It’s not that I don’t believe those who have gone before me or the ones that are successful right at this moment. Nor do I take the advice lightly. I don’t discard the advice without mulling it over…again and again and again. And finally, I am truly appreciative of that good advice. So why can’t I take it? Why do I rebel? Before I answer those questions, let me spell out the advice I don’t take:
- Avoid politics and religion when posting in social media.
- Avoid personal relationships with your readers.
- Work hard on increasing your mailing list.
- Develop a specific author brand.
- Don’t read reviews and for goodness sake, if you do, don’t acknowledge them.
- Stick with contemporary romance.
- Write tried and true plots with characters over 20 and under 40.
- Make your characters beautiful by conventional societal standards (whatever the heck that is).
- Don’t write about cheating.
There are times I try really hard to abide by the advice. But like the time I tried to squish my body into my bike shorts (my version of a girdle), that extra flesh popped out the top. The same happens when I try to toe the line. Pressure builds and I can’t control my urges. Sometimes I don’t want to hold back, other times when I do, it kills my passion and creates other issues like a flat story.
Politics is my biggest hurdle. I don’t even try to stuff a social media sock in my mouth. I posted on Facebook last week that I believe with every fiber of my being if I remain silent, I am part of the problem. I simply cannot do that.
I’ll be doing a panel for LCLC coming up in October on reading reviews. Full disclosure…I read them and thank those who take the time to write a review. For those who recommend we don’t read or acknowledge them, there are two main reasons: 1) To avoid feeling the sting of a bad review, which may discourage us from continuing to write; and 2) Puts the reviewer in an uncomfortable spot if the author responds. I’ve always believed it was rude not to acknowledge someone who has taken the time to leave a review because the bottom line is that reviews do help.
Ultimately it comes down to, I’ve simply got to be me and do the things that don’t make that extra skin pop out above the spandex. I like talking about politics and sharing stories from CNN. I have personal relationships with several readers where we exchange private messages or e-mail back and forth. I don’t work hard on any specific marketing plan because I hate marketing. Finally, I believe it is quite obvious I don’t stick with traditional contemporary romance or tried and true plots. Sometimes my characters are gasp…older, persons with a disability, not conventionally beautiful and on one occasion, a bigamist – the biggest cheater of all.
Now I’ve got that Sammy Davis Jr. song running in my head. I’ve Got to Be Me! I triple dog dare you to listen to this classic song and really tune into the words! They are epically awesome.
Wanna see how “being me” affects my writing, you know the drill….click the links below. One link I want y’all to pay special attention to is the link to sign up for My Lesfic.com a newsletter that gives you the inside track on lesfic/WLW special deals. This week, guess whose book is the first deal featured?
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