Monday, August 24, 2015

How to Succeed Against Abuse

 
Super Saiyan 4 Goku, from Funimation



Trash.
Worthless.
You're nothing.
Without me, you're nobody.

Do any of these words sound familiar? Do they bring back a familiar sting? Were they accompanied by a slap, a shove, a punch? Something that made you want to curl up into a ball and disappear from the world?

For those of us who grew up with this crap, the sting never fades, not for one moment. We learn to deal, to live with it, if we can. But the memories are always there, at our mind's back door, waiting to pounce at a moment's notice.

My very first memory is of familial violence. Though I was never an easy kid, my home life was a nightmare. Days were filled with words like these, and many more, of how I was never good enough, how I would inevitably end up dead or in jail.

To be fair, for the longest time, they were right.

Those words and the feeling of those blows, still haunt me to this day.

Like I said, maybe we weren't the easiest kids to raise, but no child deserves to grow up in fear. If you believe that fear and violence is the way to get through to your children, I beg you to either reconsider parenting, or consider giving them up to someone who will do right by them.

I'm grown now, closer to forty than I am to thirty, and I was recently reminded of exactly what my upbringing was about. That's what prompted this blog.

And then I start to think, as I hope you do.

Where are you now?

Do you have a job? Friends? Ambitions? People who love you?
Do you have a child who thinks the world of you?
Are you trying to just trying to get by in this world, like the rest of us?
Are you still here?

Because if you are, guess what.
All of your tormentors, your abusers, your detractors?

THEY FAILED.

That's how you truly overcome the monsters that did their best to kill your soul. YOU SUCCEED.
When I say "Succeed", I don't mean make millions of dollars (though that would be nice) or do something revolutionary or world-changing. I mean you get up, every single day. You care for your friends and the people who love you. You make sure your children are okay. You hold fast to the things that mean something to you. And you do this every single day.

To simply survive in this world as a good person despite the monstrosities you've had to endure, THAT is how you succeed. THAT is how you prove them wrong.

As for me? I'm still alive. I'm writing this from the comfort of my bedroom. My son is making his own breakfast. My fiance is spending time with a lifelong friend. I have a home, transportation, a job I love and a plan to have complete control of my schedule within five years.

So I'm not trash.
I am not worthless.
And I earned the life that I lead.

YOU ARE NOT TRASH.
YOU ARE NOT WORTHLESSS.

The truth is, within you lies a strength that terrifies your abusers, one they hope to destroy lest it overwhelms them.

And if you get up every day and handle business, then you have proved them wrong.
Some of us have to get beaten down to realize how powerful we truly are.

Thanks for reading and best of luck.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Indie Authors: Promoting Your Stuff

Image Courtesy of Gratisography



Indies, there's no getting around this; if you want to be successful in your endeavors, you will have to learn to leverage social media.

The good news about this is that this is nowhere near as scary as it sounds. I know social media can seem like some daunting, troll-infested monster that exists only to chew you up and eliminate you (and to be fair, a lot of it is), but the truth is, once you sift through all the spam and crap, you will find it to be your most invaluable marketing tool. Especially since you can do a great deal of it for free.

Here are some quick tips to get your started.

1). Find Your Favorite Platform.

Twitter is where I'm at my best, followed closely by Facebook. I maintain presences on LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Plus, and I promote the end of domestic violence and child abuse on Tumblr. Try each of the different social medial platforms to learn which one you're most comfortable with. Be yourself. Be authentic. Be genuine. You'll run into scum, sure, but chances are you'll meet some like-minded people and that's what you're looking for.

2). Promote the Holy Hades Out Of Everyone Else.

This is the most important step you can take. Promote others and do so relentlessly. With tweetdeck, I have columns dedicated to the people I engage with the most and another labeled "#amwriting" so I can engage with the hashtag I'm most active in. I'll take a second to check out the tweet or headline, I'll read the article, and then I'll retweet it. I'll do this for as many people as I can. Doing this has allowed my twitter following to engage at a clip of nearly one hundred new followers per month, and opened up a lot of new relationships.

Promote others before you begin to promote yourself, I cannot stress this enough. The people who blow their own horns all day quickly become ignored and irrelevant, because no one wants to hear that all day. But if you're promoting someone else, contributing to the success of others with no thought to your own, and if you're patient, I promise, you will begin to see results.

3). Use Sites Like Triberr.

Triberr has been an absolute boom to my marketing. This is a site where you upload your blog, join various "tribes" that match your interests, and others in said tribe share your posts across their networks, and you do the same.
Triberr is a site in which you get out what you put in. I blog on Mondays, so I tend to jump on roughly every other day to check for new updates. Not only has this given me a reach of three million people who see my posts, but it's also allowed me to meet a ton of new people and improve both my writing and marketing skills.

To summarize, good marketing isn't so much about getting your stuff in front of as many eyeballs as possible, as it is about ensuring everyone else has the same chance. The more you do for others, the more they will do for you. It doesn't happen quickly, or overnight, but if you stick with the process, it does eventually happen.

Thanks for reading. Good luck.

UPDATE: Anna Simpson put together this excellent post on marketing for beginners over on her blog, Elements of Writing. If you're not reading her blog, you should be. 



Avery K. Tingle is a brand-new writing coach and author of multiple short stories across varying genres. Epic fantasy “Era of the Scourge Book 1: The Ring of Asarra” was named a recommended read by Amazon and is available as an ebook or audiobook. Ask how to get a free copy of the audiobook!

Scifi/Romance  “The Anniversary” is available in print as an ebook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, Oyster, and Page Foundry. Ask how to get a signed copy!

You can also read urban drama “The Price of Justice” for free. 

Sign up for thenewsletter, never miss another post, and get more free stuff and discounts than his business manager is comfortable handing out.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Behind the Scenes of Writing And "Reclamation"


Image Courtesy of Gratisography.

What I most enjoy about the writing process is that you never, ever stop learning. We may spend our lives abs
orbing everything we can about the craft only to learn we've scratched the surface of some glacier that runs deep underwater.

When I began this series, the intent was to write a series of short stories, each of which would lead into a novel that told the story of one of the four major antagonists. I didn't understand how people could write entire novels. I struggled to put together short stories.

Then I learned about adverbs and fiction writing.

I was resistant at first; if it works for me, why not use, it, right?
Then I tried it.

No longer relying on adverbs to explain my characters actions forced me to delve deeper into them. The Era of the Scourge series suddenly exploded.

Thus, "Reclamation" was born.

The one mistake I made on the Ring of Asarra was not filling in the backstory, essentially throwing readers into the middle of the ocean and expecting them to swim. The Ring of Asarra is a good story on its own, but suffers because no baseline was established.

"Reclamation" was an attempt to solve this problem before Era of the Scourge Book 2: Warblooded came out. It was meant to be a short story explaining the events that led to the Warblooded, which takes place several decades before the Ring of Asarra.

"Reclamation" now stands at just under thirty-five thousand words, is about two-thirds of the way done, and is most certainly no longer a short story. It will be my first full-fledged novel. Personally, I think it's the best writing I've ever done and those who've checked out the premise agree with me. Some of my subscribers were a little upset with me for prematurely ending the "Reclamation" series so I could focus on the full novel.

I hope to have it finished and in the hands of my editing team by August 29, 2015.

Writing is as close to time-travel and teleportation as one can get. Writing is to leave this world behind, completely, so that only your body remains but your mind is far elsewhere. You take in the sights and smells of the world. You greet the characters and know their nuances. And the better you are at what you do, the more plausible the world is.

The more plausible the world is, the more your readers may enjoy it.

The more your readers enjoy the world, the better your chances are of success.

Never stop learning.

Thanks for reading.



Avery K. Tingle is a brand-new writing coach and author of multiple short stories across varying genres. Epic fantasy “Era of the Scourge Book 1: The Ring of Asarra” was named a recommended read by Amazon and is available as an ebook or audiobook. Ask how to get a free copy of the audiobook!

Scifi/Romance  “The Anniversary” is available in print as an ebook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, Oyster, and Page Foundry. Ask how to get a signed copy!

You can also read urban drama “The Price of Justice” for free. 

Sign up for the newsletter, never miss another post, and get more free stuff and discounts than his business manager is comfortable handing out.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Passion, Work, and The Millennial Attitude



I happened across this article on inc.com today and it got me thinking. I believe I was a millennial before the times. I have to be honest; I find a lot of the millennial attitude refreshing. It's good to see a generation stand up and say We will not stand for this. A lot of things that're complained about now were complaints in my generation. Maybe the employer/employee relationship will be this generation's great change.

While I empathize with a lot of the millenial attitude, I think a few really rotten examples may have soured a lot of us older people to them. But I couldn't help but draw some comparisons between the millenial attitude and those of us who not only relentlessly chase our passions, but look at the world and see something very wrong. So I compiled this small list, advice to the young guns from someone who's still fighting the battle.

1). Find Your Passion.

Figure out what that one thing that drives you. Life's a game, not a party; eventually you either win or lose. I'm not talking about the stupid stuff that gets you YouTube famous. I'm talking about that one thing that people will pay you to do if you're willing to work hard enough. The one thing you would spend your life doing if you could. It will require you to look within yourself and do a little work, but it's worth it.

2). Shape Your Life Around Your Passion.

Unless you already know who you are and what you want from life, chances are slim you're going to find a job that can satisfy your passions. That's life, we all go through it, and I'll address that in my next point. What you can do is take a job that allows you to pursue your passion. I tend to work low-impact jobs that don't take a whole lot of energy. This way, I can pay my bills and have room leftover to chase my dreams. Plus, this is an excellent way to expand your skill set. My career has made me an expert in sales, public and private security, and customer service. My work history has allowed me to pick jobs I actually want to work, rather than have to just to cover bills. I resigned from my last job on good terms and took another that more aligns with what I want from life. Mission accomplished.

3) BE PREPARED TO PAY DUES.

This is where the perception of millenials gets skewed, and with good reason.
You may have to take a job doing something you abhor, working with someone who will drain every ounce of life from you, for very little money. Guess what? We all go through it. You're not special. Suck it up like the rest of us. Tell yourself that it's not forever (that's how I got through it) and in your downtime, take steps to better yourself. Chase your passion. Follow your dreams. The only way you advance is if you advance yourself.Decades ago, I worked a job where I was honestly willing, every single day, to take an assault charge if it meant I got to punch my manager in the face. So in my offtime, I was in the gym because back then, I wanted to fight. When I left that job I gave no notice. That was one of the best days of my life.

Long story short; the only one who will better your life is you; not your parents, not your teacher, and almost certainly not your employers. If you want to demonstrate what you will and will not stand for, make yourself such a positive figure that they have to notice you.

Thanks for reading.


  

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Toning Things Down A Bit This Week...

Hey, Everyone! :-)

So Era of the Scourge: Reclamation completely and totally got away from me. The good news is, this will be my first, full-fledged novel. The other good news is that you will still get it for free. Um, the last good news is that I'm pretty sure I know when it's going to come out.

I took a new day job that has turned out to be a dream come true. So, while I'm certainly not stopping my writing, I do have to dial things back a bit so I can take in the duties of this new gig.

But, I will till post a blog this week, I will continue the Indie Author series next week with a post on promoting our work, and I will announce the release date for Era of the Scourge: Reclamation next week.

So I may not be on social media much this week, and I wanted to let you all know first.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Indie Author: Lessons Learned From Lost Words






I’m running a series for my newsletter subscribers; a fantasy story that leads into Era of the Scourge Book 2: Warblooded, out this winter. Unfortunately (Lesson 1), I hadn’t finished it by the time the series started.

I thought I could rectify that this past week. I’ve been only a holy tear, cutting back on my social media so I could focus on finishing this story. Sure enough, I had a two thousand word day on Tuesday that would enable me to finish the story the next day.

Then, it was gone.

Three or four hours of work was flushed down the proverbial toilet just like that. Few things are more disheartening in this business than putting everything you have into an endeavor only to have it taken, leaving you with nothing to show for it. 

Unless you learn from it. Then, it’s worth something, at least.

I came away from the experience with a bruised ego and having to play catch up, but I did learn a few things I’d be happy to share.

1). Know Your Software.
My editor and I both use Scrivener and Dropbox to get stuff done. I write, upload to a folder, she grabs it, does her thing, and re-uploads. Simple, right?

WRONG!!!

Dropbox, like most cloud-based software, doesn’t like it when two people edit the same file at the same time. Dropbox has a workaround, though; it will create a “conflicted copy” which is a file of one person’s work, while the other person’s work will be saved with the original title.

See the wreck coming yet?

Often when I write, I’m offline, and I can’t sync until I get back to wifi. Then, the sync process happens without my knowledge. Both my editor and I were backed against the wall with our deadline, so she began work without my having synced the work I’d done on Tuesday. Hence, when I logged back onto wifi, her conflicted copy didn’t take my work into account, and for some reason, my upload didn’t record what I’d done.

A day’s work. I can still hear the toilet flushing.

I learned to always, always, ALWAYS ensure my work was uploaded to the cloud before turning my editor loose. Ensure the upload and then check, just to be certain.  Know the limitations of your tools and don’t assume. It may cost you.

2). Respect Your Deadlines.
I’m a plotter/pantser hybrid who’s trying to become more of the former than I am the latter. Writing is hard enough. But when you’re an indie, that’s only the beginning of your labor. After you’ve written, you have to market, release, and engage your audience. All of these can be herculean tasks on their own.

If I had finished the story before releasing it to the fans, I would’ve been able to spend much more time on the business aspect of things and I wouldn’t feel so rushed at the end of each week. Had I not felt so rushed, I would not have put myself in the position that cost me a day’s work and the end of the story.

Deadlines exist for a reason. Use them and respect them.
Writing is a craft and a passion, but it is also a discipline. In order for one to be successful at it, planning and careful execution is required. Plan ahead, know your limits, stick to an agenda and your errors will be greatly reduced.
Thanks for reading.

Avery K. Tingle is a brand-new writing coach and author of multiple short stories across varying genres. Epic fantasy “Era of the Scourge Book 1: The Ring of Asarra” was named a recommended read by Amazon and is available as an ebook or audiobook. Ask how to get a free copy of the audiobook!
Scifi/Romance  “The Anniversary” is available in print as an ebook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, Oyster, and Page Foundry. Ask how to get a signed copy!
You can also read urban drama “The Price of Justice” for free.
Sign up for thenewsletter, never miss another post, and get more free stuff and discounts than his business manager is comfortable handing out.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Indie Authors: What Drives You?

I’ve been spending a lot of time with Bob Mayer’s “Write ItForward: From Writer To Successful Author”. This is unlike any how-to book on writing, and I recommend it for anyone pursuing the craft. Brutally and beautifully blunt, straightforward, with practical advice from a man who cut his teeth in special forces, this book spends a great deal of time drilling down to core of why we write; discovering our true motivations for writing so we can chase our goals down.

One of the best books on writing I've ever read. 


Reading this book (I’m about halfway through it) forced me to do a lot of self-examination that eventually helped me become better at what I do (I hope). The key question is; what drives you?
I challenge you to dig deeper. Yes, you’d like to make money with your writing. Yes, you’d like to make a bestseller list. But what’s beneath all of that? What is really at the core of your motivation?

For me, the answer was simple.

I love my phone. It’s relatively new, as new as most technology can be these days. I wake up and have instant access to my email, news, and most important messages without ever having touched the thing. Yet, once a day, I would gladly trade all the coffee in the world for five minutes with Mjolnir so I could bash the thing into a fine crystal powder.

"The Samsung Galaxy Fine Crystal Powder" just doesn't have a good ring to it.


That time is right around 0430; when my alarm sounds, jerking me from whatever world my subconscious has taken me too and forcing me back to this one.

With every fiber of my being, I cannot stand alarm clocks. I loathe them so much that I often wake up a few moments beforehand just so I can preempt it. More than virtually anything in the world, including brake-tappers and decaf coffee, I cannot abide alarm clocks.

This is the core of my motivation, and once I realized this, I became a lot more productive.
I believe that if I continue to work and produce content that people enjoy, I will arrive at a day where I can unset my alarm—and never set it again.

I am working as hard as I can for that day.

If you don’t know why you’re doing what you do, you may find yourself flailing in the dark.
But once you have a target, you can hit it.
Thanks for reading.


Avery K. Tingle is a brand-new writing coach and author of multiple short stories across varying genres. Epic fantasy Era of the Scourge Book 1: The Ring of Asarra was named a recommended read by Amazon. Scifi/Romance The Anniversary was just released in paperback. You can also read urban drama The Price of Justice for free.

Sign up for thenewsletter, never miss another post, and get more free stuff and discounts than his business manager is comfortable handing out.