Fighting the Hermit Complex

Hello, my name is Destiny. I’m often shy, introverted, private, quiet, and too sensitive at times. I have a very small network of people that I would consider close to me.

hermit crab

In Stephen King’s The Tommyknockers, the main character, Bobbi Anderson, is a writer suffering from the hermit complex. She’s isolated, living alone on a large piece of land, just her and her best friend, a beagle that stays by her side.

It sounds like heaven, doesn’t it? 😉

Of course, as most of you know, Bobbi ends up finding something strange buried on her land, a thing jutting out of the ground. We don’t know what it is, but we understand it is something not good. There’s a certainty that this thing is evil in nature. It compels her, drives her almost to madness in her obsession to discover what it is.

Maybe Bobbi needed more friends. Maybe she needed a girlfriend she could visit and say, “Hey, am I going crazy?”

Of course, Bobbi doesn’t go to a girlfriend. She’s a loner. She suffers from the hermit complex.

I fight against the hermit complex every day. It’s not just a physical thing. It’s a state of mind. I internalize almost everything. If I’m uncomfortable, I’m going to tuck in my shell and ignore you.

I’m a writer. It makes me happy. It’s my dream come true. But, it takes a thick skin at times.

How about you? Are you an author? If you get a rejection letter, do you let it bring you down? Do you want to go and hide in your shell? How about when you get a bad review?

Even worse, are you hiding in fear of only the possibility of a rejection or bad review? Putting your writing out there takes guts. You are exposing yourself. You must accept the feedback, and some of it will be bad. That’s a promise.

Here’s another promise. To truly find your purpose, you need to face those fears that are blocking you. Chase your dreams. Follow your heart. Do the things that make you forget to eat. Do the things that make you want to get up every morning. Do the things that bring you joy. If that’s writing, then put that pen to paper right now.

Fight the hermit complex! Network with others in your field. Prepare yourself for success. You have to see it coming to get there. No more hiding!

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Published in: on September 19, 2017 at 7:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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Readers are right to expect free books.

Please don’t read this blog title and shoot me! 🙂

Picture of the Week - Live Free!

More and more authors are getting frequent complaints their books are priced too high. Some have even said they are asked why their book isn’t free. In today’s market, people expect free books. That is a simple fact, and I can see why.

The book world is completely oversaturated with free books. As a reader, I could get by with never buying another ebook again if I didn’t want to. I have the BookBub app on my phone. If you haven’t downloaded the free app, I would highly recommend it. I get daily announcements to let me know which books are out there for free. Yay! I love free!

Free books are a great marketing strategy for writers. It’s a proven method for getting readers to try one of your books. Some of them will even come back and purchase a book from us starving writers. Thank goodness! Someone actually bought my book!!!

With that said, free books are also a strategy for struggling authors or new authors to get people to read their books. They aren’t giving the books away for a set time frame as a promotion. The books are simply free. The author does not want any reimbursement at all. What they want is readers to read them. They are desperate to get their name out there.

And guess what? These authors are still struggling even though they are giving the product away! That’s how oversaturated the market has become. Free books should be easy to give away, but sadly, that’s not the case.

Have you noticed all the constant contests out there? All readers have to do to win a free book is leave a comment, but many will not be bothered. That’s too much effort when they can click over on Amazon at any given time and pick from a whole list of free books. Why enter a contest they might not even win?

I’ve seen New York Times/USA Today bestselling authors announce on Facebook they are giving away 30 free copies of their new release. Why? They need reviews, and readers aren’t willing to take the time to leave a review without a little bribery. They are busy folks. I can understand. I bet those authors, though they are very popular and very successful, still have problems getting reviews even giving away their product for free.

So, where does this leave authors? Is it possible to make a living in a market where the value of our product has decreased to free? It seems very few authors make a living in this industry.

I love reading free books as a reader, but as an author, if I can’t sell my product, I can’t pay my bills. The book market is getting super tough, my friends. What are your thoughts? Are readers right to expect free books?

Published in: on September 23, 2016 at 12:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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He said WHAT?

dialogueDialogue.

Writers, did you just cringe at that word? Lol. Most writers either feel they write strong dialogue or they feel like it is the hardest thing on the planet. Which one is it for you?

Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way that might help when writing dialogue for your story.

  1. Think about how people sound. Read it out loud. Does the dialogue sound like your character would sound? Does it sound too formal? Most people use contractions when they speak. Correct grammar tends to fly out the window during conversations, so don’t make it sound too formal.
  2. Do all the characters sound the same? Everyone talks differently. Make sure your dialogue is a good match for the person speaking. A child does not sound like an adult. A teenage girl should not sound the same as her mother. A doctor uses terminology people without medical experience wouldn’t know. Make sure the dialogue fits the person.
  3. Are you using the dialogue to move your story along? Reading a whole page of people saying good morning to each other may be very genuine to the way we interact with one another, but on paper, it is totally B-o-r-i-n-g, right? Make sure the conversation has meaning. Bring it to life. Make in interesting.
  4. Add emotion to your dialogue. What kind of scene are the characters in? Should they be happy, angry, sad, or excited? Make their voice match what is happening in the story.baby.jpg
  5. Use your dialogue to really show who your characters are. Some people have certain phrases they tend to use that is unique to them. That can make a character stand out. And don’t forget people lie. Is the character saying one thing, but thinking something else? If you are writing from that person’s point-of-view, you can really emphasize the differences in their thoughts verses their words.
  6. Don’t overuse tags. As long as the reader understands who is speaking, you don’t need to add that tag to every line. Use it when necessary for understanding. A character’s actions can serve the same purpose. People move when they talk. Add a few actions in. Make the scene come to life. Nonverbal cues and body language can tell a lot.

Have anything to add? I know I always welcome suggestions. Please feel free to comment below and add your own advice! 🙂

Writers, who will motivate you along the way?

I’m no expert, but I have a few thoughts for writers looking for support to get through the truly tough times, and here’s what I’ve discovered. Look within. Build a passion, a fire in your gut that will not let you stop until you achieve the success you are looking for.

Make your dreams come true. Be persistent. Don’t stop. Do this for yourself, because you want it more than anything, and because you deserve it!

I’ve been writing for a long time, but my first book wasn’t published until 2009. I have four books under my belt. In the publishing industry, I’m just a baby, a new author. And, I’m still striving hard to truly break out and become that “overnight success.” Sadly, I can’t say I’ve ever had that one person that has ever truly pushed me in my writing, but that’s okay. I’ve still had myself.

It’s kind of like when you go on a diet. You run into those that try to sabotage your efforts, even if they don’t mean to. With writing, some of the closest people to me never say anything about what I do. There are others that make off-handed comments like what I might do “one day,” as if they are just trying to make me feel better, but don’t honestly believe that I’m succeeding at what I do. There are also those that think everything I read is the best thing they’ve ever read, which I appreciate them saying, but is overexaggerated and doesn’t ring true enough to believe. Then, there are those that are overly critical and find something wrong with everything I write.

All in all – all of my friends – all of my family – everyone that means the world to me, they just don’t understand. Maybe they just don’t want me to get my hopes up, then be disappointed if I don’t succeed. But, sorry, there’s no turning back now. I wish they really did believe I am a success at what I do. Most of them have the best of intentions. I still love them more than anything. But, if I want what it takes to make it in this industry, I’m going to have to do it alone and do it for myself.

Don’t get me wrong. You will find a lot of help along the way. Thank God for that. I’ve learned so much from other writers. There’s also those times when I feel particuarly down and I’ll run into a reader on the street who loved my latest release. There’s no feeling like that in the world!

No one truly makes it alone out here, but there’s only one person that can make this happen for you, and that’s you. So, the question really is: do you want it badly enough?

Published in: on June 20, 2012 at 1:37 pm  Comments (2)  
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