Author Interview: The Amazing Patrick Jones

sandy 3
Author Patrick Jones

We have a lot of terrific authors that follow the blog. Patrick Jones is not only a great friend of the blog but a pretty prolific author, and this weekend he’s got a lot going on.

Sure, it’s Halloween for him like everybody else, but he’s running some sales on his books. The details are below, but take a moment to learn a little more about this insightful man – a kind of  modern day Indiana Jones in his own right – as he answers a few questions with me.

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Dan: What is the working title of your next book?

1pj 11pj 2Patrick: My new book, “The River” (a short story) is now available on Amazon.

My last book, “The Wolf’s Moon” is also available on Amazon.

“The Wolf’s Moon” audiobook has also been newly released on the ACX Audible platform.

Dan: Where did the idea come from for the book?

Patrick: One day I went fishing on the Meramac River near the Campbell Bridge. A boy (who said he lived close by) asked if he could fish near me. I told him that he, of course, could.

The boy asked what type of fish I was fishing for. My response was, “Moby Dick.”1pj 1

He had no idea what or who “Moby Dick” was, so I explained it was a book about a white whale. I went on to tell him the story.

The boy did not stay long. The reason he left was a long sad story that he told me before leaving.

I sat for a while longer, only catching two fish (that I released). That is when I decided to write a story about fishing. The rest just happened.

Which is the more important of these two: write drunk, edit sober?

I never tried to write drunk. I know myself well enough that I’d quit writing, drink some more and then fall asleep. Never, ever edit your own stuff drunk or sober. Drunk you will cut the best parts and sober you won’t cut any!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

The Wolf’s Moon” took about a year to write but “The River” only took a few weeks.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Hint: it includes Jennifer Aniston
Hint: it includes Jennifer Aniston

One day, my wife and I were dreaming out loud about who, if we had an unlimited budget, we would pick to play the characters in the movie of “The Wolf’s Moon”. Please see the link to this post about “If The Wolf’s Moon was a Movie”.

Maybe Sandy and I will play the same game for “The River” one cold, winter day…

Which living author or blogger would you buy drinks for?

Hardcore Rule: I only buy drinks for my wife. (She’s a cheap date when she drinks). 🙂

Besides writing, what are your favorite things to do?

Besides writing, I love woodworking. My favorite woods to work are walnut and cherry. The grains are so special.

How did you choose the genre you write in? Or did it choose you?

Photograph taken by Old Time Photos in Lake Ozarks, MO
Photograph taken by Old Time Photos in Lake Ozarks, MO

The genre that I write chose me. The stories I write flow from an unknown place. All I do is put the words on paper as they play out in my mind.

Can you wash light and dark clothes together?  Have you ever turned a bunch of stuff pink in the washer?

Yes, one can wash light and dark clothes together. That reminds me…I have a load to put in the dryer now…and no, no pinks!

How do you decide on a title for your book?

The title, “The Wolf’s Moon,” is what the January full moon is called. In the month of January, the food is sparse and the wolves howl at the moon.

Insofar as “The River,” that is where everything happens.

What do you do for cover art?  Do you do it yourself, hire an artist (you can name names if you liked them), or purchase premade?

My wife is the artist and does my book covers. After she reads the manuscript, her mind flows. She digs through her photos until she finds the one that fits the theme of the story.

How has your experience with editors been?

The author relaxing in his expansive garden.
The author relaxing in his expansive garden.

Editors? Research them! The one we used for “The Wolf’s Moon” was fair to adequate. My readers pointed out problems that they must have passed over or just did not see.

The editor for “The River” was great! This editor caught everything there was to catch.

Being an Indie author, I have to pay for everything. Editors know that if you want your manuscript edited, you will raise the money.

Never edit your own stuff. You are too close to the story and will never change anything. You have already done that in re-writes. Just check them out. Ask around and compare costs.

What do you think some of the greatest misconceptions are about Indie authors?

Many people think that one is an Indie author because the author is not a good writer. Maybe in some cases that may be true. More often than not, the stories are top notch.

What’s the most fun part of writing a novel or short story? What’s the least fun part?

1pj 1Writing is fun, especially when you see your book in print for the first time. One thinks back to all of the people that said you could never do it. Even better is the first sale. Still better is your first 5***** review!

The down side is your first 2 ** review. Read what they wrote and you can blow it off. Not everyone is going to like the story. It will show you why they did not care for it when you read their remarks on the review. Learn from it…writing is a continuous learning process that never ends!!

What inspires you?

People all have a story to tell…just listen.

Coffee addict? Name your poison.

Yeah, I drink my coffee in the morning while I write. Even the dogs know not to bother me until after the second cup. The rest of the day it’s unsweetened ice tea – no lemon.

What’s your favorite food?

My favorite food is my wife’s fried chicken, mashed potatoes and any veggie with a huge glass of milk.

Have you ever been recognized by a fan in public for your writing, or when was the first time a fan came up to you in public (not an author event or signing)?

1pj 2Whenever I go to the grocery store, someone asks when the next book is coming out. The gas station isn’t any better. One day at the sandwich shop, a woman came up to me as I waited in line, asking if my name was Lansdowne? Thinking more about my sandwich than her question, I simply said, “No ma’am,” and she walked off.

The young girl behind the counter, as she handed me the sandwich, said, “That may not be your name but your picture is on the back of that book.”

How do you develop characters?

Characters for my stories come from people in real life. I just change the names.

If writing suddenly made you rich and famous, what would you do?

I suppose it would depend on how rich I had become. I would like to pay off my house. I have never been rich, so I don’t know what I would do!

Do you hate cats?

I don’t hate cats. I have one that lives in my wood shop from time to time. I call her, “Cat.” She can stay out there in her condo but not in the house (I have four dogs).

What’s a quote from anyone besides you, and one from you?

“The only thing for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.”   – Edmund Burke

“I’ve never had a bad day…some are just better than others.”          – Patrick Jones

“Oooo doggy!” – Jed Clampett

“The only easy day was yesterday.” – Sign at U.S. Navy Special Warfare Base Coronado Island, California

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Right now, Patrick and his lovely wife Sandy have scheduled

The River FREE only on Amazon on October 29, 30 & 31

AND

The Wolf’s Moon FREE on October 29, 30 & 31 as well.

So The River AND The Wolf’s Moon will are free RIGHT NOW

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Links to Patrick’s works.

sandy 3http://www.savvybookwriters.com/audiobook-creation-the-wolfs-moon/

http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2015/09/11/read-new-release-the-river-now-available-on-kindle-be-warned-theres-something-in-there/

http://kevs-domain.net/2015/09/14/the-river-by-patrick-jones/

https://olganm.wordpress.com/2015/09/25/newbook-the-river-by-patrick-jones-patrickjones56-youve-been-warned/

http://nicholasrossis.me/2015/09/29/an-audiobook-experience-the-wolfs-moon-by-patrick-jones/

Flash Fiction Challenge: Add A Line

Your humble host.
Your humble host.

I have always wanted to do a challenge like this.

While this may not technically be flash fiction, since there’s no real definition of flash fiction, well then this definitely is flash fiction.

Below is a chunk of my new story, The Water Castle.

I’ll set the stage and walk away.

You take over from there.

Each of you will start out adding a line onto the prior person’s line. Or a paragraph. A description, or action, or inner thoughts.

Or whatever.

You can add up to 250 words for your “line,” more or less. Because you may need some description or you may need dialogue, etc., we’re not going to be strict on that. If you get to 1000 words, dial it back, but otherwise go crazy.

Me! Me! Me!
Me! Me! Me!

The idea is to have 10 or 20 or 50 different people all contribute and then see where we went. It’s not important where my story went, and if you’ve been reading it, don’t try to get this one back on track. Go wherever the prior person’s paragraph sends you.

It’s like jazz music. It’s created right on the spot.

And some jazz really, really sucks.

Hopefully this won’t.

We will get back to regular flash fiction challenges that are more traditional next week. Maybe slightly longer. So look forward to writing 2500 words on something good and thought-provoking in a week!

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HERE IS THE “STARTER” STORY:

After all the years of riding by and wondering, so far the tower was much less interesting than the stories had let on. She wondered why she’d never entered it before now.

Gina realized then that she’d still been holding her breath, sweating like she’d run a mile. The concrete floor around her was riddled with debris, mostly oak leaves and trash. There were puddles from the recent rains. She forced her inner germophobe to relax, taking deep breaths of the musky air. No one had been here in a while, and even if people slept there at night, nobody was there now.

She looked around. On the far side of the circular room, under the stone steps, in a wedge too small to walk under, she spied a set of black hinges. The weather hadn’t ruined them like it had everything else; the steps served as a makeshift roof. Leaves and dirt covered the rest of whatever the hinges held. She crept over to it.

The tower didn’t seem set high enough to have a lower level. Most things in Florida didn’t.

She pushed the leaves away with her foot. It appeared to be a door. Kneeling, she brushed away the moist black dirt. She clapped her hands to knock the mess off them. The sudden noise inside the small area was louder than she expected, echoing up the tower’s insides and nearly scaring her. She glanced at her hands, frowning. They were stained nearly black.

Whatever. The thick wooden door appeared relatively new, which is to say, it didn’t look hundreds of years old like the rest of the tower. It was square, with huge black hinges on one side and a big iron ring on the other. She worked to slide a finger under the rusted pull, forcing the aged metal to comply. It inched upwards, letting her grasp it with her whole hand – but not without leaving a few marks on her fingertips.

Gina pulled. The door did not move.

She placed one hand on the side of the little door and grasped the ring firmly with the other hand, taking a deep breath of the putrid air.

Nothing.

She sat back on her heels, staring at door. It didn’t appear heavy enough to withstand her pulling on it. Maybe it was stuck. She put her hands on the sides of the wooden frame, trying to jiggle it back and forth. It didn’t budge.

A drop of sweat fell from her forehead. She sat back again, wiping her shoulder across her brow.

She grasped the stubborn ring one last time, using both hands, putting her foot on the side of the door.

Her fingers crowded the iron ring. She strained her arms as the rough metal dug into her skin.

The door opened a fraction. The wood bent against the old hinges, slowly opening to a dark cavity below. She grabbed the edge of the door and pried it open.

The aroma of fresh water and the sounds of the spring emanated up from the dark space. Gina leaned forward carefully, trying to not catch a stray bat or spider in the face. Cool air flowed up from the cellar. She pushed the door open wider. Dirt and spider webs lined its edges. Inside, a set of stairs descended to another concrete floor.

She leaned back, reaching a foot out to touch the first stone step. It was free of debris, unlike everything else in the tower, and its edges were clean and straight, not worn down like the ones going up the tower wall. The only dirt on these steps was the dirt she had just allowed to fall in on them.

She put some weight on the step, testing it to make sure it wouldn’t crumble to dust and drop her the twelve or so feet onto the hard concrete below.

It held.

She crawled forward, putting both feet on the step, and climbed down into the cellar.

The bright daylight outside filtered in from above. She eased down the steps.

In the center of the room sat a round, framed pool, about three feet across. It was lined with bricks and rose only inches from the floor, but it was full to the surface and rippling with water. It was the only thing in the room besides the stairs. Light seemed to emanate up from it. Gina stepped up to it and knelt down.

Inside, the rim was dotted with glowing green and blue embers, like odd lightning bugs, out of focus under the surface. The water was clear, like a swimming pool. It was visible down to the bottom, however far that was. She guessed maybe ten feet, like the one at Stacie’s house. She hovered over the opening, letting her hair dangle over her shoulders.

Leaning on one arm, she reached out a cautious finger to touch the water’s surface. It was far too clear to harbor germs or dysentery, looking more pure than the stuff that came out of their faucets at home. It had a practically had a fragrance to it, like summer rain or a clear stream.

Her finger touched the water. It was cool. The springs’ temperature was about 72 degrees year ‘round, since they came from the underground aquifer. She’d experienced that at Weekie Watchee when they went swimming there on a class trip – nice on the hands but icy on the body.

She gazed into the opening. Was it a well? Why put a well inside the tower when the springs were twenty feet away?

She dipped her dirt-stained hand into the water, withdrawing it to rub the mud off. Black droplets fell into the well as she worked the bud from her fingers. She leaned over to rinse her hands, immersing them past the wrists.

The water seemed to cling to her, pulling her towards it. Invisible hands grasped her wrists and drew her downward.

Gina jerked backwards, falling onto the hard floor. She scrambled to her feet, ready to flee up the stairs. She pressed herself against the wall, heart pounding, rubbing her wrists, watching the well bubble and roil. A green light glowed from its core.

Her heart was in her throat. A fine mist drifted out from the pool and down across the floor. The smells of mildew now permeated the air. She stepped back, not wanting the fog to touch her.

As she pressed herself into the wall, the whole room began to glow. She held her breath. The noise of the cicadas and locusts was now buzzing in her ears, dizzying her. The stench of the mold wafted down the steps and permeated her lungs.

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That’s it! Whoever adds their line first, the next person has to read it and add to it in the comments below. I will periodically add them into the story as necessary, so you can comment like usual.

Ooh, what happens???

You tell me! Good luck, jazz musicians!

Here are the rules:

  1. As soon as you see this challenge, add to the story by posting your “line” in the comments section followed by a link to your blog IN THE SAME COMMENT.
  2. Don’t think, just do it. Do it now.
  3. On your blog, also post your line. Maybe explain why you have a random paragraph just sitting there, otherwise people may think you’ve had a stroke. You’re creative enough to handle that.
  4. Tell your blog readers and friends to come add a line.
  5. Have fun with it.
  6. Show off a little.
  7. You can add another line after 5 comments have been added between your prior comment.
  8. Feel free to make suggestions or cheer others on.
  9. There really can’t be nine rules for a challenge like this.

I’ll assemble the finished piece into one post and put it up next Friday.

That’s it! Get to it!

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Your humble host.
Your humble host.

REBLOG me! Or SHARE this post on Facebook and Twitter! See those little buttons down below? Put on your glasses. There they are. Click them. The FOLLOW button is now in the lower right hand corner.

Got a QUESTION? ASK IT! Hit the Contact Me button and I’ll see what I can do. (I have lots of smart friends.)

Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious upcoming novel “Poggibonsi: an italian misadventure.” Click HERE to check out his other works.

5 Reasons To Join NaNoWriMo

HERE are some reasons to consider NaNoWriMo, from our very own friend of the blog Rachel Poli.

In a few days, we’ll run the reasons NOT to do NaNoWriMo.

But for those of you on the fence, Rachel explains the benefits of such an (insane) endeavor!

Enjoy!

Rachel Poli

We’re halfway through October, believe it or not. November is going to start before we know it.

It seems like we have a good amount of time left. Two weeks is a good chunk of time, but that always seems to go by in a blink of an eye.

Yet, there are some people who are still unsure of whether they want to participate in NaNoWriMo or not.

So, with about two weeks left to decide, I thought I’d help those people out a little bit. Here are a few reasons as to why you should participate in NaNoWiMo.

NaNo 2015

1. It’s a great community.

NaNo isn’t just about the writing. It’s also about finding other writers who can help and support what you do. Find writers in your genre, in your age range, etc. There are so many people in the same boat as you and they’re there to help…

View original post 451 more words

Blog Advice 1: Increasing Your Traffic

Here at the blog, we’re all about you. Okay, sometimes me, and on occasion somebody else, but mostly you… okay mostly me. But it’s my blog!

Where was I?

Oh yeah. We like to offer helpful writer-type ideas here to improve your writing and, once done, improve your ability to show off that writing to others!

I recently found another great blog post full of helpful ideas to increase your platform! You’ll see a few things we’ve discussed here before, but I hope you’ll get a few new ideas, too.

I’m especially intrigued about blog parties. Have you ever done one of those? Maybe you’d like to talk about your experience doing it.  Let me know!

Meanwhile, enjoy Suzie Speaks’ post! Her numbers are good, so she’s doing a few things right!

Suzie Speaks

How to increase traffic to your blog

One of the most common questions I am asked by fellow bloggers is, in my opinion, one of the most difficult to provide a definitive answer to:

How do I increase the traffic that I receive to my blog?

Before I begin, I think that it is important to note three crucial points:

  • Building a following and, consequently increasing your traffic, takes lots of time and effort. You are extremely unlikely to receive thousands, or even hundreds of views simply by pressing the publish button.
  • Content is key. Well-written posts will draw new people in, and encourage them to visit again. Posting page after page of inspirational quotes looks pretty, but will leave your audience bored after a while. Be yourself, make no apologies and believe in what you are creating.
  • I am not an expert, nor have I ever claimed to be.

I know very little about SEO, so…

View original post 1,500 more words

Testing the lesson in today’s guest blog post

Earlier today we had R. Todd Henrichs do a guest blog post about How To Have Your WordPress Blog Automatically Post To Google+

As always, I had to test it out and ensure we’d gotten the goods! And it might ave been smarted to test it BEFORE Todd’s post. But I didn’t, and that’s on me.

However, I am happy to report IT WORKED! (If this appears in my Google+ account. I’ll know in a minute.) But the STEPS involved worked.

While I was in there, I had it link to LinkedIn and Tumblr, too. It was already connected to my Facebook author page.

So, it works, it’s simple, and it’s more ways for readers to find you, your blog, and your books!

Thanks again to Todd or helping out and THANK ALL OF YOU  for making our little blog so much fun to do every day.

Dan

Auto-Post YOUR Blog To Google+ (the biggest search engine in the world isn’t a bad place to be!)

Guest blog post by R. Todd Henrichs
Guest blog post by
R. Todd Henrichs

Here on the blog, we are all about helping writers become more efficient and more effective. Sometimes that means talking about how to write better dialogue and sometimes that means letting your blog posts be seen by as many people as possible.

If we can accomplish those things in a simple manner, there’s no reason to do it. I have my blog automatically post to a Facebook author page. I don’t do anything to make that happen. When I mentioned this, one of our very smart readers mentioned that you can do something very similar and have your blog post go to Google plus.

Considering that Google is the largest and strongest most popular and best search engine in the universe, why would you not want your stuff to go there, especially if it can go there with almost no effort from you?

And by almost no effort, I mean once you get this set up, there’s no effort.

So to explain that to us here is our good friend R. Todd Henrichs.

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r todd blog
R. Todd Henrich’s blog

Dan asked me to do a how-to on setting up your WordPress account with Google+. Let me start by saying thanks (insert tons of accolades here to how great Dan and his blog are and feigned humility for him asking me to do this) and this is my first how-to blog, so please, go easy on me.

To start, for those who use the native WordPress blogging platform, this is about as straight forward a process as you can get. There are several ways to go about doing this, but I’m going to show you the one that is easiest (considering the facelift that WordPress has recently gone through).

The Easy Way

The following assumes you only have one blog on WordPress.

First, start a new entry. Then stare at the blank page and let the fear seep into you because you think you are about to have to face the dreaded white-page. But… fear not, we are totally bypassing this monster for the moment. Instead, scroll down the right hand side of the page, past the Tags & Categories section, and just passed the Featured Image.

You should come to a portion of the side bar that is titled Sharing.

1 r todd 1
Click to enlarge image

This is where WordPress allows you share with any of the connected social media sites that you have. If yours doesn’t have any of these boxes, make sure the arrow in the right hand corner of the Sharing box is in the open (pointing up) position. What we are looking for here is that little plus sign at the bottom. Go ahead and click on it.

Your screen should now look like this:

1 r todd 2
Click to enlarge image, here, too.

At this point, it is super simple. Just click on the Connect button or Reconnect button if there is a problem (like my LinkedIn account, which I totally broke just for this example… totally).

At this point, you will get a pop-up window and it will ask you to log into your account. Once you have done that, your all set.

Just make sure that you check or uncheck the Google+ box to have your post show up there (it should go without saying that if it’s unchecked, you will not post it to Google+).

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10957568_783902161663446_2236527941432339218_nThanks to Todd for helping with that. Check out his blog HERE.

Maybe he’ll tell us where that picture of him in front of that scary castle was taken.

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Your humble host.
Your humble host.

REBLOG me! Or SHARE this post on Facebook and Twitter! See those little buttons down below? Put on your glasses. There they are. Click them. The FOLLOW button is now in the lower right hand corner.

Got a QUESTION? ASK IT! Hit the Contact Me button and I’ll see what I can do. (I have lots of smart friends.)

Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious upcoming novel “Poggibonsi: an italian misadventure.” Click HERE to check out his other works.

6 Tips to Avoid BLOGGER BURNOUT – the dreaded affliction that kills you before you start AND after you’re a success!

Remember when blogging was fun?
Remember when blogging was fun?

We recently talked about these great blogs I’ve been reading that suddenly disappeared. (I was not directly linked to the disappearance of the bloggers in case you were wondering. No charges have been filed.)

We thought they might have burned out from too much success.

I know, I know: Burn out from too much success? I’m more like to burn out from wasting hours on a blog nobody reads!

Been there.

My blog sucked and I was kinda clueless. (See post: My Blog Sucks And I’m Kinda Clueless HERE)

The disappeared blogs were popular, had large followings – and then POOF, they were gone. We wondered why. After much extensive research, which means a quick internet search, I found out. And as promised, I am sharing my findings to keep you from the same fate.

First, whether you have 2 followers or 10,000, blogging takes time.

Is this you?
I think I’ve had enough

We understand pretty easily why people would quit doing an unsuccessful blog; it’s a little harder to understand why somebody would stop doing the thing that was achieving what they wanted! What’s up with that???

First, it could be money. I don’t know the numbers, but if I had 10,000 followers on a WordPress blog, and somebody said I could earn $1,000 a month if I could get half of them to switch over to a private domains where I could run ads, I’d probably do it. Because that’s $1,000 towards a car payment or the rent or the promotion of books, or whatever. But also I know from experience that $1,000 a month becomes $10,000 a month a heckuva lot easier than $0 becomes $1000.

Finding ways to monetize your writing mean you have taken a big step toward doing it full time, quitting your hated job, unshackling yourself from the life of quiet desperation…

FREEDOM!!!

Yeah. That.
Yeah. That.

Ahem.

Between a blog site that actually pays you to do it, book sales, and freelance writing gigs (remember, Stephen King wrote stuff for Stag magazine for a while there – getting paid to write is getting paid to write), you start to see the pieces of the puzzle coming together to pave your dream. So I am totally on board with that. Most of the people who go that route won’t make it, but that has more to do with business sense than quality of writing, and if they leap too quickly, they starve death before they figure the business side out. (I include a success story as well, so stay tuned.)

But Blogger Burnout was far and away the more likely culprit as to why these popular blogs went bye-bye!

Most bloggers got into blogging for the fun of it. Authors tend to do it as a platform builder, but quickly find that it’s not fun (it’s hard work and takes time away from writing) or it’s LOTS of fun (it’s NOT hard work and it takes time away from writing).

There are only so many hours in the day.

After spending a requisite number of hours building a following, the fun time blogger sees success! Now what?

I actually am loving this! REALLY!
I actually am loving this! REALLY!

They feel pressure to top their best post each week.

Last week I got 100 replies; this week only 30.

WHAT DID I DO WRONG???

They are adding followers by the boatload for a while and then they go a few days or weeks without adding any or, God forbid, they see a decrease.

Noooooo!!!

Ego is a tricky thing, friends.  Seeing the numbers go up, up, up every week for a year is very gratifying.

There are some simple reasons big bloggers walk away.

  1. They bring pressure on themselves to be funnier, wittier, livelier, flirtier, cuter, spunkier – whatever it was that worked – and to reply to each and every of their 150 replies per post with the same vigor and energy that they had when there were only ten replies.

And suddenly it’s not fun.

burned out womanThe ideas aren’t there.

They start dreading doing the thing…

  1. And while we all might be overworked at times at our jobs, a blog usually doesn’t pay its owner anything. It was fun, so when it stops being fun, it has stopped serving its purpose. Ditto if the blogger runs out of ideas.

At that point, if it were a job, we’d look to change jobs. All that means is quitting the non-paying hobby that isn’t fun anymore, or taking time off until it looks fun again.

Blogger Burnout.

I'm just going to lay down here on my keyboard for a minute...
I’m just going to lay down hereon my keyboard for a minute…

It’s the same as any other kind of burnout. When it happens we want time off. Before it happens – as in, before we have the success of 10,000 followers – we think, no, we KNOW –  we’ll manage it better than that unhappy soul who walks away at the top of their game.

BTW, tell that to the many blogs that went belly up in their first year after investing the time and not seeing it get off the ground. They spent the hours and it didn’t work. And if you don’t see a positive result, you become extra motivated to stop and move on to something that does work for you. Usually, the “unsuccessful” bloggers just quit too early in the process, before they figure things out.

  1. But the ones that figure it out and become successful may quit, too – when the negatives outweigh the positives.

06222014 BG 3And there’s one more thing. There’s a community feel to a small blog with a handful or regular followers. It’s fun and it’s a happy place and everybody gets to know each other. Others want to experience that feeling so they join. Next thing you know, your intimate get-together is a full-on rave-style block party and you don’t know any of the faces you’re looking around at. Your friends left hours ago and the cops can’t be far away. And somebody keeps putting cigarettes out on your floor. Who does that? Use an ashtray or an empty beer can, for pete’s sake

When you wake up with a headache – more from being tired than hung over, you know what you want to do. Or, what you don’t want to do.

  1. You miss the fun feel and you don’t like the new entity. You want it to stop.

BLOGGER BURNOUT IS A THING, so here are the tips to avoid it. I found several articles but the one I quote from is the best.

happy-woman-jumping-in-golden-wheat
Not a maxi pad commercial

Here are tips to make your small blog successful and your large blog not a burnout threat, while bringing quality of life thoughts to your overall author experience – which is something we advocate all the time here.

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Lindsey was an elementary teacher who blogged about cooking and one day she and her husband realized she made more money from blogging than she did from teaching, so she became a full time blogger.

“Building a blog is a gradual thing that takes TIME – it’s not an overnight thing and it doesn’t come without putting in many hours of focused work. If you enjoy it, it won’t feel like work and you’ll be able to do more and stick with it – which will eventually lead to growth.

 

“One more thing: try not to stress. Ambition and drive are virtuous in their own right, but so often those lead to comparison and perfectionism, which are joy-stealers (says the ambitious, comparing, perfectionist blogger). I can honestly say that some of my all-time most fun moments as a blogger happened in those first few years when fifty people visiting my site in a day was a big deal and making $20 from ads felt like winning the jackpot, so don’t wish those early days away. Enjoy the process of growth and have fun!” – Lindsey, Pinch Of Yum, “Frequently Asked Questions.” (emphasis added)

Yay, success!
Yay, success!

Yes, she’s the success story I mentioned earlier.

MOST readers will gloss over the part where she says she worked “15 hour days, 7 days a week.” Don’t. That’s important.

“…my constant over-working-ness over these last few years has kept me from really going deep with any of them, plus it has kept me feeling edgy and frazzled and rarely at peace. And I don’t want to live like that.” (LINK to quote)

I don’t list all 15 of her thoughts but I can select and summarize a few that are relevant to our discussion and turn the floor over to her for the rest of you who are interested. Lindsey’s quote are in italics.

  • CHANNEL COMPETITION AND JEALOUSY.

You want to be where other people are. That takes time. View it as a goal and don’t be angry you aren’t there yet. You will be.

  • SET STRICT RULES FOR SOCIAL MEDIA AND COMMENTS.

“Why should I let a number of likes on something affect my real life happiness? For me, the solution was just to stop looking and checking compulsively.”

  • SPEND TIME WITH PEOPLE WHO DON’T REALLY CARE ABOUT YOUR BLOG.

A break is a good thing. Take them now and then.

  • SINGLES, NOT HOME RUNS.
Is THIS you, too?
Is THIS you, too?

“It’s easy to get stuck in the mindset that every individual thing that you do as a blogger needs to be 200% awesome, absolutely incredible, a knock-it-out-of-the-park home run. And then when you work really hard on something and it’s not really like a home run as much as just, like, a regular post? It can start to feel blah. Depressing.

…it is not realistic to think that all of your creative works are going to be a home runs.

The people I see being successful… are the people who know that some of their work will be home runs and a lot of their work will be singles or doubles. Or maybe even, umm, strike outs.”

  • STICK TO AN ORGANIZATIONAL SYSTEM.

“I put events into the Google calendar as they come up, and… for each day, I define the three main things that I’m trying to get done.”

  • LOG OUT OF EVERYTHING. DO IT NOW.
This might be going a little too far.
This might be going a little too far.

“I would never get a blasted thing done if it weren’t for this little hack: I log out of everything. Like, fully log out erase any pre-saved passwords. I can’t tell you how many times every day I type in http://www.facebook.com only to be reminded that I need to log in in order to creep on my friends’ lives. DANG. But for whatever reason, that one little extra step of logging in is always enough to stop me.

“All bloggers will have to figure out what works for them with email, but I try to limit myself to checking email once a day, and when I check it, I clear it out all the way to the bottom of my inbox.”

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Allllllllmost there.
Alllmost there.

In other words, YOU be in control. I’ve discussed this before, about finding time to write (CLICK HERE), and also when you find time, actually write (CLICK HERE). Some of you respond immediately to every email or Facebook post, any time of day, because you’re always plugged in. I’m the opposite. I usually have that stuff shut down and there are very few apps on my phone so I CAN’T do it anytime anywhere – which makes me stick to my schedule, stay in control, and avoiding burnout.

What is YOUR system to avoid BURNOUT, in your blog or anywhere else? Share your tips!

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selected passages for this post were taken from:

15 WAYS TO AVOID BLOGGER BURNOUT

Posted by Lindsey on “Pinch Of Yum” in November 2014 and in the “FAQ” and “About” sections of her site, just a few of the many terrific pages there. Check it out!

http://pinchofyum.com/15-ways-to-avoid-blogger-burnout

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Your humble host.
Your humble host.

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Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious upcoming novel “Poggibonsi: an italian misadventure.” Click HERE to check out his other works.