Weekly Ramble #32

As an author do you want to know what’s worse than a one star review?

A one star rating with no review, words, explanation or even evidence said ‘reader’ has taken on your work. Not to mention the mindfu** it will give an author for a long time constituting to the round in circles question; why didn’t they like it?

One of my previous ramble post’s was half rant and half response to a one star review that had an actual explanation which I tried my best to debunk and move on from. This is different and it appears a particular book of mine keeps getting ‘pot shot’ with these random ratings (Open Evening) via Goodreads. In fact you can compare the reviews on Amazon (UK) to Goodreads to see the inconsistencies which just leaves me flapping my arms as to why?

I don’t want it to appear as if it’s getting to me, but it is, because we’re only human right? As authors we live and die by the currency that is reviews and as a reader if there was something I thought deserved a one star review I probably wouldn’t have finished reading it and then would have just moved on (and I have done that very recently). We’re all entitled to an opinion, that’s fine and I am not contesting that, what I am contesting is conduct towards writers. Leaving that one star might turn someone away from the craft forever.

Another huge factor is Open Evening like all my books was funded entirely by me including the sequel and the other book it is linked to Darke Blood; there is plans for further sequels but thoughts of that turn me away from it.

The question that remains in my head; Is Open Evening that bad? Does it justify someone swooping in to leave a one star rating and think nothing of the consequences? Maybe some like minded writer folks should swoop in and help an author in need…

 

 

 

 

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Weekly Ramble #27

Dreams are weird. There are so many people (probably all of us at some point in time) that say we want to do something and never get there. The amount of variables that surround us at one time deny us of achieving that dream or cut it short, then there’s the whole deep down fear of can I really do this which is in turn followed by do I want this?

Fear can keep dreams from being achieved. Even I’ve suffered from being somewhat scared of what people think. Coming out as a writer in 2012 was the biggest plunge into the unknown I have ever taken. Many around me still aren’t convinced, and that’s fine, opinions are allowed and this has always been a one person at a time deal. Overall it fuels me to prove what I am and what I will achieve. Then again I don’t really care what people think of my work, I do it because it makes me feel free in this world where we are all confined. To be able to create is to feel free and to to feel free is to truly live.

I’ve found my freedom in writing stories and building worlds. I first did this when I was 12 years old and haven’t ever thought twice about not wanting to write.

Success is another variable that combines itself with fear to keep us from getting to our dream. What if nobody likes my stuff? What if I don’t sell any copies? What if writing a book isn’t a success?

The biggest personal achievement in writing is simply being able to write ‘The End’ when you finish a project. Everything else, the hard stuff, comes later and actually doesn’t really matter. I’ve found that out gradually. Reviews are great and I am so damn grateful for the ones I have, sales also mean a lot along with social media follows and interaction. I have met and know so many awesome wordsmith people and bloggers along with readers. All of that is material compared to being able to say you wrote and finished a book. There are so many people out there who say they tried but never got there. The true success and achievements in writing come from where everything else does in writing. Our ability to write, our sustainability is creating, our editing skills, our scope for characters, theme, settings, characters, all of it comes from within.

I have an excellent memory, even though I work shift at the moment and that’s a sure fire way to frazzle some cells; I still remember the story that brought me to this point. After all these years, I still remember being 12 years old facing a windows 98 computer and writing a story about robots in the future called Jack Thorn. It’s not just some empty one dimensional action story and in the very preliminary stages it may seem like an out of date male lead character fest, but it isn’t and that’s the beauty of it. Jack Thorn isn’t just about Jack Thorn, it’s about humanity, equality, family, destiny and prophecy.

I know that story because I have carried it with me since then. It is my dream, and sometimes they can be weird.

(Jack Thorn – a science fiction story of the future will premiere on Thursday the 14th of March in serialized form on this very blog.)  

Weekly Ramble #17

I’m quitting social media. I’ve concluded the world was a much simpler and pleasant place without the social ramifications and expectations that the likes of Facebook carry. Technology has leaped in recent years mostly for the better but social media in most parts is spiraling this world and its inhabitants into a blind depression. Nobody every turned around and thought about whether they should have created social media, they just did it.

The likes of Zuckerberg ignored the social responsibility of creating a network that is driven by people participation who are constantly on the look out for likes and instant gratification. This is a future that some always predicted, a future where people are controlled and most of the time unknowingly, its bleak. We as a race are addicted and reliant on screen scrolling and nobody ever thinks about whether it enriches anyone and this is the crushing realization for some, it doesn’t enrich, it stifles us. Social media fosters depression, it creates negative feelings of emptiness by filling us up with false hope that everyone is going to like that heavily staged photo or attention fishing post.

Most of you will look at this with a sideways glance, that’s because you probably haven’t ever thought about it or you haven’t had that moment of clarity yet but you are addicted to scrolling. You can’t not look away, even when nothing is happening you are scrolling. We were never built for this, social media is just a symptom of technology, and technology is in fact a symptom of corporations. This isn’t a ‘down with the corporations’ protest piece, its reality knocking at the door. We as a people are regressing because of this and there are generations of kids who are becoming more and more depressed because they are trying to conform on the internet. We never had this problem before because social media didn’t have the power, now it does and its dangerously damaging.

When was the last time you scrolled on Facebook or twitter? Probably minutes ago, and it will be just as long until you do it again. How long could you stay off it? Would you even miss it? These are questions I found myself easily answering without remorse. No I wouldn’t miss it because I am on the verge having enough of emptily scrolling. Above all I have had enough of creating posts that nobody looks at, I’m a writer, I write books and plays, I struggle enough in getting people to read my art and quite frankly fuck putting up posts for nobody to look at, that’s not what I am on this planet to do. I am here to create, I am here to build worlds and immerse people in them, I am not here to give a shit about how many empty likes my last Instagram photo had. My energy in life is not aimed at shitty social media, a thing quite frankly I could live without and a thing I will thrive without. I implore you to consider doing the same, use your time wisely, use your time for something else, enrich your mind and read a book instead, buy one of mine, I guarantee they will put you in a better mood than any scrolling ever will, go for a walk, take in some the fresh air, take a drive, speak to real people and for the love of god do something better with your time.

As of now I have deleted my Facebook app on my phone. I still look at it every now and then but not constantly anymore. I deleted the twitter app a month ago but again the same applies. I’m not fully leaving and can still be contacted, I’m just reducing my presence for sanity. Next month I will be going dark for a while. This won’t have any effect on my career as a writer, I will always be writing.