Writers are better at writing. If they were better at talking they would be public speakers. Writers are not interrupted when they write, except from mewing cats or barking dogs. And they can wait. So you write. 

So here is the part that never ceases to amaze me. I am sure if you are a writer you have experienced the following. You have a great idea for a blog, you write what you think is a great one. Writing is crisp and sharp; the wit hitting the right brain cells in the reader, your point clear and precise, the entertainment value solid. You think you have a catchy headline to draw people in.

The result is that you have few click, few likes, no comments.

Then you write some piece of dog do and you get lots of hits, lots of likes, lots of comments. What?

Could it be that you as a writer have no idea what good writing is? Could it be your readers are . . . well I won’t go there.

The point is you never know what will catch readers, Internet surfers, and sign holding freeloaders at exit ramps.

There is in all us bloggers and writers the desire for approval and acceptance. We have to be honest about that. We want respect for our intelligence, our insight, our powers of persuasion, our sense of humor, our good looks, our sexual prowess, our Q scores, and other dreams that can’t come true. So we continue to blog.

I continue to write e-books. I continue to blog. Why? I have no Q score.

And I will continue on occasion write a good blog that few will read. And I will continue to ask What?

E-books anyone? http://www.amazon.com/Terry-Nelson/e/B00EEVHN38

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Are these reasons why your book was rejected by publishers

Every writer get rejected. You either continue to submit queries or you quit. The third choice is to go Indie and self publish either in print or in digital e-books.

In a recent blog from Anne B. Allen and Ruth Harris some reasons I had not thought of were given. Agents want to make money, but first and foremost I think they want to make publishers happy by getting them the type of books they want, whether you story is well written or not.

But anyway here is the link to her blog. It is worth the read. The ten reasons come from an editor by the way. Reasons 4, 5, 7 and 9 are my favorites. You just never know.

http://annerallen.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-10-real-reasons-your-book-was.html

 

 

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How my biggest flaw affects my writing

Here is a list of books that all have one thing in common: Walter Johnson-Baseball’s Big Train; Willie Mays-The Life the Legend; Jane Fonda-My Life So Far; Making Movies by Sidney Lumet; I remember Nothing by Nora Ephron; Tinsel Town by William J. Mann; 2666 by Roberto Bolano; Clouds over the Goalpost by Lew Freedman; Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck; Winter Moon by Dean Koontz; and If I Never Get Back by Darryl Brock. These books plus the Kindle version of Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas and a collection of locked room mysteries add to thirteen books. (If I counted correctly).

As you can see they represent a wide range of interest-baseball, football, biography, movies, popular fiction, and literary fiction. What they have in common is they are books I have started, am currently reading, but have failed to finish.

Honest.

It’s sad I suppose, but let me explain. All the books are well written, all are interesting, but my problem is I want to read everything all at once. I also have other books I could start, but am trying to hold off. I do know I will finish Brock’s novel first as I am hooked on it for personal reasons. I will finish all the above, but probably other books will get read before some of those unfinished ones.

In addition to wanting to read everything at once-and I always seem to remember everything once I get back into the book-I believe my character flaw is that I like the journey better than endings. I love beginnings, get engrossed in the journey, but don’t want the journey to end. Perhaps it is because an end is like a death and I enjoy the living journey. Endings in fiction are better than real life, but I have this psychological issue that has come with aging.

This affects my writing in a negative way. It means I love to start a book, getting things going, then I slow down because I hate to end my story. The book I am currently writing should have been done months ago, but I find reasons-excuses-to not finish. Some reasons are good. A friend of mine was dying so I made two trips to see him before he passed. Other excuses are doing things that you tell yourself are important, but aren’t.

In truth I want to finish my book so I can start another. And despite what I just said I do like to finish my books. I am inconsistent in my thinking, being a flawed human you see.

But I have finished two e-novels and a collection of short stories so I know I can get it done. And I absolutely loved the endings of my stories.

If you want some endings my Amazon page for my e-books are found here: http://www.amazon.com/Terry-Nelson/e/B00EEVHN38

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You can’t help who you are-even in your writing

There is a desire within myself to be a more literary writer, whether D.H. Lawrence, John Steinbeck, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Phillip Roth, John Updike, or any of a hundred or so others. There are great writers in each generation, so many to choose from. But it is not my nature. I can’t write that way, trying to do so would end in failure.

Just as Stephen King and Dean Koontz can not help but write the stories they do, neither can I.

Two reviews I have had on Amazon both refer to my Hollywood noir style in Loonies in Hollywood, an e-novel about the murder of silent film director William Desmond Taylor. It is a fictional account of a true story and my character, Chet Koski, solves the murder . . .sort of. (I know I am ending a sentence with a preposition, something we have been told not to do, but that rule is disappearing, the reason being it makes no sense-not ending the sentence with a preposition, but the rule itself.

But I digress; and it is fun to do at times, so there.

Back to the point. In my two e-novels I inject the stories with humor because I see the looniness of situations, of people, of life. It is not ridicule, but you can look at life and all the bad things and let it drag you down, or you can see the silliness at times. Just as they say ‘You are what you eat,’  so it is true that you are what you write.

Even in my collection of short stories that is in the horror genre, one reviewer said they are Twilight-Zone stories, and I can not help myself ; I must inject humor in some of the stories. Notice I said some. There are stories without humor, so I can do it. But then again they are not literature. If I could write a short story it would be “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner. It is one of the best short stories written.

So I am stuck being me, am stuck eating what I eat, and stuck writing what I write. I am a prisoner to myself. I am loony and I can live with it. My advice to other writers is to write who you are. After all, you can’t help being you, so relish who you are.

My Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Terry-Nelson/e/B00EEVHN38

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Political correctness, censorship and easily offended whiners-a must read blog

I read a recent blog from Anne R. Allen about her experiences with complaints from her readers. She writes a blog on writing and I was surprised how easily offended people can be. Rather than me telling you here is a link to the blog. It is important not only for writers but for everyone.

http://annerallen.blogspot.com/2015/03/artistic-freedom-vs-crowdsourcing.html

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