Weekly Ramble #118

I’m warming to the idea of starting a Patreon for my writing and self help social media guides. My overall ambition is to make writing my primary occupation and this year has proven that I can take strides from this being a hobby to something much more serious. From having 10,000 people download one of my books in a single day to exceeding that same number in follows over on Twitter, maybe it is time to monetise my content.

Of course the concept of monetising isn’t just about me. I intend to very much make it worthwhile for my patrons by rewarding them not just with content but hopefully other stuff like social media shout-outs, guidance, and even author spotlight stuff on here – a place where I know book folks and good readers are. And this won’t be monetising all content all the time – there is value in our words and with the right following it can be perceived that way.

Something seems to have aligned quite well with the content I create and the readers who appreciate it. You can see for yourself the plethora of social media, blogging and author guides I’ve put together over on the resources page to back that up. Not only do I have content, but a following who appreciates it and this is only ever going to be a career option if I take strides towards setting it up for that. By no means is this a cash grab because as I said there will be incentives for supporters that I will work for so to me, this is merely an opportunity for my words to support themselves and seeing that I have the infrastructure, perhaps Patreon is the way forward.

Already I have a content plan – much of the stuff you have become used to seeing on here will remain on here but will most probably premiere on my Patreon first. I’m committed to creating content that helps others and so the idea would be to make my Patreon an intimate way of passing on knowledge not just through posts but with perhaps one on one coaching – this will all depend on the level of membership available. I am also envisioning to release exclusive fiction stuff to patrons as a further reward for their support. Watch this space.

IG Interview with Emma Jean

Today I would like to share with you all a recent interview I did with Instagram Superstar and fellow author Emma Jean. I had a lot of fun talking about social media, authoring and of course Consistent Creative Content. For anyone who wanted to know me a little better or to get an insight into Emma’s awesome content then do check it out.

Click on the graphic below for the link via Instagram.

Via Instagram Emma Jean Author

Weekly Ramble #117

I’ve been sitting on this post for a while and now I feel ready to let it out because over the years of being a published author, on my own back, I have come to realise there is nothing worse than gate keeping. As my profile has grown on social media a certain portion of folks in the same industry as me have very obviously not appreciated that growth or successthere aren’t that many of them because the mute button is a wonderful thing but as a reader of tenure and a writer who knows dialogue, I can tell through those words and interactions you have on social media that your stance is of old bullshit gatekeeping. Old words as I call them and I call myself New words. This isn’t an age thing but more of a ‘I’ve been around longer than you so I am entitled’ type of deal.

Anyone who works hard and keeps going deserves success that should not be governed by anything other than that work and yes that may sound na├»ve to an extent but that is how I have got to this point along with wonderful support on here and across social media. I’m loud and proud about all the good things I have achieved because there have been more crap days than good. I have always tried to embrace the good and block out the bad with my ‘carry on regardless attitude’ and for it I have reached that success.

When I do share that success with an aim to help or at least inspire, there are normally two reactions.

‘That’s awesome, thanks for sharing, I’m glad to see someone doing better than they were yesterday’

Or and looking at me down their nose ‘How did you do that? I tried all the things you do and get nowhere near the success you’ve had.’

That’s because you’re an asshole and I’m not. Sometimes on here I will just lay it out plainly. This is my patch and I’ll treat it that way. My core philosophy is to support and help others on their writing journey while trying to carve my own path to some success. More importantly I am open to anyone being successful in writing regardless of who they are as long as they work hard and have manners. It sometimes isn’t what you do or say it is how you do or say it – execution.

In the arts and in many other places, gatekeeping is unfortunately rife. For some weird reason it has always been who you are that defines your success and not what you produce – something I will always try to fight. In the literary world particularly I near enough every day see some snooty literary wannabe type looking down their nose at those who might not appear to fit within their ‘standards’ or the ‘standards’ that have been around since the dinosaurs ruled the earth. Art is supposed to be interpreted by the individual so let that interpretation happen.

You can tell by my tone that this is quite an emotionally charged subject but it hasn’t been motivated by anything in particular I just see quite often folks appear to look down on me or have to question things – whether it is jealousy or the fact I am more successful than them without a single literary qualification, although I have nothing against anyone who has studied in the field of English/Literature or anyone who has been around longer than me. Perhaps it just ruffles their feathers but you cannot beat a good attitude and hard work over time – that will always always win. I don’t sit within any group or clique in particular, I’m a lone wolf just doing my own thing just comparing myself to yesterday’s version of me. You’ll find me supporting books and art that gatekeepers try to shoot down because if I can find something in that art which I enjoy, then that is enough. Those that do follow me on here and around the socials are mostly decent and none of this is aimed at you. I write one spicy ramble a year and this is that one.

I long for a day where the art and the art alone will do the talking. Being ‘someone’ should not be the sole reason why an artist has success.

Don’t take this personally but I probably won’t be approving any comments on this post, as I said, my patch.

Weekly Ramble #116

Since 2018 I have read and reviewed 120 independently published books. The pillar that holds my authoring and blogging brand together is reviewing other authors books and to begin with it drew some very favourable results – blog follows, new readers, author friends and even sales for my own works. Those things drove me initially because they are good things for me but then I realised slowly that I wasn’t just doing this for me.

While I would never ever consider myself some kind of hero for reviewing books, I now do it for greater reasons than just personal gain because in all walks of writing it’s the ‘everything else’ after that makes this whole thing worthwhile. Some of these things can come unexpectedly and that might be the true power of writing. Over those years and books reviewed I’ve forged a level of trust from you and from a wider social media following all driven by a desire to make authoring and writing better. As independents in this social media age we are representing future generations of wordsmiths who will enter this arena someday, an arena where gatekeeping is slowing diminishing, it will probably never go away fully but we can at least improve things. Amazon have given anyone a platform to publish, but it is our responsibility to make sure it is represented well. These days you don’t have to be ‘someone’ to get any type of acclaim in writing. While agents and big publishers look to hold on to how things were, times are changing for the better. Anyone who has written something can now be successful instead of someone else deciding that.

Authors reviewing fellow authors books makes the indie scene better for everyone. I have said time and time again that reviewing others’ works will also help you but don’t expect a direct return, don’t feel entitled because you reviewed a book and want something back because ultimately what you’ve done will benefit us all – you’ve made this journey better for everyone.

Weekly Ramble #115

A new month means new opportunity. June was a grind and the obligatory ‘slow month after a book release’ type of month for me. This year is disappearing quickly but this blog is growing in followers. To those who have recently followed this humble blogging effort – thank you. I’m not great at previewing or short-term planning because much of my creativity is put together on the fly but I’ve got some good things coming this month.

You can expect to be reading a brand new book promotion results post quite soon as the last weekend of June was my semi-sucessful super fun happy book discount. A few more reviews have already come in for my that discounted book Consistent Creative Content – thank you!

I also have 2 Reedsy Discovery Reviews and most probably a look back at some recent ‘Reedsy Discovery Reads’ – I’ve been reviewing books with them for a year now and have discovered some awesome tales in that time.

I have also taken part in a few blogging interviews which I’ll be sharing across social media when they are out and later on in July I am taking part in a video interview via Instagram – a first for me.

Well, that’s my boring life. What have you got planned this month?

Weekly Ramble #114

Sometimes we don’t give ourselves enough credit as authors and bloggers. This fast-paced world of constant content demand has always got us chasing the next result without really stopping to think that perhaps that one sale or handful of views is actually a great achievement.

Even now and after many years of having my writing in the public domain I still feel weird when compliments come my way through reviews and social media interactions. For a creator who started at zero to receive any type of positive feedback is something I’m still adjusting to. The fact my words can make a difference in just one person’s life or journey is both amazing and something worth giving my self credit for. There is something to be said about valuing yourself and what you contribute. Social media does tend to default to celebration of one’s self but what about one’s work that has maybe only reached one other but might have contributed positively to their life. There is power in that, and not the type of power that most strive for but just seeing just another author take something from my self help book gives me chills – the good type of chills – the type where it makes me feel like this was all worthwhile. For all the struggle and constant grind, sometimes, just sometimes a little glimmer of light appears through the murk, illuminated by someone who has appreciated what I wrote.

It takes time and it takes work but being a creative in the social media age will eventually work out well if you just keep going. Standing out – that’s the key, but how? Keep going and eventually hard workers with the right attitude will rise above most but not in a competitive way because the only competition I have is the me of yesterday.

Weekly Ramble #113

There’s nothing I respect more than a creative who keeps going through the adversities and struggles they face to market, sell and ultimately improve their craft while creating. To forge any level of progress from zero and to keep forging takes a strength of character I admire and ultimately find inspiring. The desire to improve from yesterday can be a grind but to gain a few more followers, get a few more sales than a previous release or even just the satisfaction of continuing a journey is enough to tell me that creative is on the right path.

We don’t give ourselves enough credit for what we have achieved sometimes in art because the journey and the yearning to get more than yesterday can cloud our judgement but the next time you find yourself down about things take a look back, see the path you’ve trodden to get to now. The chances are you’ve achieved incredible things to get here especially if you compare it to where you started. This has always been an eye of the beholder type of deal and if you can satisfy your own eye then everything else will feel easier.

I’m proud of the journey I’ve taken to get here. The sales might not be world dominating, or the reviews might not be through the roof but the work I have done has made a difference to fellow authors in recent times and to help writing in general is better for my writing.

Weekly Ramble 112

Winding down. For real this time. It has been a busy and intense journey but now I’m on my way out of that place to hopefully somewhere a little more calmer. No doubt the last year has been a fight to get my name and words out there but right now I feel like that fight is done and the best thing is, I’m happy with the results.

It feels nice to be able to sit back. By that I mean recede into writing more and more. I’ve got editing to do, I’m going to try and query agents at some point but the wonderful thing is about this stuff, the pressure is off. I was being pulled along by my aspirations to reach 10,000 Twitter followers and releasing a book. Both are now done and so I can relax. This blog wil continue to produce content, it is the pillar of everything no matter how many thousands of social media followers I have.

I’ll be present where I can but for now I’m content with relaxing a little. Maybe that desire to chase and chase and chase will be back again soon, but success is in the eye of the beholder in writing and what I see before me is all good things.

Weekly Ramble #111

Slowly I’m coming out of thunder dome. That’s the phrase I use to describe what has been the most intense three month period I’ve ever known as an indie author. From having my book thrust into the hands of 10,000 readers in one day to the arduous road of just releasing another one. Between that I travelled an immense but taxing journey to reach 10,000 tweet machine followers. All of this has taken a mental and physical toll but as I said I’m on my way out of that place. Pressure valves have been released and a quieter time has appeared. I’m now going to do what I have needed to do for a while; I’m going to live in the real world.

For everything awesome I have achieved recently, I feel like an immense amount of pressure has been lifted internally. The fight for the attention of others on social media is something that has diminished, no longer do I have to struggle because now I have an audience who are loyal and are there for me. While having an amazing audience is great, that doesn’t mean that I’ll take it for granted, I just don’t need to perform miracles to please everyone anymore. Yes, the pressure is off but the responsibility remains, these shoulders have taken on a lot recently and they will continue to carry anything else that may present itself. Just now, it is on my terms and my terms alone. My audience have made me and I’ll be doing everything I can to repay that.

My motivation to support others remains and is the strongest pillar that holds everything else up. While I will be backing off for a short time, you can still expect this machine to keep turning but now I’m heading back into the real world!

To those who have supported my recent book release, thank you. You have made it what I hope will be my most successful release ever with just a few more sales!

Weekly Ramble #110

Tomorrow everything culminates. It has been a journey and an experience like nothing else I have faced in writing. My belief has been galvanised by good people who have continually supported me through so much. Right now we are facing the concept of a perfect pre-order run with at least one order every day since launch – a truly incredible feat that not only inspires me but tells me that I must be doing the right things to get them. I need just one more pre-order for this run to be perfect – something I’d never imagine happening but also proof I have the tools for it.

Those who have been around a while will know this journey has not been easy. The reverting to zero – something that still happens now to even seemingly shouting into an empty void. There are so many reasons for a creative to just give up and walk away but now I can give you hundreds of reasons to keep going, to keep creating and keep chasing because that is all I have ever done. Not once in the past few years have I given up or stopped. This journey has become part of me and I am the journey in some senses. I’m invested now, in helping others, shining a light through the dark of the unknown for others and not just to look like some hero. There’s no cape or crown in my story, just a pair of sleeves rolled up and an attitude that is ready to work hard. Anything worthwhile takes time and hard work.

Anything worthwhile in writing or blogging takes Consistent Creative Content. How do I know that? Because I have lived it and that’s the title of the book I have written on it. That book arrives tomorrow. Just one more pre-order would be amazing but we have already achieved with this book has been exceptional. Thank you for the support always.