Five things Every Writer Should Know: Social Media.

I want to continue with the discussion from a few Mondays ago about social media.

The ‘experts’ state writers are to spend a certain amount of time blogging, tweeting and Facebooking about our book(s), and that it has to be ‘organic’, especially when it comes to Twitter. Problem is, the majority of writers have other things to do during the day, myself included. Goals like this can be a little hard to obtain, but it can be accomplished if you have a solid understanding of exactly what social media is.

Social media is the umbrella term used for online programs that connect people. World-wide there are roughly 15 or so popular platforms (depending on region), that encompass three forms of media; print, video, and picture. While many writers think social media is a pain, it is a necessary evil for this industry, but it can go a little easier if you understand a few things.

So here we go; five things writers should know about social media.

  1. It doesn’t have to be time consuming. 

Did you know you can schedule your posts on a majority of platforms? Blogs, Twitter, and Facebook have options that allow you to schedule, which means you can write out a pile of posts to schedule, which allows you to be consistent with your activity. This is a wonderful tool for writers and should be used all the time and takes some pressure off.

  • Post don’t have to be long. 

 I read an article years ago which stated that the perfect blog post length is around three-hundred words. This is mainly for blog posts, as Twitter already has a character limit. The shorter post are easier on the reader, who may subscribe to dozens of blogs and only a short time to read through them all. I keep mine between three to five hundred words (this one ended up being close to 700) depending on the topic, but it’s a good thought to keep in mind for other platforms as well. I consider short posts a lesson in creativity. Trying to convey what you want to say in as few as possible is a skill on its own.

  • Only do the platforms that you are comfortable with.

There are at least a dozen social media sites on the internet and each has its pros and cons, so do some research before you make an account. What is it you want to do? What kind of content do you want to create? More importantly, how much time are you willing to put into it. Video platforms are time consuming and require a modest amount of money for equipment or programs, while blogging sites are the easiest and require very little in the way of creating content other than writing.

  • There are rules.

Yes, whether you like it or not, there are etiquette rules for social media. Remember, just because you delete something online, doesn’t mean it’s gone forever. Think about what you want the world to see. The link below will take you to a site that can explain it better than I ever can.  

https://www.moneycrashers.com/social-media-etiquette-tips-personal-business/

  • Have fun!

I can’t stress this point hard enough. More than once I’ve stopped doing something online because it became more of a chore than something I looked forward to doing. Hence the reason I haven’t blogged a lot in the last few years. All these platforms are great to connect to people, but they do require some of your time to maintain. You have to want to do it, and have fun while you’re doing it. If it starts to lose it’s appeal or you just don’t feel like doing it anymore, that’s fine. Give yourself a break from it. As a writer, social media is important. Authors need a way to get the word out about new releases, and these platforms are the only way to do it, especially for new writers. This is why I suggested in #3 to only work with a few to start with.

There you have it; five things every writer should know about social media. Join me next week when I take a deeper look at blogs.

Have fun, and stay safe.

Of Writers and Prose: Social Media for Authors.

I can hear you all groaning from here.

Social media; the bane of every writers existence, but one of those things that we all need to do, whether we like it or not.

I wrote this post based on my experiences over the last decade with many social media platforms new and old. Whether or not it’s scientific, I don’t know, but this is the conclusion that I’ve come to. Take it or leave it, it’s up to you.

Social media keeps us ‘seen’ in the publishing/writing world, the one thing that all writers need in order to sell our books. Now, don’t get me wrong, Facebook and Twitter and all the others DON’T sell books, but keeping ourselves visible whether by posting those cute cat photos, retweeting someone’s book promotion, or making that quick video about absolutely nothing, keeps us engaged with our audience and in the end, it’s that engagement we need.

Why do we need it? Because, my friends, THAT is what sells books.

When you retweet another writer’s book promo, publish a blog entry, or make that cute video, you’re creating/manipulating the algorithms that all these sites use. Have you ever noticed when you watch something on YouTube, and suddenly there’s are a pile more videos just like the one you watched? That’s the algorithm working. Content IS the key to algorithms. It’s the reason the majority of how-to sites for social media specifically state that you should post on a regular basis? Because you’re creating the algorithm that will allow a potential audience to find you.

When someone clicks on your social media site, more of your content will appear on whatever platform they are using. If you post regularly, even as little as once every two weeks, you are actively engaging with the platform and it will recommend your site and more of your content. Don’t believe me? Click on a YouTube video and see how many more of the same type show up on your feed. (I’m using Youtube as an example because that’s the one that moves the fastest.) Click one video on say ghost pictures, and Youtube will list a dozen or more other channels with ghost pictures, or more content from the channel you watched.

That’s the algorithm in action. That’s what you need to harness.

Each platform is different and it takes a bit of time to figure out how each one works. TicTok is similar to YouTube with its algorithm, but I think Facebook is the slowest. Twitter goes by who you already follow, so the key is finding the followers, but that’s a topic for another post.

Engagement is the key, not just you putting out content, but you engaging with others, and it doesn’t have to be for hours at a time either, but you need to identify what works best for your and that includes how much time you’re willing to give. Remember, it’s called ‘social’ for a reason, and yeah, I can still hear you all groaning.

Five things Every Writer Should Know. Period.

I’ve been writing for a solid twelve years, and I’ve hung around the writing community for about fifteen. A lot has happened in those years, and no matter how many things come and go, they always stay the same. Every year, new writers enter the writing world and are bombarded with things they should do, shouldn’t do, maybe should do – well, you get the picture. I’m here to tell you, with all the experience and knowledge I’ve gained in the last ten years, or more, there are five things that every writer should know. Now some of this is just common sense, but it doesn’t hurt to restate them every now and then.

  • Writing fads come and go.

Remember that vampire craze a few years back? Remember how everyone was writing about them and you couldn’t swing a rope of garlic without hitting a book that had vampires? Just replace vampires with werewolves, zombies, witches, ghosts, and it can feel like the publishing world is getting a bit crowded with the paranormal, but don’t fret. What comes around goes around, and if you have a paranormal novel with any of the above and you feel it won’t be seen, wait a few years. These tropes never go out of style and there’s a reason there are so many-because they’re popular and have a very large following. Keep writing that book, and when it’s done, do your research. If you feel the time isn’t right put it away and wait for a time when it is.

  • Never compare yourself to another writer

This should be a no-brainer, but it needs to be said. All writers have that internal voice that nags at them and tells them they’re not as talented as (insert author here), or why aren’t your books or your career doing as well as (?). I’ve fallen victim to it myself several times and it’s a real pain in the ass to ignore too, but you have to. You have to tell that little voice to fuck right off. Negativity like that can damage your creative energy. Once you start thinking you’re not as good as so-in-so, you begin a spiral that eventually pulls you away from the passion you have for not just your story, but for writing in general.

  • Agents talk to each other.

Yes, they do. Frequently. They talk to each other and about all sorts of things too; stories about how well their clients are doing, upcoming novels they’re really excited about, and authors who have decided to be assholes and harass or belittle them.  If you harass an agent, you can damn well bet that other agents will not only know about it, but be keeping an eye out for anything you send.  Agents get hundreds of emails per day and the last thing they need is some writer giving them a hard time because that agent passed on their manuscript. I follow several agents and at least once a year I see posts from them about some wanna-be author taking their rejection personally. Please, be an adult about this. If an agent (or editor, for that matter) passes on your manuscript, yes it hurts, but it’s not the end of the world and not worth being labeled. Yes, you heard me right. You’ve marked yourself right from the beginning as being hard to work with, and trust me, NO ONE wants to work with that asshole.

  • Writing is HARD.

A decade or so, when self-publishing soared into popularity, everyone decided to write a book. Nothing wrong with that, but some soon learned that being an author isn’t easy, and neither is telling a good story. I get it. Writing is hard, but the difference between a writer and an author is how you handle that hardship. A new writer may look at other writers/authors and see how effortlessly they accomplish word goals, or publishing goals, or handle promotional work, etc, but I’m going to tell you that each and every writer has struggled with all of these at one time or another. The reason it looks so easy, is because they understand the nature of the beast. Writing is more than just telling a story, and promoting is more than just putting up a link to your novel. This is a business and it has to be treated like one. Learn as much as you can about your craft and everything that comes with it. The writing community is very supportive. Hook up with like-minded people, because the information they can give you is priceless.

  • How-To Books are Guidelines

This goes along with #4. Writing books are a wonderful place to start for the new writer. Hell, even seasoned writers can gain new insight into their writing with them. I have a few myself, but I’m well aware that what has worked for the authors might not work for me. In those instances, I tweak their information to work in my situation. For example, there’s a popular advice that states you should read for 4 hours a day and write for 4 hours a day, every day. I don’t have that luxury and neither do many of my writing friends, but I didn’t dismiss this advice. Maybe I can’t write or read 4 hours a day, but I can write for 30 minutes every other day. The fact is, I’m writing. I’m creating a writing habit that will help me move forward with my stories, and guide me through those days when putting words down is difficult.

So there you have it; 5 Things Every Writer Should Know. Period.

Take care and stay safe.

Of Writers & Prose: When the mind says YES, but the body says NO.

I am the most indecisive person I’ve ever met. My ideas flow like crazy but making them a reality is a whole other story. My on-again-off-again desire to make YouTube videos consumed me for the nearly eight weeks I was off work, until it culminated into a health problem. A minor one, but still it forced me to stand back and take an honest look at what I wanted to do compared with what I could do, and I’m afraid the latter won.

I had a slew of video ideas all planned out. There would be interviews with writer friends on their new books or whatever they wanted to talk about, and I had a series of five minute videos entitled 5 Things Every Writer Should Know, that were quick takes on all sorts of writing related subjects. I did this to keep my mind engaged during lockdown. Last time I did nothing but doomscroll, eat and play video games for six weeds. What I didn’t realize was with the schedule I’d made, I was adding more stress on top of the stress of being in lockdown, and my body (and computer, for that matter) decided I needed a wake call in the form of heart palpitations. My maternal grandfather died of a fatal heart attack at 50, so needless to say I was a bit concerned. I had this years ago when I was drinking a lot of coffee, and they went away when I switched to tea. Quite frankly I feel stupid for it (I know I shouldn’t, but I do), and once I cancelled the interviews everything went back to normal literally overnight. I did toy with the idea of starting them up again, a part of me isn’t willing to risk another round of problems.

Having said that, I still like both of these ideas, but I’m going to make them more me-friendly. The short series I’m going to put up on my blog. I think it’ll be a nice addition to my Writers and Prose posts, and as for the interviews, well, I still want to do that as well and I’m working on making it a reality, just in a different, less stressful way.

Stay tuned . . .

Of Writers and Prose: Self-Isolation and the Writer

These are wild times we’re living in. Nothing like this has happened in four generations; not since the Influenza Pandemic of 1918. It’s the stuff of apocalypse movies, books and a few tv shows, but the funny thing is, it’s nothing like we thought it would be like.

I haven’t worked in over a month. As of this date, six weeks exactly. At first we were only supposed to be out for two weeks, and I thought great, this will be the perfect time to get so much writing done. I’d get a few chapters finished my Steampunk, maybe a revision or two on my Scifi novella, and even get a few pages written on a script or two. In the end, I’d come out of this pretty much ahead of the game.  One thousand words per day on novels and three pages of script writing; that was the personal goal I set up for myself a few days into my self-isolation. Not to mention, I’d finally be querying my zombie plague novel (perfect timing, eh?), and maybe get some blog posts done.

That was the plan was, but reality has a funny way of slapping you in the face. Reality sets in and I spent most of the time watching the news or reading reports on the spread of the virus. I’d burn myself out so much that I’d shut my laptop off and immerse myself with Netflix or dvds and go to bed late, only to wake up and start this routine it all over again. Two full weeks it went like this, and with each passing day with no writing I started to work on other projects just to keep my mind from thinking I was failing. Knitting projects, baking projects, even some baking experiments (which failed). I was doing everything BUT writing. I didn’t want to acknowledge that I’d failed at the schedule I’d set up for myself. I didn’t fall into the mindset of not writing means I’m a failure at it, but rather, my goals were easily obtainable, I just didn’t WANT to do them.

I couldn’t write because I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to immerse myself in my created worlds. I wanted to know what was going on in the REAL world, especially with my friends in the US. It was a type of FOMO, and the more I succumbed to it, the more I hated doing it, but it was an addiction that I had to break, but writing wasn’t a part of it. Hence the other activities. Three weeks I was like this; doing everything but writing. Then comes the back-end of it; trying not to succumb to the regret of NOT writing. Of all that time wasted doing anything but writing, and that feeling is more insidious that the first. As I said, I’ve been isolating for six weeks, and it may be another six weeks before I can go back to work. This blog post is the first new thing I’ve wrote, and it feels weird, but it’s a start.

What’s on the eReader.

The Wailoa Waltz (The Noelani Lee Mysteries Book 6)

Blurb: For Hawaiian PI Noelani Lee, a typical Wednesday morning begins like any other day. But a bizarre series of events propels her into a case rife with disjointed family dynamics, unsettled scores, and murder.

It all starts when an elderly survivor of the 1960 tsunami asks Noelani to find her lost maneki**neko, or Japanese lucky cat. One problem: the ceramic figurine has been missing for 30 years. But before she can say “no,” Noelani is caught in a grudge-fueled tug-of-war between the scions of two once-powerful organized crime families, who also want the cat, and a shadowy former underworld kingpin, whose motives are less than transparent.

In taking a case she doesn’t want and would be better off avoiding, Noelani finds a connection between the missing cat and a decades-old unsolved murder—and an unexpected, unwanted, and gut-wrenching family reunion.

Publisher & Date: Self Published via distributors November 5, 2019.

Book Link: https://www.amazon.com/Wailoa-Waltz-Noelani-Lee-Mysteries/dp/1709437774

~~~

Review:

With the pandemic raging I decided to take the time and branch off into genres I don’t normally read, and I started with a crime mystery.

As the blurb states, this story centers around a small ceramic cat that has been lost for several decades. The request for its return is harmless enough, but Noelani soon learns that there’s more to this cat than anyone is willing to tell her. The cryptic explanations and vague memories from everyone she questions doesn’t add up, especially when some clues point to a seemingly unrelated and unsolved murder that occurred around the same time the keepsake went missing.

Set in Hawaii, the writing is strong with quirky, eccentric characters that are all connected one way or another to the cat. I love that the author peppered the story with references and detailed descriptions of Hilo, with a bit of history thrown in to add to the overall flavour of the plot.

The only drawback that I had is that the story is thirty-three chapters long. At first I was hesitant about starting it because of this fact. I’ve read other novels (and dropped them) that had over thirty chapters, and most of the story therein felt more like padding and didn’t really move the plot forward in any way, but not for this story. For this story to truly reveal its secrets, I don’t think the author could have edited anything out and still keep it interesting.

I greatly enjoyed this book, and as it’s the sixth book in the series, I’ll be back for more investigations by Noelani and crew.

4 out of 5 stars.

Of Writers and Prose: Writing and Social Media.

I’ve written about this before (at least three times), and apparently I’m not done. I still believe that social media is a great ‘tool’ (note the parenthesis) for writers, and used properly it can have a great influence and help authors sell their books.

There are a few more platforms to choose from, but for this post I’m going to stick the ones I use most; my blog, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Tiktok.

Yes, I said Tiktok.

In the beginning there was Facebook. All writers had an author page. I still do, but in the last ten years it’s become less popular due to their TOS, and the few scandals around their algorithms. Their paid promo’s haven’t show to increase anything, no matter what they claim. Ask any author who has paid for their promotion. You won’t like their answer. I rarely use my author page anymore but I’m afraid to give it up.

Enter the New Age of Social Media.

As I stated, there are four I use the most, and while they seem so different in what to post, honestly, they’re all a great way for authors to reach out and connect. One thing you *must* understand; social media isn’t about selling books; it’s about connecting with readers. Writers read other writers, but to really sell you need to step outside of the author/writer/publishing triad and connect with the non-writer. Social media is great for this and you must keep this in mind when you’re using any platform.

#1. Twitter.

Twitter is real-time short conversations. There are threads that go on for post after post, but for the majority it’s short 250 character thoughts. Even Twitter realized how important the platform could be and doubled the character limit. Twitter is great to give a quick shout-out to folks, do a book promo, or engage in meaningful conversations with other writers. It’s typing, and writers are comfortable with this format.

#2. Instagram

The IG is a place writers can express their creativity through photos or short videos. This platform is good for book covers, pictures that inspire you to write, or have inspired you in other ways. I’ve posted pictures of excerpts on my account, food pics, cats, weather. You name it and I’ve probably posted something like it on my IG account. This is one of the places that I can reach out to non-writing folk.

#3. YouTube

Okay, here’s where things start to get a little time-consuming. It’s taken me about ten years, but I think I finally know how to utilize this platform. Right now I’m doing about one video per month, because the amount of work required to get one up is incredible. I can spend at least a whole day editing a thirty minute video down to around five to six minutes. There’s music that I add and I have an opening title and credits as well. The main reason I do the videos is to acclimatize myself to speaking about my work. I can sit at a computer and type away about my books, but *actually* talking about them is a different story. Making videos, watching how I move, how I speak, it’s preparing me for a time when I might have to talk to a lot of people about my books. YouTube is a lot of work, but for me, it’s something I want to invest the time in.

#4. TikTok.

Welcome to YouTube lite. It’s the only way I can explain it. The app has editing tools and you post short vids (about a minute long) about anything you want. I have a video editing program I bought for YouTube so I can do a bit more with my vids, but I try to keep them short and hopefully interesting. I haven’t been on long, and am setting up certain days to post certain videos. You can use hashtags just like you do on Twitter and IG. It’s only three years old, but it’s wildly popular.

The last platform I want to talk about is a blog. I don’t know how many times I’ve read these click-bait articles about how blogging is dead. No, it isn’t, and it never will be because those who use it will always feel the need to express themselves through words. I still recommend new writers start a blog, just so they can get used to the idea of creating new content and keeping a deadline. It’s perfect for the introvert who doesn’t feel comfortable with any of the other platforms.

Well, there it is, my fourth blog post about social media. If you’re interested in the other articles I wrote, I’ve linked them below.

Of Writers and Prose: Five Problems with Social Media

Of Writers and Prose: Are Authors Sick of Social Media?

Social Media for Writers: The New Time-Suck or Time to Connect?

Of Writers and Prose: Writing as a Source of Income.

As an author, I can say I have lived my dream job.

Creating worlds and stories has been something I’ve done since I was a child, but I never entertained the idea of making money from it until I was in my early forties. To spend the day deep in prose and publishing the books myself has been one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done.

Every writer’s fantasy is to be able to stay at home and write, and, to a greater extent, make a living off of the novels we create. For some people, it’s the reason they start writing, but when reality sinks in, and they soon realize that money from novel writing doesn’t go the way they planned, they have to accept the fact that they may never live out their dream.

Take it from me, making money writing novels can take a long time; sometimes years, and can be full of frustration, disappointment, and rejection. I started in 2009 and put out my first novel two years later. I did quite well those first years, but it took several more until I saw a sustained amount coming in every month. It wasn’t life changing, but it was something and it allowed me to invest in editors and better book covers. At the same time, other authors were coming to the same conclusion I was; the more content you have out, the better chance you have of making money. This was the era of Amanda Hocking. Don’t know who she is, Google it.

I saw authors put out two or three novels a year (digital), and while many of those were of a good quality (proper editing, eye-catching cover), many more were not. Within two years self-publishing became such a glut of badly written novels put out by people who saw it as nothing more than a get-rich-quick scheme. There was such a glut of digital books that it was almost impossible for a new author to be seen, let alone make any money. The only ones who were still profiting had a large back list and had been in it for a while.  

The same holds true now.

So the question is; can you make money from writing novels? Yes, if you’re willing to spend the time and energy doing so. Writing novels isn’t a cash cow, and you’re not going to get that six-digit contract with a publisher, so why do it?

Because you’re a writer, and you HAVE to write. There are more options for writers now than there were ten years ago, but not enough to allow someone to quit their day job, and I strongly advise that you don’t.   Unfortunately, the days of sitting at my laptop writing all day have disappeared. The income from my books disappeared as well and while I do still get the odd payment from Amazon, it’s nothing like it used to be. While I haven’t put out a book in almost five years (yikes!), the dream of returning to writing full time is constantly on my mind, and as I put the finishing touches on my zombie/plague novel, I find myself thinking the same questions I did ten years ago; will it be with an agent and a Traditional Contract? Indie? Who knows, but at least I know it’s possible to make some money with a writing gig.

Of Writers and Prose: A Writing Career Ten Years On.

This year marks ten years that I have been published. I started off with short stories and advanced to self-publish six novels. In the last decade I’ve seen a lot, learned a lot, written a lot. Much has changed, but much more has stayed the same. One thing that has changed drastically is my writing.

I realized this when I was putting together a teaser for my first novel, The Watchtower. I cringed as I re-read the first three pages. Back then, I thought it was good, and for that period of my life, it was. As the years went by, I knew my writing strength improved, but I didn’t want to take them down. I wanted people to see how my craft evolved over time. Writers don’t start off strong, it’s a muscle we learn to build and I wanted people to see mine; see how my craft progressed. Now, I’m not so sure.

It isn’t that I’m embarrassed about these books, I’m not, but I find they lack the creativity I have now, and as I don’t have any plans to self-publish again (at least not right away), as much as I want to keep them up, I also want to take them down. I suppose I could revise them; bring them up to today’s standard, but I have only a set amount of time I can write and I’d rather be focused on new projects than old ones. Especially as I have so many new ones. I don’t make a lot of money on them to start with, so that isn’t a factor.

There’s another point that has me thinking about this; ‘non-competition’ clause in some contracts. Quite frankly, I’m not sure what to make of it. I understand where it’s coming from, and I don’t think it should be a strike against an author if they do have self-published works, but it really comes off that way.   One thing is for sure, I’m glad for the experience that came with self-publishing and wouldn’t change my decisions, but now I’m looking forward to taking a different path with my career and I’m torn on whether or not to keep these novels up. This is a difficult decision, but one I think I have to make. I will keep you posted.

Of Writers and Prose: Writing after an illness.

Quill-And-Ink-Line-Art-300pxI have a very unusual factoid about myself; I went into the emergency room of the local hospital once a year for about seven years. A few times it was minor (seriously sprained ankle) a few other times it was serious (mild concussion, appendicitis), but even with the minor health problems, it still knocked the hell outta me, and put me off of my writing routine.

Getting sick can throw a writer off faster than anything. It’s a strange feeling too look at the open word file and know I wanted to write, but the words weren’t there. My mind goes silent. It’s disconcerting as my brain is constantly at work; plotting out ideas, dialogue or scenes. From the moment I wake up until I fall asleep, that’s all I think about, and not always about the same WIP. I have distractions, work, games, life and the internet, but even at night as I try to relax and fall to sleep, I play out in my mind a plot or idea for a story.

Out of all the health issues I had, the concussion was the worst. Not only did I not feel like writing, I didn’t feel like doing anything. It was a good week before I even entertained the notion to open a word file and fell into my nightmare. I stared at the words on the page and no matter how many times I read or re-read, nothing came to me. I literally had no idea what to write. This wasn’t writer’s block. This was something else and it scared the hell out of me. The idea that I may never create another story scared me so much I refused to look at any word files. My fear turned to anger and I deleted the story desktop icons on my screen. I wanted nothing to remind me of what I couldn’t do anymore. My husband was incredibly supportive. “Just leave it alone,” he said. “It’ll come back to you. Do something else.”, but that was it. I don’t know how to do anything else. I can’t paint or draw, can’t sing or play music. Writing is the only creative outlet I have and I’ve been doing it since I was seventeen. For those few weeks, I never felt so absolutely useless. I don’t’ know how else to describe it.

I focused on work and played games. I was still in a fog at work; and they gave me short shifts to help me heal. It was a good two weeks before that feeling set in. You know the one; you’re supposed to be doing something, but you don’t know what. That was my brain telling me that I hadn’t written anything for a while and I need to get my ass in gear. I was excited. It was another week before I opened a word file, but the words didn’t come easy. I found my attention drifting to other things, things that didn’t require me to think. Games mostly, but in that non-thinking mode, it would poke at me; and I’d go and look at the file again. Slowly, over the course of another week the words came, but not in the way I expected. I was writing new words, but revising the pages I already had. I re-read scenes and found countless ways to improve them. I was pleasantly surprised to find my creativity had kicked up a notch. This is part of the reason why I re-opened my zombie survival novel.

The second worst was my appendicitis. Three weeks of recovered and I had to be careful how I moved so not to rip my stitches. Any kind of pain is a creative killer for me. Game over. Done. It drains my energy and forces me to focus on being comfortable instead of creativity. The recovery was a slow process, but I did manage to get a few pages written.

I’ve told you all of this because I’ve always been a strong advocate for being in the best mindset for writing stories. I dislike the adage of a writer having to write every day, because quite fucking frankly, we’re not always up to it and forced writing to me, it worse than not writing.

If you’re sick, take care of yourself. You are the instrument in which the stories flow. If the instrument is not in proper care, the story suffers. Be good to yourself. That’s all that matters.

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