Why haven’t I been posting lately?

The short answer? I hate my website. Funny how big an impact that can have, right? Oh, I have plenty of other excuses: how busy I am, how over-committed I am right now, how I’m madly prepping my other pen name for a big blog tour next month. But the real issue is when I signed up for this website/domain name, I didn’t notice the difference between Word Press dot org versus dot com. The dot org site, which I use under my other pen name, allows me to add all sorts of useful plug-ins–such as Facebook and Twitter ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons, and the ability to customize my banner, add pictures to my sidebar, etc.

I find Word Press dot com much more limiting. Yes, I can follow other people and reblog their posts, much as I can from tumblr and other social media sites. If I wasn’t planning to make this my official website as a published author, that would be fine. But I prefer the flexibility that the plugins offer in the dot org version.

The other reason I haven’t been here much is because Madison Dean doesn’t have a lot to say right now. I’m busy working hard as my other writing persona to promote a new release–I have as yet to write anything under the Madison Dean name yet. But I have plans for 2015, just you wait and see. In the meantime, have a random cat picture. 🙂

Yes, there is more to me than just cats. (There are horses and dogs, too) And stories. Lots of stories. I just need more time to write.

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I have a good reason for reblogging this post today: this is something I struggle with A LOT. In the beginning, I wrote. I wrote by myself for my own enjoyment. Then I discovered fanfiction archives and I began posting to them. Before I knew it, I’d joined some online communities and had made friends, all while building an online following by accident.

The overwhelmingly positive feedback gave me the courage to submit my stories to a publisher (under another name at this time) and voila! I am an established writer with six or seven titles to my credit.

Slowly, however, due to the observations, recommendations, and advice of people in the know, I began to spend more time in social forums than writing. I’m on chat lists, and Facebook. Twitter, tumblr, and Pinterest. I have several blogs and multiple websites. And while I don’t discount the value of social media, I do think in some cases, it turns into a deadly distraction and a disabling crutch.Because it is *easy*. It’s easy to fritter away several hours of your precious free time in the name of ‘catching up’ and ‘getting your name out there.’ For social networking to work, you have to be social–you have to chit-chat, and comment on other people’s blogs, and like their Facebook posts. Which is all fine and well–I enjoy that most of the time. But it has become terribly easy to use this as an excuse not to do the harder job of writing. More and more I find myself generating posts that require dialog to the exclusion of finishing the next story. Blame it on the short attention span that the internet fosters, or the addictive nature of our smart phones, or the fact that anyone who works 50-60 hours a week is going to have a hard time mustering the energy to write when they get home at night. What is boils down to is that sometimes, we need to shut off the browser and just *write*. That is our biggest selling tactic after all.

Besides, I miss the days when I couldn’t wait to get home to work on the next chapter…

Argh. I’ve tried 3 times to correct the spacing issues on this post, but apparently you cannot do that when you post your thoughts at the tail end of someone else’s reblog. *sigh* My apologies for the wall of text.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Last week, we talked about some causes and fixes for being overwhelmed.  Unrealistic goals and overcommitment are two major offenders. Today, we talk about how to tackle what we have to do.

How Do You Eat An Elephant? One Bite At a Time

One major mistake we make when creating lists of goals or things to do is we frequently make the bite too big. What happens if we do that when eating a steak? We choke. Same with tasks. Look at your goals and then break them into the smallest pieces possible. This makes it far less daunting to tackle and will give you a greater sense of accomplishment.

Write AMAZING BLOG and get a BAZILLION followers!

Great goal, but needs to be broken down into about 50 parts..okay, maybe 100. A lot of what I do in my blogging class is help you gather content and building…

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I promise not to keep merely reblogging Kristen Lamb’s posts, but this one is a good one and it really resonated with me. 🙂 Well worth reading, and made me realize I needed to tweak a character’s too-early acceptance of his situation in the current WIP.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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I grew up in a nightmare. Yes, we were that family. Drama, fights, threats, suicide attempts, break ups, make ups, then wash, rinse, repeat. I’m not that person anymore and we are no longer that family. We’re healthy. We love, laugh and there’s never a raised voice. We value peace, and peace is wonderful in life.

In fiction, it’s death.

As an artist, sometimes my domestication scares me.

I listen to all kinds of music. I have everything from Pavarotti to Coltrane to Ozzy to Eminem on my iPod. I think that’s because real music, great music is easy to recognize whether its in the form of an aria, a riff or a rap. When I was on Whitbey Island someone mentioned how poetry has really suffered in modern years, but I disagree. I think its changed forms if we are willing to be open-minded. I believe rap is a…

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I follow Kristen Lamb’s blog because I think she has a lot of great things to say about writing and using social media as your tool, not your excuse. I don’t agree with *everything* she says, but I’ve learned a lot. She made most of the same mistakes I made in the beginning, and as I set out this time in a new writing venture, I hope to learn from her advice and not repeat them!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

We have already discussed four enemies of the art–Approval Addiction, Psychic Vampires, F.E.A.R, and pride. What I find so fascinating is how all of these enemies seem to link together, forming a net that can ensnare us, trapping our muse and strangling her. When we are addicted to approval, we are far more likely to tolerate Psychic Vampires. Psychic Vampires feed off drama, conflict and misery and one of their favorite weapons is F.E.A.R. These types of people love using fear. Why? Because as humans we are wired to combat fear, and Psychic Vampires use this to their advantage.

When we are upset, our brains default to limbic mode—fight or flight. Unfortunately, we can’t operate in the primal brain and the higher thinking centers at the same time. This means that, in the reptile brain, we are prone to making dumb decisions. If a Psychic…

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