Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Self-Promotion, a Promethean Duty


We live in a world that says self-promotion is what effective individuals do, and if you want to be one, you must as well.


Just glance at Facebook, Twitter, or (if you absolutely must) TikTok.


At the same time, the echoes of past ethe reverberate, reminding us that best praise does not come from oneself. Let others toot your horn.


The second feels much better to most writers, who tend to be introverts. Most artistic sorts would rather think about creating than marketing.


Another blog post speaks of this in more detail. Its title, Does the Idea of Promoting Your Book Make You Feel Queasy?— contains the operative word.


Yup, that.

If you self-publish, that’s a given. But today it’s also required of the traditionally published. It is one thing to go on a book tour or give interviews, all arranged by a publisher. These days, such is reserved for a tiny percentage of the big-five publishers’ A-list authors. Even that makes most writers queasy.

I know so many who lament this aspect of the creative life in private exchanges.


Here’s one way to cope with this aspect of work: think of it as a price to pay for the sheer joy of living creatively.

Because in life, there’s always a price.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Better with CATS


A few years back, a friend who only lives with humans asked me what use are my cats.

“They don’t, like, improve anything. You take care of their needs and they do nothing,” she said.

 I tried meekly to pry her feline guard door. “It’s better with cats.”

“What’s better?”


I should have known better. Some folks just don’t get it.

So indulging here and celebrating with those who know how cats improve on everything.

{If you’re allergic, I’m so sorry for you. But a blog post won’t make you sneeze.}

Better with food~πŸ™€

Better with drink~😺

Better for R&R~😸

I think I learned these lessons early~😻

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Advice to Take---

                               ---Or NOT

If you hang out in writerly chat boards or groups, there is a lot of advice bandied about.

Shared experience and help sought and given are wonderful things.

This is obviously true for all matters of living. But it’s up to us, individually, to sort what is working and what we can (gratefully and respectfully) bypass.

Because the gift of leading a life includes the burden of being responsible for actions, never laying it on the person who gave the advice.

I was thinking about writerly advice I chose not to take, and how that choice served to keep me running this marathon instead of collapsing after a short sprint.

*Write every day [Almost every weekday is just fine for me]

*Follow writing trends/Don’t follow writing trends [😡Couldn't if I wanted to, as I've never been a trend catcher. Trends are ephemeral things]

*Get a degree in writing [This requires spare money πŸ’ΈπŸ’² and doesn't in any way guarantee a return]

*Go on a retreat to write [Besides time and money, this is better for the 19th century leisure class than real people living today IMO ]

I’m not dismissing any of the above. Each of these is fine for somebody, just not for me.

That is to say that the hard work of learning how you work has no shortcuts.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022



    Political activists frame their efforts as wanting to make a difference.

    Artists wonder if their art will ever make a difference.

    Writers question if their writing can make a difference.

House cleaners doubt the same; is there a point if tomorrow the house will need cleaning all over again?

On the face of it, very little difference from efforts of few actually make it into the history books.

But here’s the kicker—

From my not humble enough perch, it seems the notion of making a difference is like a picture placed in the wrong frame.

“What do you mean? Is this another one of those artsy sayings meant to sound thoughtful, but is really a trite consolation?”

I can visualize a reader’s eye-roll.

 It seems to me that most efforts we make in our time in this world do make a difference. Our actions make a difference to us.

And therein lies the meaning; small acts, continuous efforts, meaningful in real time. Making a difference every day.

Now go get ’em.