Tag Archives: Facebook

Crossroads

After writing and publishing for over 25 years, I am at a crossroads.

Romance or mystery?

Screenplay or graphic novel?

Self-publish or traditionally publish?

Self-produce a movie or sell an option through an agent?

Upon professional advice, I have made some changes:

1. Given up my Facebook Fan page
2. Queried the top 5 publishers on my bucket list
3. Bought Final Draft to write a screenplay and a graphic novel
4. Solicited my favorite movie production company
5. Read the classics I was not assigned in school

I spent the majority of my summer in a rented space rewriting THE DIVORCE PLANNER on spec. For those not in the publishing business, “on spec” means the editor is interested in the concept but not the execution of a story and will not commit to a contract until the story delivers. Now I am waiting to see whether or not my rewrite results in a written contract to publish the story.

After warning my fans that I would be moving to this website for news and updates, I said goodbye to 10 years on Facebook. That doesn’t bode well if I ever want a job in marketing, but it does give me peace of mind after my business consultation.

Why a business consultation? Because writing for publication is a business. It needs to be profitable. The IRS can deem my writing a hobby if I fail to make the numbers that result in a tax bracket that pays them each year. And, after the time I have invested, I owed it to myself to see what I can do to maximize my potential before I decide to pursue other interests.

Right now, I do not want to commit to another writing project. During my morning runs, a story idea is developing. I have written the synopsis down. But I have not opened up a blank page to write the first chapter.

Why?

Because I need this time to breathe and wonder before I plunge back into the writing waters and swim to another shore.

How to Increase Productivity

This guest blog is written by Mat Veni. Mat Veni is a life hacker, not a hero. His do-it-yourself toolkit to stop procrastination can be found at You Tube.

I’m not in the right mood right now. I don’t feel well. I’m tired working all day. It would be easier to do it on the weekend. . .next month. And next month leads to the month called never-month.

Procrastination isn’t just a distraction or a kind of laziness. It’s often the choice that I’ll do it better if I do it later. Or I’ll do it later because it’s too important to do it poorly.

I have tens of arguments on why I won’t do it now. And they are all excellent. Truly are. Oh, come on, they are excuses because I don’t have a will to work on big tasks, or something that requires me to dig deeply.

I can easily say I need to check my emails, see what’s happening on social media sites, keep current on breaking news or the check out what’s new in sports. I also need to know what the weather is going to be and, of course, I need to take a break and get something to eat. And when I’m done with that, something new will have broken in the news. And here we go again. What are some of your favorite excuses?

So procrastination is about the ‘not right moment.’ But in short, the ‘right’ moment doesn’t exist.

There are plenty of ways to avoid distractions. I can switch off the TV, disconnect the Internet, and turn off my phone, but I can still find a way to switch to the ‘do it later’ tool. So I need something to remind me what is best for me, what I truly want. I don’t want to be a 100% totally unproductive guy.

Yes, I understand my brain needs boredom. It needs to relax and make decisions later. I’m ok with that. I’m also fine with some distractions that might help me increase my knowledge and react differently and maybe become even more productive tomorrow.

But it’s not all right with me if the procrastination lasts forever. I can be patient, but I want things to be done.

How to limit procrastination:

1. You must know what you want and when you want it.

Even if I don’t like to set goals, I need to define what it is I want and the timeframe in which I want it. Without a clear destination and deadline, I will never take the minor steps toward accomplishment.

2. Know what motivates you.

I need something that internally drives me. Otherwise, I soon realize I will get nowhere.
I use simple reminders of my motivation:
– Colored stickers. Red is passion. Blue is calm. Green is productivity. Yellow is happiness.
– Quotes. They are simple and quick to read and powerful enough to remind me of where I want to go.
– Accountability partner. It’s a great method to share your problems with someone else who shares a similar goal. You can remind each other of your motivation and encourage each other to continue on the journey even when you want to procrastinate.

3. You need to be organized and record your journey.

I prefer to keep an old fashioned notebook with me to list each step I’ve taken towards achieving my goals. There are also tons of free apps you can download onto your smart phone to help track your journey. I’ve used both, but I prefer the physicality of holding a book in my hands.

How do you ‘fight’ against the never ending battle with procrastination?

The Cult of Social Media

Frustrated Woman Using Laptop

“Not everyone can be a hero. There are more people who need to be saved.” -Anonymous

My fourteen-year-old daughter videotapes me. I am dancing and singing to the latest hip hop tune on the radio. She quickly uploads the video to Snapchat and labels it, “My Mom is Silly.” She giggles as she plays it back for me. When I fail to protest against the post, she deletes it. “Why did you do that?” I ask. “I want to be the most popular mom on Snapchat.”

She shakes her phone at me. “No, you don’t.”

I laugh, but inside I feel like my father. He wanted fame and fortune for his four daughters, but he didn’t get it. He taught us to dream big; not knowing our dreams would leave us orphans living ordinary lives.

But with the advent of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and other social media, everyone is entitled to their daily shot at fame and for some, even fortune. Everyone has a chance to be a hero. Everyone has a chance to save the world with a few clicks at the keyboard. Suddenly you are the star of your own show, and if you’re lucky, you’ll have enough followers to inflate your ego for weeks at a time…or at least until your next post.

With all of this power comes the threat of loss of privacy, loss of intimacy, and the loss of self. Some video bloggers record everything about their day from the moment they wake up to the moment they fall asleep. Sure, those 12 hours may be edited to last only 15 minutes, but those 15 minutes shared are now owned by the viewer, whether it’s one person or one million people.

My daughter values her privacy. That’s why she only uses Snapchat with the hopes that the 30 second videos that disappear shortly after being posted are truly deleted from the Internet and won’t resurface three years later when she’s applying for college or a job.

As a middle-aged parent, I understand her concern and her guardedness, but as an author and a public speaker, I can’t afford anonymity. I can’t “save face” as my father always preached. I have to show my face whether or not what I’ve done is shameful or glorious. It’s part of the job.

We sometimes forget the public doesn’t need to know everything, especially when we are sitting in the comfort of our living room posting our thoughts and feelings for the world to see. It gives us a sense of belonging that temporarily erases the loneliness of our increasingly solitary lives.

But is social media the panacea to our isolation? And does it truly replace the intimacy we crave?

We go online for everything from shopping to information, but we go offline to live. It’s in those moments of being face to face with another human being that we get a chance to express what we hold in our hearts to be true: our irreplaceable uniqueness is what makes us sympathetic and real.