The emotional trap of self publishing

I remember back to the day that i was accepted by my publisher and grin. The excitement of the moment was a wonderful feeling, then reality set in. I had absolutely no idea what to expect and approached each one of the task i was assigned by my publisher with glee and wonder. What I didn’t expect was how addictive all of it became.

I was told to market, to establish an online presence, create a blog, yada yada. For me, each one of those tasks took on a life of their own, I became overly concerned with collecting followers on Twitter, writing blog posts, finding ways to automate posts, and more yada yada.  My whole existence became about the presence I was told to establish. The thrill of my work being in the public eye was gone. In short it was all about the marketing, the creation of the author persona, the peddling of my wares to a world I didn’t know.

The tasks my publisher requested I perform all made sense, and were the right things to do to make money selling my compilation of words to an unsuspecting readerdom. I went out into that world expecting to end up being the very next Stephen King. What happened along the way was completely unexpected.

I became obsessed with keeping in touch with the people I had connected with via the world of micro-blogging. The book no longer mattered, what mattered to me more than anything else was showing the world what a great, caring, and wonderful guy I wanted to be. I became overly active in seeking validation from people I had never met. My TweetDeck application ran 18 hours a day, and I started skipping out on family functions because I was afraid I would miss that one Tweet of the day that would make me feel good about myself. The obsession with external validation nearly drove me insane.

And all this happened in a short 4 month span of time.

Today is not the same. Today the creation of Dream State has to stand on its own, it has to be good enough by itself without my being overly concerned with whether people get it or not. Today, I have some one that manages and secures all those things for me that need be accomplished to get the word out. Today, I rarely use Twitter.

Today I am again comfortable with me, warts, bumps and all.

I hope that some one out there can identify with my tale, and find some solace in knowing they are not the only one feeling the feelings they have.

Namaste,

Robert

Mothers Day – A perspective

It’s officially that time of year, the day when all of America is “supposed” to honor our mothers. I like the concept, that one special day where Mom is supposed to be exalted, pampered, and sometimes just left alone.

Mom’s are special creatures, universal in their actions, whether a member of the human race or the animal kingdom, there is a an inbred need for them to protect. Mom’s of the human variety play so many different roles in the play of life that often it is hard to discern who she really is. Early on she is the provider of nourishment, providing for her child of herself. She transitions into the first educator most of us know, teaching us effective boundaries intended to keep us safe.

Through the course of her tenure as a Mom, she will move in and out of educator, cook, nurse, doctor, therapist, counselor, friend, confidante, disciplinarian, cleaner, laundress, mender, maid, and financier. She often accomplishes being all those in a single day, and we fathers, boyfriends, lovers, and friends often wonder why she gets bitchy. If most of the male gender were to attempt that many character shifts in a single day our heads would explode. We would wind up laying in the fetal position, sucking out thumbs, crying out for who else, that’s right, Mommy. 

Mom’s have this running plan in their head, some rely on paper to keep it all straight. Make no mistake about it though, regardless of how she does it, she is the consummate planner of the world in which she resides. There are the schools, banks, doctors, and specialists. The meals, laundry, cleaning, stories, and baths. Don’t forget the recitals, practices, games, and birthdays. She accomplishes all this and most of the time holds a job, as well as her own network of friends.

Absolutely amazing that we haven’t yet legislated that one day a week be dedicated as  mom’s day off. When I stop to consider all the things my child’s mother accomplishes in the course of a single day, I stand in awe.

So for all you Mom’s out there, this father’s hat is off to each and every one of you. I applaud your strength, courage, stamina, and ability.

Happy Mothers Day.

Namaste,

 

Robert

Dream State Review by Melanie Vautour

I opened my twitter mentions column in tweetdeck yesterday and found out that Melanie had finished her review of Dream State, and what a surprise it was. My appreciation to Melanie for the time and effort it took to read and compose the review.

It can be found at http://melaniesrandomthoughts-melanie.blogspot.com/2010/05/book-review-dream-state-by-robert-e.html.

Thank you all for your support.

Namaste,

 

Robert

Interview ALERT

I had the pleasure of answering a few questions about myself and Dream State last night for Melanie Vautour. I was honored to be asked for the interview by such a wonderful person. Melanie has been ever vigilant in RT’ing many of my posts and supporting me as a writer since I entered the world of writerdom just a few short months ago.

My thanks to Melanie for her questions and the opportunity.

The interview can be found at http://melaniesrandomthoughts-melanie.blogspot.com/2010/05/interview-with-author-robert-e-crull.html

Additional thanks to @Veronica_tx for her support and efforts in getting the word out.

Namaste,

 

Robert

Writing Wednesday

The story has rambled through your head for awhile now and the process of writing it has begun. You envisioned a leading man with all the right good and bad qualities, the ones that make him irresistible, but as you begin to write, it just isn’t flowing. The damsel is taking on a life that is more heroine than victim, and now the frustration sets in.

Sound familiar.

It’s happened to me more times than I can count and leads to the same frustration every time. I have learned though that sometimes the thought of my story is completely different than how it turns out. The process of allowing the words to flow from my overly active thinker to the page causes me to focus on the process of creating, not the process of writing. There is a difference, at least to me, in these two processes and I have to treat them separately.

Creation is allowing the story to flow one word at a time from my mind onto the screen. I use a guided stream of consciousness process for this aspect of storytelling and allow it to go where IT goes without much concern for flow, grammar, or basic mechanics.

Writing, to me, on the other hand is the process of fine tuning the creation. This is where I spend time on the mechanics and overall story. I knit snippets together, sew in a lot of detail, and add back stories where appropriate.

This two step process for me, allows me to get to know the story that wants to be told without concern for it meeting specific criteria. I then use the tools of writing I have acquired to make for a readable book. After I am finished with my part of the effort, I turn the package over entirely to someone I trust to tell me where it meets readable expectations, and where it falls short. This person is my editor, a man I have known for years and trust to share my vision for the story.

I wish you all great success as you see your dreams appear one word at a time.

Namaste,

 

Robert

Monday Ramble

My absence of late was born out of a need for a break. A break from the stress of the job, the day to day mental maturations that often led me to places I had no business going, and most importantly, a break from the losses I had experienced but was too bull headed to admit.

I have now ended that break and can say that I am glad to be back, though I will not be quite as visible as before, I am still glad to be back. Looking back now on the last ninety days, the one thing that I missed the most was reading the wonderful posts of some of the great authors I have had the pleasure of getting to know. Starting out about nine months ago I discovered Twitter and the fast and furious pace at which it showers us with personal information from our tweeple.

I was amazed at the microbursts of information that came at me one hundred and forty characters at a time. I learned a new language, that after initiation, began to make sense. All the RT and FF and hashtags that flew around those first tentative weeks now are just a part of my online experience.

Thank you to all my friends out there showering me with splendid bursts of your life. I wish you all the very best.

Namaste,

Robert