Weekly Ramble #135

January is a long month. This is handy because it is also a busy month and in between outside of non writing things and writing things, I’ve got a lot of things done, but there’s still a way to go.

The truth is, I am always doing something, I’m like that bunny with the batteries, I just keep going and that’s because there is always something to achieve on this journey. It might be a carousel in some aspects but the ride becomes all the more rewarding as it spins while also going up and down. Twitter appears to be growing stronger and stronger by the day. Tonight I will be a guest on an indie book podcast talking about my efforts which in very recent times have become the best ever on the platform. You’ll be hearing more about that soon.

Time has been my friend on this path and whether it is the nine year anniversary of being on Twitter which I just crossed to the many years I have held onto this writing dream. Things do get better for those who do keep moving forward eventually. New content and even old content serves as a pillar that can hold your presence up online. Like I always say, just got to keep going.

Weekly Ramble #134

I’ve got a to-do list as long as my arm but this year has officially started rolling. What began with some difficult outside of writing endeavours based stress has turned around for me this week and I’m now diving back in to the writing.

Life will always have a way of stepping in front of my creative endeavours, as always its about priorities and of course my best friend; slow, gradual progress. A sentence at a time in an orderly fashion is enough and eventually that’s what books become. The same can be said for other life things too, ticking one task off at a time is key for me. This year I’m currently envisioning two releases – another non-fiction and the final story in my not very well known Order of the Following Series. I’m also involved in an author academy which you can expect some more news from soon.

Book sales have miraculously continued steadily into this month and it is shaping up to be the best January ever. This month is notoriously slow for me usually and so I am buzzing to see so many sales coming though which is hopefully a sign that 2022 is going to be my year no matter what!

Weekly Ramble #133

Let’s do this 2022. New year equals the promise of another chapter on this writing journey and I have so many potential projects to choose from right now that I am kind of standing still. Sometimes having options is a good thing and while I do my best to overcome the urge to just procrastinate I’m ready to dive back into writing very soon.

The truth is, that to-do list will always be there and so I have decided to take my time at the start of this year. I found myself in deep with Twitter all the way up to Christmas day trying to do my best to reach the 20,000 follower milestone which we reached, somehow. Then the 25th came and then it went in a flash and before I knew it I was back at the day job. In between pushing myself on social media and having the pressure of not catching a virus and then actually being able to see family this festive season I am kind of tired – hence the not really starting anything just yet.

For me, rest is imperative for both mind and body. They are irreplaceable assets and so I’ll be picking and choosing projects wisely at the start of this year with that in mind. There are a lot of pressures that no longer exist for me – the struggle for visibility on here and across social media has seemingly dissipated and that’s an achievement in its own right. Good things do eventually happen and the stars do align. For everything I hope this year will be, I just hope it is better than the last. May it be good for you also!

Final Ramble of 2021

What a journey this year has been. Rewarding and difficult in equal parts and a major turning point that signals how much potential this writing journey has.

I came into 2021 with relatively grounded expectations and into a world where the pandemic was continuing to unfold and evolve much like it still is now. I won’t dwell much upon it as my whole philosophy has been to mostly exclude the negativity of the whole subject, instead I’ll dive into the positive aspects of this year and how the last twelve months has served as collective corner that I have turned as a creative. I hope none of this is received as a boast because I always share my results with a hope they are inspiring and helpful to my readers, you. While there are many wonderful things this year has given me, it wasn’t easy.

And without you, this wouldn’t have been possible and without you, none of this would have felt real and for your support I must thank you. From having a book I wrote back in 2018 that I thought nobody liked being downloaded over 10,000 times in a single day to the abundance of followers I befriended over on Twitter; 20,000+ and starting this year with just 5k – that is probably my finest achievement in all of my writing. This all started with convincing one reader at a time and if you can convince just one reader then you can convince thousands – I am living proof that being a creative in this modern age can be a successful endeavour and you can be happy with the results. There are a host of other wonderful moments this year has given me like being recruited to be a part of an author academy for young people, an exciting venture that I look forward to sharing more of soon. The abundance of wonderful reviews I got for my works, many of which have been waiting for a long time to reach readers. The support for the content I have churned out on here and of course my most recent release which has seen paperback sales that far exceeded expectations. My next ambition is to see creatives who have read my guide book finding success with their endeavours, while it is great to write all of these guides, seeing others benefit from them would be the dream for me.

After these twelve months I can happily say that I am at peace with so many aspects that were once struggles. Hard work and wanting to be successful go hand in hand. Now I look towards a new year as a more opportunity to build upon the foundations this year has laid. All of what I have achieved is very much possible for you too, remember that.

I’d like to take this moment to wish all of you a happy new year and let us hope that 2022 will be the start of some better days for all of us. Rock and roll man!

Weekly Ramble #131

One week until my final author act of 2021 unfolds. Consistent Creative Content is coming to paperback and will signify the end of what has been an incredible year. Although much of this path has been difficult, yet again the good outweighs the bad mostly and so we’re rolling on towards new heights.

The truth is, I’m a selfish writer, I tell stories I want to read for me but Consistent Creative Content is the first book I wrote for everyone else. Using all the things I learned while being a selfish creative serve as something that can help others and this era of self published social media authors are climbing ladders over gates previously kept for years. It seems that in order to succeed in art, you had to be someone, but now all you need is for your art to do the talking or at least that’s a battle we are now contending in. We’ve come a long way and gatekeeping is slowly being beaten by the happenings of self made self published creators who deserve for their work to be seen. We have a platform, we have social media and we have our dreams.

Only a few years ago did I notice that people paying attention to my guides and so I had the idea of putting a book together with all of my best advice, learning situations and methods – its called Consistent Creative Content and it is coming to paperback next week, I might have already mentioned that. The act of sharing our results and experiences as creators will only bring us closer. That whole keeping things secret so your competition doesn’t find out, that stuff deserves extinction because in art there is no competition. Our creativity unites us.

Weekly Ramble #129

I’m hanging on down in dry county… Truthfully, this whole author blogger social media plant requires constant watering if I want any type of flowers. The rain being how much I put in but the measure is determined by my following and how they receive my content. Sometimes no matter how much you raise your game, it just feels like you are wading though semi-dry concrete.

There are no reasons for me to complain because this year stands as the best ever but it is a grind and a constant one and as soon as you let off, everything drops to zero. I suppose the demand to keep going does make some fall of the wagon and its understandable. Very little reward for constant work can bring anyone down but those who do keep going throughout the droughts and rains will find something good eventually.

Social media success if forged by presence and reaching out to others. Conversation and interaction, giving and helping. All of the things that make us human are what help us succeed in the virtual world that we are becoming more and more reliant upon – something I enjoy and embrace. With this year nearly coming to an end, I just got to keep hanging on no matter the weather.

Weekly Ramble #128

Constantly chasing higher numbers on social media can be draining. Especially when you think you’ve figured out the answers, they go ahead and change the questions. Who are they? The platforms and their algorithms which to me are kind of like a gym membership – costly enough for you to return most weeks but also designed to cast the illusion that you are making progress but actually you are in the same place.

How do I cope with the constant mind fu** that this can all be? Quite simply, I take it one day at a time and honestly, I enjoy the challenge and the connections I make with others. Seeing faces or those behind the handles return everyday to face the same grind as me provides comfort because social media can be a lonely places sometimes, it can feel like you are drifting in space but there are good folks out there and together we make it bearable.

I’m doing my best to up my Twitter game because 20,000 follows is on the near horizon but it just feels like things have slowed on the platform and as someone who is experienced with it I know the problem probably sits with me. The times are moving on from the pandemic ‘everyone is always online’ era and a time where I managed to seize the opportunity. In the past 16 months I made the best of this blog, my author career and wider social media presence but now I’m going to need to adapt to this newer emerging world. But people will always take what you are offering, whether it be content or just your presence, remember that constantly chasing numbers can be a psychological minefield but on social media you get results near enough instantly. So for now I’ll keep chasing because bigger better things are coming.

Weekly Ramble #127

November brings the start of reflection for me and what a year this has been. Some of you might remember at the start I said it would be long and brutal in places and it has been. It has also been the best I have ever known as a creative for both book sales and social media results – for that I have you to thank. This train is going to keep rolling because in December I am eyeing up a rather spectacular finish with something special.

You could say this spectacular finish is something I have been planning all along and this path I am on might have always been leading to this. Quite soon you’ll be hearing more and normally this time of the year my writing efforts are wrapping up, not this time as things are only getting busier towards December; a month where my final act shall appear. I’m being super cryptical here but for those who follow my efforts as an author, this will be good for you I hope.

I have always gone where the demand is. My past releases have been dictated by having an ear on the ground and looking at what readers are buying from me. This final thing will hopefully secure what has been an awesome but difficult ride while also laying a good path for next year. More soon and of course, watch this space.

Weekly Ramble #125

Even I run out of steam sometimes. For everything this busy social media author blogger machine can be, it can also be exhausting. This is especially so when life seemingly unfolds. From the bullshit of paying bills to a busy work environment, for what is supposed to be a hobby writing can be a surprisingly difficult ocean to stay afloat in.

I’ve come to realize you can only do what you can in life. Battles and hills worth dying on are everywhere so pick them well. Good things can take time and I have the highest respect for those who do keep going, even through hiatuses, mental health breaks, absences , rebrands and whatever you need to rejuvenate that engine of yours. That also includes life. We are always learning and as a story teller or writer, I may not be at a laptop all the time but in my mind I am writing. That can be enough sometimes.

The pandemic era stripped a majority of busy things away and while that provided an opportunity then, that stuff is creeping back in and so the balancing act is becoming a rebalancing act. Writing books in this busy world is hard, blogging is hard, tweeting is hard, finding time to do anything other than exist always has been hard. My go-to process has always been to stop if the enjoyment stops. Take breaks, pull away, think deep and go for a walk to process. Remember, we’re humans and even when we are amongst all this technology, our systems are organic.

This past weekend I hit a milestone. A personal goal that is also a personal pillar holding a majority of my wider dream up. Some stories take a lifetime to tell but the satisfaction of reaching the end, well that’s where the real journey begins.

Weekly Ramble #122

As a social media creative who regularly gets views and sales from various endeavours, I have concluded in order to get them consistently over time you need to stand out. Most marketing advice online is either out of date or easier said than done and standing out to me is to simply go against the grain of what everyone else is doing and hope it gets noticed. While that may seem easier said than done, and it is, only you can figure out what works for your brand or persona online but passion above all, resonates with near enough everyone.

Social media seems to contain this giant echo of everyone copying one another to the point where most folks just blend into the bandwidth. The passion in all of this is distinctly lacking. Understandably, it can be easy to get caught up or even daunted by this vacuum of repetition but where is the creativity? Buy this or subscribe to that. Everyone seems to be mining for numbers and sales with no real end game when really all you need to seek on social media is enrichment through conversation. That alone will drive visibility, engagement and eventually trust. Trust that you are more than a miner trying to score more points in an endless game that you can’t take anywhere useful. Gain the trust of someone and they’ll invest in you. And this is something that cannot be fabricated. Top that off with a little human passion and things will start to move.

This revelation came to me after I spent way more time than I probably should have on social media, scrolling, watching and talking – maybe it wasn’t in vain after all because for that time I gained the rewards from a high following to regular sales and now a belief this may some day be a career. That is without mentioning the true value of friendships through those things because I found others who share my vision. All I did was spend time conversing and less time trying to sell things and now people have become my power.

It would appear many creatives loathe the thought of marketing, but me, I actually quite enjoy the challenge and results which are always an opportunity to learn and pass information on. All driven by the desire to go against the grain and try something new fuelled by people who believe in me. Those days of reverting to zero are few and far between for me now, long may it continue.