The Jealous Writer, The Envious Writer (revised post)

Damnation, this blog post disappeared. I hate blogging. I hate technology and unreliable wifi. Damn you, Mercury Retrograde. Here’s my best recreation of what was an excellent damn post.

Most of my life, I have been jealous and envious of other people. Don’t look at me like that. You have felt the same way too. In my writing life, I am enthusiastic and proud of my friends for what they are accomplishing. But inside…boy, I am wondering what the hell is wrong with me. Why can’t I do that? Why are you scrolling the #amwriting hashtag when you’re just outlining/responding to email/not doing writing things? Who would buy that crap? Thank goodness you’re using a pen name — you write shitty smut that everyone will laugh at. What’s keeping me from going after that? Why can’t you write GOOD ENOUGH FOR SOMEONE TO ACTUALLY WANT TO SIGN YOU? (Yeah, I am a bundle of joy on my therapist’s couch.) Between tight job-that-pays-me deadlines, the stress of those tight job-that-pays-me deadlines, imposter syndrome, a tendency toward procrastination, and a strong belief that what I write is garbage, I get nothing accomplished.

I am stuck in a creative rut, and I am sick and tired of being in the damn rut. 

I stumbled across The Jealous Curator awhile ago, and I loved the premise:

The Jealous Curator launched in 2009, as a place for me to show artwork that “made me jealous”. Yes, I was jealous of other artists’ work, their lives, their success, their studios. I felt like I’d never have any of that – and I was right – because I wasn’t making art! I was stuck, and so busy comparing myself to everyone else that I didn’t even allow myself to be creative. It was awful. I started the blog to document the work I loved, but more importantly, I wanted to find a way to flip the jealousy into something positive – admiration and inspiration to be specific. It worked!

Right on! God, that site and its author — Danielle Krysa — gets me and my life. I hate these contradictory feelings that I have. I am not mad or frustrated about anyone else’s success. I’m proud of so many people I know through my RWA chapter or my online friends. They have worked hard to get what they wanted and deserved.

I believe that the year can start at any time. I’m not a January 1 purist. New seasons, new semesters, new challenges all mark the start of a new year for me. November 1 is the start of Nanowrimo, and this is my chance to make a fresh start. I am tired of feeling like shit because I won’t have some writing success since I can’t/don’t/won’t write. I can only change me and focus on me, and that’s what this is all about: showcasing the good things I see from romance writers and chronicling my own path toward getting my writing done. This is my way to “flip it and reverse it” — it being my sense of comparison, my lack of writing, and my active competitive streaks. 

#amwriting for Nanowrimo

Day 1 writing badge


Nanowrimo fills me with dread and anticipation. I don’t write long. (Blame graduate school for killing that part of my soul. Plus, I like to read short novellas so that’s my groove.) I don’t write every day. I don’t do a lot of things I should do. (Like floss. I use that example in my messaging and campaigns lecture and a lof of other people don’t floss either. I feel less alone and trifling in that regard.) And I don’t like to share what I am working on. Nano pushes that supercompetitive button that I have tried to lock awayor keep at bay since I stopped being an mathlete/quiz bowl player. (Yes, nerds can be competitive and petty and rambunctious as hell.)

Nevertheless, I am here, fighting the need to go on social media and see how much others are writing or seething (politely) over everyone else’s word count. I am doing me and focusing on my own work. I #amwriting. I #amnoteditingduringamwriting. By golly, I’ve posted 2,000+ words. (Yay me on Day 3.) I’m trying.

Link Love for July 2015

Flannery O’Connor: “You can’t clobber a reader while he’s looking. Divert his attention, then clobber him and he never knows what hit him.”

Susan Orlean: “You should know more than what you put on the page. The reader can sense that.”

Marie Force: The results are in –2015 reader survey

  • In short, ebooks are still hot, especially on the Amazon/Kindle and Apple/iBooks platforms. Readers learn about authors via Facebook.
  • “Forty-three percent of readers in 2015 said “star ratings” on retail sites are not that important and they would try a low star-rating if they like the cover/teaser/sample.”
  • “66 percent of readers say they never peruse the New York Times bestseller list looking for new authors to try, 26 say they rarely check the list, 5 percent check monthly and 2 percent check out the list weekly.

General Assembly: New to social media marketing? Here are 6 best practices

In addition to maintaining your standards and representing your brand with excellence, here are six best practices that span all of the top five social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, and Instagram) and most other social media channels. In other words, if you start off using these best practices, your chances of early success will increase greatly.

(The 6 best practices are: make it brief, use attractive imagery, be inclusive, keep it short, use hashtags (properly), and know that Instagram is different/an outlier.)

Vice: How to come to terms with your attraction to fat girls

To you heterosexual men out there who can’t yet find it in you to outwardly admit that us fatties are capable of being just as attractive as thin women, ask yourself: Why exactly that is? What is it you really fear? The reaction of your friends? What kind of friends are those, if they so strongly want to stop you from being happy?

The bottom line is, fat women are sick of being treated like freaks, and those men who are attracted to us are sick of being treated like deviants. Attractiveness exists on a spectrum, and it’s time that spectrum show all of itself—rolls and all.

Huffington Post: What TV show “Married at First Sight” tells us about modern dating

I’m all for taking a realistic approach to marriage but this is taking it to the extreme. Jumping into marriage for an experiment is a recipe for disaster. But then at the other end of the scale isn’t waiting for the perfect person, and the perfect relationship at the perfect time equally as unrealistic for success? Where’s the middle ground? It’s likely both extremes will end up unhappy.

Fast Company: Why Thursday is a good day to start a new habit

The workweek tends to be slowing down by then. In my time surveys, I’ve found that Wednesday is the longest workday, and then the numbers fall off after that. One survey of HR professionals found that only 3% of people claimed Thursday was the most productive day in their offices. Fewer things are starting up, so you can concentrate your energy and focus on your new routine. You take your lunchtime walk with fewer competing priorities.

Friday lets you repeat the routine, reinforcing it, again with few distractions. Then over the weekend, you can evaluate (or keep going if you intend to). By the time Monday rolls around, you’re already several days into the habit. It’s not a new thing among other new things. It’s just part of what you do. When a new habit becomes just something you do, it has a greater chance of sticking.

Creative Live: The psychology of creating repeat customers for any business

“Instead of relying on expensive marketing or worrying about differentiation, habit-forming companies get customers to cue themselves to action by attaching their services to the customers’ daily routines and emotions. A cemented habit is when users subconsciously think, ‘I’m bored,’ and instantly Facebook comes to mind. They think, ‘I wonder what’s going on in the world?’ and before rationale thought occurs, Twitter is the answer. The first-to-mind solution wins,” Nir says.

Hootsuite: 5 social network features you need to stop ignoring (Twitter-favorites; Facebook-interest lists, LinkedIn-search for posts, Instagram-the following tab, Google-Google analytics snapshot)

Like certain spices in every rack, social networks have features that we simply pass over without giving them much thought. Sometimes we use them, but often as an afterthought with no strategy behind it. But these features were carefully thought out and built. They serve a purpose, a place in a recipe that many of us simply haven’t discovered yet.

Cision: Build your brand on Instagram

…being active on Instagram ensures you’re a part of this big party. But also, so many brands are struggling with how to use or aren’t using it at all, so for those of us on there, we can build our communities, grow our presence, and establish a foundation before everyone else catches on and are left playing catch-up. Instagram is a hyper-rich site for engagement too. With engagement rates 15X greater than Facebook and significantly higher than the other major social media sites, there is real opportunity to connect with and build a devoted audience on Instagram.

Time: How to attract good luck — The 4 steps are:

  1. Maximize Opportunities: Keep trying new things.

  2. Listen To Hunches: Especially if it’s an area where you have some experience, trust your intuition.

  3. Expect Good Fortune: Be an optimist. A little delusion can be good.

  4. Turn Bad Luck Into Good: Don’t dwell on the bad. Look at the big picture.

Inc.: 4 steps to give yourself a motivation makeover

  1. Find new sources
  2. Carve out time daily
  3. Create a social media toolkit
  4. Build a support team

Brain Pickings: The illustrated love letters, thank you notes and travelogues of great artists

Letter writing is probably the most beautiful manifestation in human relations, in fact, it is its finest residue.

Vitae: Ignore your haters and toot your own horn (good advice even if it’s from an academic point of view)

Stanford University: This is your brain on Jane Austen.

Phillips said the global increase in blood flow during close reading suggests that “paying attention to literary texts requires the coordination of multiple complex cognitive functions.” Blood flow also increased during pleasure reading, but in different areas of the brain. Phillips suggested that each style of reading may create distinct patterns in the brain that are “far more complex than just work and play.”

The experiment focuses on literary attention, or more specifically, the cognitive dynamics of the different kinds of focus we bring to reading. This experiment grew out of Phillips’ ongoing research about Enlightenment writers who were concerned about issues of attention span, or what they called “wandering attention.”

Finally, Miss Piggy covers “Bitch Better Have My Money” (the Rihanna version) and it is perfect. Hat tip to Twitter and my friend Deanna for letting me know about this.

Link Love for June 2015

I’m late. June ended a few weeks ago, but I found these links on the last day of the month. I wanted a place to share them as well as keep them, so I am posting to my blog. Hope you enjoy!

The Skim: 1 March 2015

Welcome to The Skim. I skim the news for things I want to read and things you may want to know about.

NPR: Sad news for romance writers. Beatrice Small, the classic author who helped set the genre on a new track, died this week.

The Atlantic: If you haven’t heard or seen the confustion (my word for confusion and frustration) about the dress, spare yourself and just read this article about attention policing and online opinions.

JSTOR Daily: Josephine Baker is the GOAT of all female entertainers. She was Madonna, Janet Jackson, Diana Ross, pre-Sound of Music Oscar set Lady Gaga, and Beyonce before they were twinkles in their great-grandparents’ eyes. Check out this post on the Bronze Goddess. If you can, go see the one-woman show, Josephine and I.

LA Times: There is a place called Gelato University. Here are the nine lessons the author learned there. Top lesson I learned: I should have enrolled here. I would have been the valedictorian.

Everyday Feminism: If you didn’t witness Amber Rose’s epic clapback against the Kardashian Klan, go check that out. And then read this piece on women and sex-shaming.

The Verge: It’s now canon. Catwoman is bisexual.

99U: Stop apologizing for wanting work-life balance. (Ugh. I hate the word balance. I prefer fit. Still a relevant post.)

Astrosaddle: Forget 50 Shades of Grey. Check out this new movie. It’s been called the lesbian Secretary.