Pain is temporary. And if it’s not, that’s okay too. No pain is meaningless. It doesn’t have to be.
You don’t have to live this way. You don’t have to be afraid. You don’t have to be frustrated. Let your feelings drive you.
Stand up. It’s a new day.
Get off the ground. Rise up.
Do something with your life. And do it for someone else. Stop acting like your life is your own, because it’s not. When we think our lives are our own, we start to think it’s okay to be lazy. We start to think it’s okay to be complacent.
Your life is not your own. It’s meant to be given to someone else. It’s a paradox of life, but it’s what makes life beautiful.
Let your feelings drive you. Let the pain be for someone else.
In college, we engineering students are forced to partake of a class that essentially FORCES us to get a job, and a good one. I know, I shouldn’t be complaining. But hey, I’m just a freshmen. Getting a stable job is something I’m supposed to worry about senior year…right?
Well, whatever the case, as always in the business world, there is a serious amount of stress placed on BUILDING YOUR BRAND.
And let’s face it. As writers, if we are truly aspiring to be famous authors, we naturally become a part of the “business world”. At times, it sucks. It would be so SIMPLE if we could just say to the people of the world, “I’ll write my books, and you buy them and turn my stories into movies.”
That would be the life.
But no. As writers, we are marketers. We must promote ourselves and go through the tedious process of establishing a business-savvy identity for ourselves.
As we do this, we encounter the usual suspects.
All right, so apparently LinkedIn is the “Facebook of the business world”. I really just thought it was for old people that were trying to connect with each other, but apparently it’s a very sophisticated website. I’m not sure if it works for writers, but I thought I might as well try, right? At my school, we were all forced to make LinkedIn pages, so I have one! Find me on LinkedIn if you’re interested, and I’ll follow you back.
For writers, I’d say that Goodreads is a great place to network your stories. Note that I said your STORIES. Maybe also your prowess as a book-reviewer/critic. Nothing wrong with that. I know that I need to be more involved in Goodreads, since so many people use it.
For building a PERSONAL network, I’m happy to announce that I think WordPress is great for that. All in all, I don’t think fellow WordPress bloggers respond well to the “business” side of being a writer. Simply put, WordPress bloggers are here to encounter other PEOPLE and fellow writers, not businessmen/women. If you’re too heavy on promoting yourself, people will start to ignore you. I’ve both learned this the hard way and watched as other bloggers shoot themselves in the foot by being all about “ME ME ME”.
The first step to building a brand is identifying what it is. You have to make sure people understand who you are and what you’re trying to promote. No, don’t say, “Being a writer is your brand”. Maybe that’s part of it, and that’s great. But you have to be more specific.
The more general you are, sure, you’ll reach a wider-range of audiences. But if you can’t hone your focus in on one particular audience, you’re going to turn some people off. If you say you write about mystery and romance, but are constantly posting things about horror and fantasy, you’re going to confuse your audience.
Simply put, your brand is who you are and what you’re actually trying to promote. All of your actions should flow from your brand-identity. It’s like a mission statement. This is who I am, this is what I want to do. And then you have to stick with it.
When institutions do something uncharacteristic of who they are, or they deviate from their mission statements, things will go wrong. People will not respond well. It’s a simple, cheesy Disney idea, but it’s true: Be true to who you are.
Rock the World, Love What You Do
It might go without saying…but I’m going to say it anyway. Love your brand. Love who you are. If you don’t, it’s going to be hard to draw OTHERS to yourself if you’re a conflicted, irrational mess. You must be invested in yourself before you can convince others to do the same.
Take some time. Think about what you want, how you’ll get it, and if it’s worth it to you. Believe me, this exercise will be worth it.
And, as always, persevere. Writing is hard. Business is competitive. You’ve gotta be strong to make it in this life.
Well it’s true. I’d be a fool. I feel as if it is my duty to write about this, to make sure you are all told what you should be told.
Book Two of Elithius is coming out this December.
Why should you care?
For starters, if you’ve read my first book, then you should know that Book One ended on a cliff hanger. That cliff hanger will indeed be resolved in this next book, so you’ve got something exciting to look forward to.
Second of all, I’m personally excited about this book. I can attest that the writing in Book Two is better; the challenges that the characters face are more intense; the emotional impact is deeper. Overall, I believe it is a sequence to be reckoned with.
To those of you that might be interested, the majority of this book was written while I listened to the Attack on Titan Soundtrack. For those of you that write frequently, you all know how much the emotion and “feel” of your story is influenced by what music you were listening to. Thus, expect similar emotions and levels of intensity to that of Attack on Titan.
Also, in contrast to Book One which is very plot-driven, Book Two is extremely character-driven AND plot-driven. The two tie in quite nicely, I think. I’m the author though, so of course I think that!
Key things to look forward to, I think, are:
new characters that add a new feel to the “main character team”
relationships between certain characters (I won’t say who!)
Intense internal struggles that are intriguing, dark, eerie…and yet surprisingly relatable!
I’d be a fool if, as a writer, I said nothing about my own works. Thus…well…here you go 🙂
ALSO: Please note that Elithius, Book One, will only be available for $0.99 until Book Two is released. Don’t miss out!
As you might have noticed, I took a short break from blogging. Whether to your excitement or not, I’m back now 🙂
Life has been pretty crazy lately, to say the least. I’ve had midterms; I’ve been making new friends; finding out how college-life works; time issues; money issues; relationship issues; life issues.
Lots of issues 🙂
Don’t worry, I’ve been doing some fun things too. Whether I’m sneaking onto the top of buildings, convulsing in class just because I’m bored, or tossing the pigskin around, I do actually have a life. Sort of.
By the way, I love editing! If you have something you want me to read/critique/edit, let me know!
And, as always, the editorial process for my own stories continues. Christopher Keene kindly critiqued my book, Elithius, in return, as has Russell J. Fellows, so I will be making a lot of changes to the first book of my series. Hopefully, these changes will be completed by the time I release book two of Elithius in December.
Lots of things going on in my world, to say the least!
A BIG thank you goes to Nicolle over at Stories of a Highly Sensitive Introvert for nominating me for the Liebster Award. If there was a Supreme Follower That Every Blogger Wants award, she would win it!
The rules are simple!
Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display award.
Answer 11 questions the blogger gives you.
Give 11 random facts about yourself.
Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of the nomination.
Give them 11 questions to answer.
So, without further ado, here are my answers to Nicolle’s questions:
What is your favourite memory?
It’s kind of personal, so I won’t go into detail, but my favorite memory is the moment I realized that my girlfriend is the most amazing person in the world to me.
2. What is one thing you regret, and if you could go back what would you do differently?
This is an interesting question because it actually haunts my the books I write. A regret I have is not standing up to a guy who was clearly harassing a girl (albeit in a public setting), and I just walked away. If I could do things differently, I’d punch him!
3. What are your goals at the moment?
Pretty much what they’ve always been! I’d love to have my book become world famous (of course), I’d like to continue pursuing my girlfriend, and become a successful engineer at the same time.
4. How are you feeling right now?
Pretttttty gooooood. 🙂
5. What did you have for dinner today?
It’s 1:52 PM. Haven’t had dinner yet! I think we are having some form of chicken though…
6. When was the last time you cried, and why?
A couple weeks ago because I was seriously missing my girlfriend.
7. The funniest joke you heard?
“Why can’t Helen Keller drive a car? Because she’s a woman.”
Sexist plot twist 🙂
8. Do you have any pets!
I don’t actually!
9. Who inspires you the most?
God. My girlfriend. God and my girlfriend. They work wonderfully together 🙂 My girlfriend is literally one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever had the blessing of knowing.
10. Your favourite song?
Ahhhhh…tough one!!! Too tough, actually! How about this one?
11. What are your hobbies?
Uhhh….WRITING! Reading, blogging, playing football, snowboarding, and talking to people. I like talking to people about interesting, deep things. It’s the spice of life!
11 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT MYSELF
I’m color blind. Yes, it’s true.
I’m the only red-head in my family. Don’t ask how that happened!
It says on my drivers license that I have green eyes but my girlfriend insists that they’re blue. For obvious reasons, I will agree with my girlfriend 🙂
I’m a devout Catholic. Does that make you uncomfortable? We tend to do that sometimes…
I’m actually 5’11 and three quarters but I tell everyone I’m 6’0. Who wants to be 5’11 and three quarters?
I prefer sausage over bacon. Sausage is more…fulfilling.
I’ve had two knee surgeries, both of them football-injury related.
I’m one of seven children (note fact #4)
I’ve been homeschooled all my life until now.
I attend Villanova University for engineering. GO CATS!!
I got a concussion snowboarding and was really loopy for several hours…I had been convinced that the Ski-Patrol had performed mouth-to-mouth with me in order to resuscitate me. Go figure!
Thanks again to Nicolle for nominating me!
My questions for you are the same as Nicolle’s! Here they are:
What is your favourite memory?
What is one thing you regret, and if you could go back what would you do differently?
I know you want good things. We all do. It’s a truth that will never change. There’s this part of us that is always hungering, aching for something we don’t have; something we are convinced that we want, even if we don’t know what THAT is.
The problem is, dear World, you’re looking in all the wrong places.
You’ve changed, old friend. That, or I’m finally starting to view you as you really are. Either way, you’ve changed to me. People have changed. And people make up who you are, World.
We are always looking for the newest thrill…because the old thrills don’t satisfy us anymore. We have an insatiable hunger, and the bar, the standards, continue to grow higher and higher…but somehow lower at the same time. The most common way I see this is through what “impresses” us in stories anymore.
For once we have seen something in one degree, and appreciated it, we are always on the look out for that same thing on a higher degree. We are always looking for something, some aspect of a story, that can top another.
When we watch a movie with an evil villain, we are impressed by the villain’s cunning, by his master plan, by the very fact that he is so evil and hits all the right spots in his evilness. When we were younger, the “bad guy” that might have impressed us in these ways might have been an evil step-mother from a Disney Princess movie. But then Disney Princess antagonists weren’t enough.
Loki was clever, conceited, and attractive. We were impressed by his extent of evil. But…suddenly it just wasn’t enough.
Then there was Moriarty from Sherlock. He was crazy. He was insane. He was dark for no other reason than because he wanted to be. But soon Moriarty wasn’t enough.
So then there was the Joker from the Dark Night…
…and the pattern continues. And it can go for any theme or genre.
Take romance. Each new movie or book has to be even more romantic than the last. More touching. It needs to make us cry HARDER than the last one, and make us feel more emotional than the last one…because, otherwise, it just won’t be as good. We always want things to a degree higher than we already have experienced.
World, you are searching for Infinity. You want Eternity. You are obsessed with the highest.
I’m not surprised that you’re obsessed with sex. You crave it in every way, shape, and form…and that’s what makes you crude, dear World. You want sex, but you want it just for pleasure. You want it to numb your pain. You want it because it IS impressive. Because it makes you feel things that no other experience will give you. It makes you feel wanted. But you are obsessed with the right things in all the wrong ways. Because you don’t understand that what you want, that sex, is meant for something higher than fleeting pleasures, momentary happiness. You are a World of counterfeits, of lies.
You will never be happy, dear World., because you want the highest goods, but you will pay nothing to buy it. You want what is eternal and lasting, greater than the first good, more captivating than the last feeling…but you’ll never get it. Because you are unwilling to work for it. You aren’t willing to hurt for what you desire.
We are obsessed with what costs so much…but we are also obsessed with what is easy. With what is convenient. That’s why you settle for counterfeits. That’s why you never get what you want. That’s why you turn to higher and higher forms of “pleasure”…and turn away unsatisfied, and more monstrous than you were before.
I love you, World. And so I tell you the secret.
What you search for is love.
And you think this to be an obvious statement. You think “I know that’s what I want!”
But you don’t know what love is.
Love is sacrifice. Love hurts. And that is why you never have it.
Love is not convenient. It is not equal to sex, or the distorted types of things that you call sex…which, in turn, you call love. And love hurts….SO much.
But, what you have yet to understand, is that it’s worth it.
And so I give you this piece of advice…dare I say, this warning, old friend: LEARN! Learn to love love. Learn to love sacrifice. Learn to give up your counterfeits. Your desire for the highest of the highest is not bad. It is simply misplaced. What you want is something good…you just don’t know what that “good” is yet.
For if you don’t, then only death and destruction awaits you.
We have already seen signs of this decay. It is already happening before us.
Learn to love, World. The fight has always been yours.
So I’ve been noticing that, now more than ever, there is an influx of new bloggers. What’s more, many of my most recent followers seem to be bloggers that are just starting their journey here on WordPress.
Identity yourself to yourself. What does that mean? It means that, as you start writing, as you start reaching out, networking, meeting other bloggers, targeting specific audiences, you need to know first and foremost WHO YOU ARE as a blogger. You can only reach the audience you want once you decide what kind of blog you are going to run.
So identify yourself to yourself. What do you think you’ll write about? Do you review books or movies? Write about sports? Cooking? Are you trying to promote a book or a business?
You need to figure this out.
The truth is, it’s obnoxious as a reader to visit a blog about book reviews, only to find they decided to go off on a cooking tangent. Centralizing what you write about is important to maintaining and developing a community around yourself.
However, if you’re the kind of person who likes to blog about anything and everything, disregard this completely! 😀 😀 😀
Next: Identify Your Audience
I cannot stress this enough: once you discover and surround yourself with like-minded bloggers, blogging becomes so much more FUN!
The number one word that captures the essence of blogging is COMMUNITY. And to build and enter the community that you want, you have to find the right people.
So identify your target audience.
A while back, I wanted to target an audience of anime-watchers. Why? I’m writing a book that is very anime-esque (among other things). So I tried to write about anime, to reach out to other people that liked anime…but it just wasn’t working. Why? Because I don’t watch enough anime to connect with other people.
Although I thought anime fans were my target audience, it took me a while to understand that I was wrong.
So I took a different approach: I started targeting fellow writers. And let me tell you, that made a big difference!! I discovered my community in them, aspiring and self-published authors like me. And suddenly, my blogging world truly became alive.
Identifying your audience is important, especially if you’re trying to promote something. But, in the end, it’s even more important for the sake of creating a community…which, once again, is what blogging is all about!
Stick With It
We all struggle with this from time to time. We lack motivation because life gets busy, our blogging efforts seem fruitless, or other bloggers seem to be doing so much better. Believe me, I get it. I’ve been blogging for three years and I only have 420 followers. To some of you, that might seem like a lot, but it’s not.
The goal is to keep at it. Fight through the dull moments. Keep on writing.
Believe me, if you stop writing, you’ll accomplish nothing. I know that seems like an obvious statement, but it couldn’t be more true. If you stop writing, you’ll accomplish nothing.
So you must continue to write.
I hope these tips were helpful! As always, Let me know what you think!
Note: this is a throwback post! I believe that this topic, however, is always relevant! Enjoy!
There are plenty of people in the blogosphere trying to get attention. Every now and then, I might run into a person who says “I don’t care how much attention I get; I’ll still blog and write.” And that’s a great mentality to have. You shouldn’t let everyone else’s opinions stop you.
But still, at times, it feels like everyone is trying to promote SOMETHING.
And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Some bloggers are trying to “promote” their emotions, the outcome of their relationship, how their weekend went, etc. Similarly, other people are “promoting” advice, or a message like religion or political philosophy.
Others are simply sharing their love of something by promoting that something. For instance, some people review books, TV shows, movies, etc., just for fun.
But all of this involves promoting yourself too. You won’t be able to promote anything unless you promote yourself.
And promoting yourself can be a big deal when you’re like the majority of bloggers out there…when you’re trying to promote what you write.
Take It From Me
Take it from me: there’s a lot of competition. I’m sure most of you have realized this. Everyone wants people to be interested in what they’re selling. If you’re an author and a blogger, then you’re a marketer. It’s that simple.
Unfortunately, I can’t lay down a “road map to success” for any of you. In order to do that, I would need to find that road map first! But I can pass on some advice I got.
Allow me to tell you a story:
I’m a senior in high school. I’m sure most of you remember this time in your life where you had to start making adult decisions, particularly concerning your future. For me, this involved what I was going to do in college. I already have a free ride to an amazing college (thanks to my awesome, hard-working dad), so the question was, “What will I study in college?”
I’m not going to go into too much detail, but, basically, my parents were strongly pushing me to make a decision based on my financial future. As I’m sure most of you know, I would like to pursue a degree that has to do with writing and literature. But my parents were advising me to do something that could get me a nice job; a job that I could use to support a family.
I also happen to be pretty smart when it comes to things like math, physics, etc.
So I thought, “Well, I could be a math major. Or a physics major.”
In the end, I ended up texting my older brother who had graduated from the same college with multiple degrees. He’s a physicist, a mathematician, and an engineer (I know, smart guy!).
I asked for his advice, if he could see me as a mathematician or a physicist, and he replied with a simple question: “Why not an engineer?”
I didn’t really get the point: “Why?” Why would it matter? All three majors were basically the same, right?
Math majors and physicists have all the skills to do what an engineer does, as far as I could tell. In a lot of cases, they took similar classes, but for different reasons. All that was really different was the degree you got.
That was what I thought.
But then my brother told me something that I believe applies to waaaay more than just college and choosing a degree.
He told me that no industry/employer/company needs mathematicians or physicists anymore. They need engineers. Why?
Because engineers have something to OFFER.
You see, engineers are able to USE their knowledge of math and physics to create PRODUCTS. They don’t just have the knowledge, they can USE it. And this is what people want. My brother wasn’t saying that mathematicians and physicists are good for nothing.
But people want someone that can be useful to them. That’s the way the world works.
How does this apply to writing and promoting yourself?
You have to become something that people want. Or better yet, something that people NEED. Be useful to other people.
This is the best way to promote yourself; by offering something that people want. Sometimes this means not talking about yourself. Maybe this means sharing advice, writing a review for someone, or something else entirely.
Whether we like it or not though, this is the way the world works. People will want you if they need you. So develop the skillset and gather to yourself what people need. The best way to promote yourself is by promoting what people actually want.