Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Yes, we know we suck.

I suck at social media. I suck at being social period, so that shouldn't surprise me. I'm a writer, and that means I am broke. I try not to SPAM too much, I know that's annoying. And I try to provide as much free entertainment (blogs, music, stories, etc) as I can to make up for the spammage.
I'm a word guy. I don't get numbers, engines, facebooks ... I literally just the other day realized that it shows you when there are updates in the groups on the left (always wondered what those numbers were).
I have a request. If you enjoy my blog (, please follow it. A lot of people read it, but only 60 actually follow it. If you enjoy my work, please buy a book. If you've read one, please review it, even if you hated it. It helps and that's my income. I have given away thousands of books. Seriously.
Bear with me for one more second. I know a lot of writers on and offline. Some are not as successful as I am (woah, that's rough). Many are more successful. That's irrelevant. I want to speak to the stupid, selfish (seeming) things we do on this internet machine.
Being a writer is a weird gig. Akin to being in a band when you're starting out. You NEED money, but the 5 people who will actually show up and say your name at the door want to be on the guest list and you put them on it because they CAME. But then you make no money. We're dealing with a larger scope and different arena here, but the game is the same.
You would never ask the guy at Starbucks for a free coffee. You tell everyone you know about the great new restaurant they HAVE to try. Writers live and die by word of mouth and loyalty and reviews and people who understand that mere benevolence doesn't keep the gas on.
Even amongst OURSELVES, we are disgusted by the incessant marketing that all of us (some go WAY too far) have to do. I swear, when I am not WAY below the poverty line, I will shut the hell up. Until then, I will try to provide a lot of entertainment for free. I do a weekly column that some folks like. I post a lot of stories. There are several albums online, if you like music. They're free. And they took/take time.
It's not just writers. Working in the arts (that made me feel funny) is hard. If you like to read good stuff, you need to forgive writers their foibles and support the ones you like. Same with musicians, film makers, crafters, etc.
I appreciate the support I get, and the help (sharing stories, telling friends, etc) more than I can ever express, but I also need to feed my girls. It's a hard balance. I don't want to spam FB or twitter, but I have to from time to time and I REALLY try and make up for it by providing at least a few pieces for free every week. When I'm selling mad books, I'll PAY for proper ads, I promise.
I just thought it would be beneficial to everyone if someone finally said this. You know a painter? They deal with the same stuff. 'Do a quick sketch of my kid?' Of course! They'll do it. And I might ask. I'd probably buy something too, though or slip 'em a fiver. I pay for the TV shows I watch on Hulu by watching the same commercial over and over. I pay for what I eat, wear, and enjoy in my free time because everyone needs to make a living.
Please forgive those of us who take to social media brandishing wares. Please appreciate that a lot of us try to make up for it in other ways. Community can be defined many ways, but support your community whatever it is! Leave a comment on the blogs you read. Reach out to artists you respect, they will probably be stoked. Go to the art show that's a 'long drive' away. Take the time to look at the picture, story, page instead of blindly clicking 'like'.
I'm not tech savvy. I'm stumbling through the internet trying to make friends, make no enemies, tell some stories, and also sell some books. There are a lot of folks like me and they don't all write. The same rules apply. If you love something, you need to support it or it will die. You love your kids? Feed em. Water your plants. Change your oil. And support the photographers /artists /writers /bookstores /bands /sculptors, etc. who enrich your life so they can keep doing it.
This has been a public service announcement. Feel free to share it - I think it's important.