Public Self/Private Self

I subscribe to a daily newsletter about the publishing industry; it is comprised of articles from both the company that oublishes the newsletter, and other industry professionals on various topics.

Today’s email included an article by a PR person (who shall remain nameless because I felt rather disguated afte reading her $.02). who listed the major mistakes authors make with regard to marketing/PR (and what she allegedly tells her clients). One of those mistakes was oversharing on social media. She emphasized that politics, religion, or even what you had for breakfast/lunch/dinner. should not be mentioned on your social media, lest an author alienate potential and current fans. In short, keep it light and fluffy.

Pause.

Now, I understand the oversharing part. Some things don’t need to be mentioned, like your cat’s yeast infection, or even your yeast infection. But authors are more than just sales numbers on a ledger sheet. We’re people. We have hopes,fears (writers moreso than others ūü§£), likes, dislikes.

 I like it when my favorite authors share personal tidbits about themselves: pics from vacations, pets, favorite socks. It humanizes them and makes me even more inclined to buy their work, because they are not just robots sitting in front of a computer, churning out novels.

But to keep my thoughts silent regarding any issue that is important to me–be it Black Lives Matter or a BLT sandwich–for the sake of selling a book, does not sit right with me. And if someone doesn’t want to buy one of my books because I took a stance with which they do not agree, well…I’m not for everyone, and I wish that person well. 

It reminds me of the backlash when singers, athletes, actors, et al make their thoughts known regarding social and political issues. The mindset becomes, “Shut up and keep entertaining the masses. That’s your job, not expressing an independent thought.” Yet that is doing these people a disservice. They are human and have feelings; to try and shut them down for the sake of keeping stadiums, arenas, and theatres filled is hypocritical and oppressive.Yet many people concerned with an entertainer or athlete’s bottom line will attempt to do just that, all for the sake of making a buck (for themselves and their clients).

To paraphrase some quote that I saw on Instagram: I won’t dilute myself for those who can’t handle me at 100 proof. You shouldn’t either.

Thanks for stopping by.

Advertisements

Be S.U.R.E. in 2016 (by Mattieologie)

I subscribed to the Mattiologie newsletter a few months ago. While sometimes the content doesn’t move me, overall it’s a good contribution to my inbox. ūüôā

Anyway, the latest installment came today, in which Mattie James (the owner/founder/raison d’etre of Mattiologie) explains why she hasn’t been feeling New Year’s “resolutions” for quite some time, and why being S.U.R.E. is a better bet. Email text copied & pasted below–it’s worth your time to read it (and she’s not trying to sell anything!). Thanks for stopping by.

***************

The whole “resolutions” schtick is not really my ministry. In the past it was, but nothing ever got done. They sounded good in January, got further away from me in February and by summer were completely obsolete. Honestly, there’s a little bit too much hype on resolutions because of the year changed. If you want something resolved, RESOLVE it.

When you really want to, you will.

For my past resolutions, I always talked how I wanted to get in shape in the past or wake up earlier. “Oh, this year I’m going to get my body together. Let me buy this gym membership.” “I need to wake up earlier. I’m going to make sure I set my alarm every night.”

I never got in shape or woke up earlier. One year, I paid for a gym membership for the entire year and probably went about 3 times. I set the alarm only to condition myself to turn it off at 6:30a immediately once it went off.

Which brings me to my case in point today.

The one habit you need to break in 2016 is being vague.

It is singlehandedly why you you never keep your resolutions or stay consistent. Your goals lack specifics that are necessary to succeed.

If I really wanted to get in shape, instead of just saying it generally I would’ve made the goal of “strength training every Monday, Wednesday & Thursday and doing cardio on Saturday while being on a vegetarian diet to maintain my pre-pregnancy weight.” It’s specific and clear while creating guidelines towards reaching my goals.

But Mattie, how can I stop being vague? I’m glad you asked, friend. The opposite of being vague is being SURE. Here’s how to keep your new habits – not resolutions – SURE for 2016.

S – Speak It Into Existence

I really believe in the power of the tongue. We do speak things into existence. Good habits included. It’s important that we say what we want, because you shouldn’t expect it if you don’t express it. This is certainly the “what” aspect of creating a new habit. Declare what it is you want and say it in the mirror to yourself every morning if you need to. Write it down. I would even share with a handful of your closest friends and family so they hold you accountable. It’s okay to talk about what you want as long as you do more walking than talking. When you say it, you hear it & when you hear it, hopefully you’ll believe it enough to bring to fruition.

U – Understand Why You’re Doing It

The problem with us being vague is that a lot of us are setting “goals” that we think we should be making. You have got to be clear on why you’re doing something to do it on purpose and with purpose. Losing weight to lose weight isn’t enough incentive to follow through. If you’re losing weight because you know that your 10 year high school reunion is coming up and you want to slay, then that’s a real reason to get your butt in the gym. Again, I didn’t say your why had to be deep, just clear.

R – Repeat To Create Consistency

Repetition is your friend when you want to make something a habit. The problem is that when we make these “resolutions” we do them for one or two weeks when it’s easy or convenient. We easily stray when we have to sacrifice sleep, time or money. But if you can repeatedly work towards a goal during inconvenience, it becomes a habit. Something like second nature. It becomes engrained in you. Repetition isn’t glamorous and most times it isn’t “fun” but it always delivers results. Just ask the girl who lost 50 lbs last year because she committed to her organic diet and ran 5 days a week in the last 12 months.

E – Elevate

So, you know what you want to do and have spoken it into existence. You’re clear on why you’re doing it. And you’ve even committed to repeatedly executing to create a habit. So you’re all good, right? Not exactly. You want to get better. And you should. Elevating is part of the success process. You don’t want to be how good you were 12 months ago. Not even 6 months ago if I’m being honest. Always get better. If you wake up at 6a everyday for a year and need more time as you work your 9 to 5 while building your side business, then wake up at 5am. Once you hit a certain milestone, it is your duty to set a new goal and reach it. You don’t get credit for staying the same even if consistent. Complacency looks like consistency. Results will expose the difference.

Hopefully I’ve helped your realize why you need to create habits vs. make resolutions for 2016. I can’t tell you what it is, but I just know it’s going to be a big year for you. Just be SURE whenever you make new goals and habits.

Marvelously,

Mattie

P.S. – I know the site has been looking a bit funky in the last 24 hours. I’m transitioning to Squarespace. We should be back in business in a day or so. Thanks for your patience!

Your Geek Ain’t Like Mine

From Merriam-Webster dictionary:

Nerd (noun):

: a person who behaves awkwardly around other people and usually has unstylish clothes, hair, etc.

: a person who is very interested in technical subjects, computers, etc.

Geek (noun).

: a person who is socially awkward and unpopular : a usually intelligent person who does not fit in with other people

: a person who is very interested in and knows a lot about a particular field or activity

[sidebar: the above terms are often used interchangeably]

Late last year on Twitter, I stumbled across a group of people calling themselves Blerds (Black nerds). Blerds were the lost tribe I’d been seeking but didn’t know it: a group of melanin-enriched folks with high IQs and love and appreciation for a diverse array of things considered not the norm for traditional Black folks, including comics, video games, science fiction, and punk rock. I was in heaven. I’d found my peoples.

I reveled in it. I wrote about it for Black Girl Nerds. I read comics for the first time (and reviewed a few). I was down like four flat tires.

Then I got my geek card pulled.

I frequently partake in #SaturdayNightSciFi, hosted by Geek Soul Brother, a fellow Blerd. Every Saturday night, we gather across the interwebs to live tweet a curated¬†sci-fi/fantasy movie or the first two episodes of a (usually cancelled) SFF (science fiction/fantasy) TV show. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by some of the offerings and have garnered new favorites as a result:¬†the now-defunct British TV show Misfits¬†and¬†the now-defunct American show Fringe¬†(the latter proved so popular for #SaturdayNightSciFi that we are now indulging in #FringeFriday. Join us at 9 pm ET on Fridays!).

Misfits TV with caption

Game of Thrones fans: yes, that is “Ramsay [Snow] Bolton” on the far right!

Fringe glyph code v4b

The infamous FRINGE glyph/code

Fringe S1 cast

Once again, I was happy to be amongst my tribe, my peoples, those who are often considered to be marginalized within Black society due to our interests and intellect.

Until Farscape.

farscape-characters

Farscape was the latest #SaturdayNightSciFi offering and, as usual for a TV show, we were slated to watch the first two episodes. I barely made it through episode 1.

I was out of my depth from jump with regard to sci fi references that seem to be canon. On the contrary, my Blerd compadres were, well, geeked to be watching, and lost no time dropping SFF comparisons.

“Nice move to cast Kent McCord as Crichton’s father.”

“That trans-dimensional scene reminded me of Contact just a little.”

“…And it’s from Yuri Gagarin”¬†

“The last few Red Dwarf series jumped a whole school of sharks”

“Love Farscape! But Lexx was the better ship!”

“So, this is the sexy blue alien species that inspired the Asari in Mass Effect, eh?”

“LANI JOHN TUPU and he’s a captain!!!!!!”

HUH?!

Basta cartoon

“Basta” is Spanish for “enough”

Um…okay. I had no idea what they were talking about. The Geek was strong in these ones, but I was on the outside of the Death Star, futilely seeking entry through the formidable force field. My geek game was clearly the opposite of fleek.¬†I¬†wasn’t even on Padawan level; I was just a midichlorian.

What can I say? Geeks gonna geek. I quietly raised my church finger and exited out of the live tweet. (anyone who has encountered the Baptist Church will get that reference LOL).

This was¬†a humbling experience. I realized I am more of a nerd than a geek, it seems: I hardly read comics, I prefer non-alien SFF (Terminator movies and The Fifth Element notwithstanding), and I have only a superficial knowledge of Star Trek (but I at least can differentiate between Star Trek, Star Trek: TNG, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: DS9,¬†and Star Trek: Enterprise). However, I’m all about that Star Wars action, boss, and I have all 132 episodes of the Thundercats cartoon on DVD. I’m also a fan of the Watson and Holmes¬†and Nutmeg comics series.

Maybe there’s hope for me after all.

Thanks for stopping by.

I’m being interviewed! Sunday, 5/7, 7pm EDT

Hi all,

I will be interviewed in the Black Girl Nerds podcast on Sunday, May 7, 7 pm EDT. The interview will be hosted by Jamie Broadnax, founder and khaleesi of Black Girl Nerds. WOOT! Tell a friend or three!

image

I will be on a panel of three self-published authors (I’m the lone female author), along with Thelonious Legend (Sins of the Father, the first in the Parker Girls YA series) and Kevin Wayne Williams (Everything I Know About Zombies, I Learned in Kindergarten). We’ll be talking about our respective works, and I will especially bring up The Bastille Family Chronicles: Dominic, which is the next installment in the Bastille Family Chronicles series (the first was The Bastille Family Chronicles: Camille). It drops next week! Double WOOT!

Since the podcast starts at 7 pm EDT, there’s plenty of time to listen before you dive into Game of Thrones, House of Lies, the second round of the NBA playoffs (#GritAndGrind, #GoSpursGo), or your preferred Sunday evening programming. If you’re on Twitter, make sure to hashtag it: #BFCDominic, #BGNPodcast

Also…keep your eyes and inboxes peeled next week, as I do my first-ever book giveaway for all three of my titles, It’s gonna be epic!

Thanks for stopping by.
.

Higher Levels, Bigger Devils

I love basketball. I get geeked for the start of NBA season, and March Madness is my personal holiday. I read sports-oriented publications, and I stan for Bleacher Report and its app, Team Stream.

Since its inception, I have enjoyed the online publishing portal Medium; specifically, its sports section, The Cauldron. While all and sundry can post their thoughts on Medium as a whole, certain sections such as The Cauldron are invitation-only, and if you’re selected, you have to show and prove.

I have never written about sports in an “official” venue, and never played sports a day in my life (unless you count high school varsity cheerleading, which many do not). Still, I decided to step outside my comfort zone and apply to write for The Cauldron.

My first article was rejected; no problem. As a writer, I’m no stranger to that. My second article was accepted, and has been getting good buzz. While I’m pleased, I’m also nervous. Medium reaches an audience vastly larger than my deliberately limited, personal social media presence. Suddenly, my ideas were exposed to a totally different audience…and along with the praise, came the trolls.

WHOA. What…who…WHAT?! To think that my six-minute read about granting NBA media access credentials to bloggers would strike nerves…it was interesting, to say the least, and at times amusing. And, I have to admit, kind of heady: that my words would make such an impact, become part of an ongoing conversation, and basically be  taken seriously (which is infinitely preferable to being considered a joke). That’s part of why writers write: to make that impact, to drive conversation, to call attention to an issue.

I’ve had people comment just to say they won’t read the article (huh?). I’ve gotten complaints that I didn’t take a firm stand on one aide versus the other (I did that on purpose). All this reminded me that when you strive for greatness, you catch more flak with each success. Or, as my late grandmother used to say, “Higher levels, bigger devils.”

Many of us say we want success but aren’t willing to pay the price. Part of that price, especially as a writer, is public exposure, and belief that someone out there wants to hear what you have to say. The flip side of that is opening yourself up to attack by those who aren’t feelimg what you have to say, or disagree with your right to say it. One article (so far) isn’t much of a down payment, but it’s a start. And the bill will only get bigger.

Thanks for stopping by.

November Twofer

November is upon us…which means National Novel Writing Month! Woooooooo!

To recap: every November, from the 1st to the 30th, people from around the world attempt to write a 50,000-word book (approximately 250 pages) within that month. There is no fee and no prize, other than the satisfaction of saying, “Hey, I wrote a book…and in a month!”

I’ve been participating every year, since 2006 (or ’07). Last year, as I’ve mentioned before, I finally “won”: that book was published in August of this year (2014). Maybe you’ve heard of it: The Bastille Family Chronicles: Camille. ūüėÄ

Camille ebook cover

I became aware of a sister contest: National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo), which is a similar concept for bloggers. For the entire month, you post one entry on your blog per day, every day, from November 1-30? The prize? Getting into the habit of blogging ,and maybe even some more followers. Or, you can have the satisfaction of finally starting a blog.

I talk about it here:

Join in the fun on November 1, and strap in for a month of writing adventure! I’ll be blogging about my participation in NaNoWriMo, and I’ve already registered this blog, so I’m doing a twofer for November. You’re welcome. LOL

BTW: if you do NaNoWriMo, feel free to add me as a buddy (I’m afrosaxon).

I hope to see you on the interwebs! Thanks for stopping by.

 

Letting Go

I received the latest email/newsletter today from Kristen Domingue, who is a branding expert. I signed up for her newsletter a few weeks ago, after seeing her profile in The Daily Worth (another newsletter, which focuses on women and/in business). It wasn’t your typical “here’s how I can help you be better–buy my product!”¬† newsletter; in fact, what she had to say in this one could be considered radical, being that she encouraged readers to unsubscribe from her newsletter. Not because she was trying to tank her business (in fact, it takes a lot of confidence to tell folks to get to steppin’), but because she understood how easy it is for one seeking clarity to become overwhelmed by all the “expertise” floating around the internet.

Unsubscribe from someone else’s passion long enough to make room for yours to emerge.¬†Do it. Quit. Go cold turkey. Check¬†in for inspiration every once in a while. You know where they live.¬†But the only way to become colleagues and full peers of the people you admire is for you to bring your truth and thoughts to the table, instead of being a loyal “follower.” So go ahead. Unsubscribe. I dare you to shut out all the noise in your inbox and listen within.” — Kristen Domingue

This quote resonated more with me, in light of the fact that I have been backing away from things and people who are no longer serving the person I’m becoming. ¬†As I ¬†prioritize my business as writer, it is leaving less time for me to socialize–and at this time, building my business is more important. Which means anything extraneous, or not nourishing takes a back seat.,

The right ideas, message, clarity and¬†thought leadership will emerge from you‚ĶIf you’ve set the table and sent an invitation‚ĶAnd don’t have someone else sitting¬†in its seat of honor. — Kristen Domingue

THIS. THIS RIGHT HERE.

When the wrong¬†person/place/thing takes up significant amounts of energy, that entity is squatting in the Seat of Honor–which doesn’t leave room for the rightful occupant. ¬†Sometimes it’s hard to figure out where/who the energy vampires are; other times, we know, but it’s hard to actually walk away.

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin

I’m culling¬†the black holes in my life, at all levels–people, personal Facebook, old books and clothes–simply because it’s too exhausting for me to keep things as they are. I’m even stepping back from consulting. I’m all for helping others get to their next level but the older I get, the more I realize that everyone doesn’t want to go to the next level. Or maybe they do, but don’t feel they’re deserving. Regardless, I can’t spend anymore time trying to drag folks along the path. I’m here if they need me, and I will help if asked, but ¬†I can no longer put their needs above mine. I can no longer desire for them what they do not work for themselves. I need that energy for MY next level, so I kindly invite folks to lead, follow, or get out of my way.

Unsubscribe from someone else’s passion long enough to make room for yours to emerge.¬†

In the immortal words of the late comedian Robin Harris, “Gotta go, gotta go!” (NSFW — language)

 

Thanks for stopping by.

Previous Older Entries