Hello, good morning, and Happy Thursday! It’s May 31st, 2018. Within the next 24 hours or so, this month will disappear over the temporal horizon, never to be encountered again.
As those of you who follow this blog will know, the audio of the first chapter of The Chasm and the Collision is now available, both on my blog (here) and via YouTube (here). I think it’s turning out well, and the relative speed with which I can come out with the chapter-length audios, compared with my far-from-very-short short stories, appeals to my sense of immediate gratification. It’s also fun to go back into and engage with my novel in a deep, intimate way. I certainly recommend to all authors out there that you take the time, at some point, to read your works aloud. At the very least, this will call your attention to awkward phrasing and word choice; you will learn from the experience.
Many people say of good writing that it comes across as if the writer were speaking. What I think we usually mean when we say this is that the work comes across as we wish people would when speaking, or when speaking at an idealized best—that it combines, you might say, the best aspects of the written and the spoken. As a lover of the written language, and of language in general, I think that’s tremendous praise.
Of course, as always—sometimes it feels as though it’s literally always—Unanimity is coming along steadily. I’ve felt weary on many a recent morning, having problems as I do with chronic insomnia, and have often needed to trick myself into writing my daily quota. You know that trick, if you’ve been following this blog: telling myself that I’m going to write at least one page, good or bad, something I can usually do in short order. I almost always end up writing about three pages instead.
I shudder to think of the volume I’d be able to write if I were to do so full time, given how much I’m able to do in my spare time. Of course, I’m sure there would be diminishing marginal returns if I wrote too much on any given day, and there might even be a tendency to procrastination, but I think I could work around those issues. It would, at the very least, be worth doing the experiment. For that to happen, I need enough of you to buy my stories and spread the word about them for me to be able to quite my day job. Hint, hint.
This provides a rather brutal segue into a preaching topic, and that is the subject of reviews, ratings, and likes. I encourage all of you—most of whom, I assume, are writers and/or readers—to take the time to give feedback on works that you read and otherwise consume. This is particularly valuable for those who are struggling to make a name or have an impact, but even at higher levels it’s useful. It’s useful for the creator, and it’s also useful for those who are considering exploring the creator’s work. If you read a book that you bought from Amazon, for instance—or even if you’re perusing a book that you’ve already read elsewhere—take a moment to rate it. I’m not saying you have to write a review, if you’re not so inclined, though those are certainly useful. But at least give a star rating. It takes about a second, maybe, and gives feedback for established works and valuable credibility to newcomers. Similarly, if you see a video on YouTube that you like, “like” it. Or if you see something shared on social media—Facebook, Twitter, whatever—please take a moment to give it some feedback. It costs mere instants of your time, but it is of tremendous use and value to those who create and to your fellow consumers.
Also, if you feel so inclined, take a moment to “like” someone’s blog post.
This all can’t help but come across as self-serving…and I won’t lie, it is self-serving as far as that goes. But it’s not merely self-serving. If everyone who reads this post were to commit to giving at least brief feedback to other blogs, to videos, to books, etc., but in order to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, they were to decide never to rate any of my work…well, I’d be disappointed, but I’d still feel that I’d achieved something of value.
Silence is worse than derogation. The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. Or, to put it another way, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
That last sentence is clearly an exaggeration, but it makes a valid point. I know that Thumper’s mom counseled him that, if you can’t say nothin’ nice, you shouldn’t say nothin’ at all, but in many cases, even a “thumbs-down” can be better than no reaction. Of course, I do beseech you, in general, to keep feedback civil even when not complimentary, for like Hannibal Lecter, I find discourtesy unspeakably ugly. But, given that minor caveat, I sincerely ask you all, please, to give feedback and/or reviews on those media of which you partake.
Well, as Forrest Gump might say, that’s all I have to say about that. I wish you all well. In two weeks, I shall post my second installment in the “My heroes have always been villains” series, and before that time I shall no doubt release the audio for chapter 2 of CatC. In the meantime, I will also continue to write on random subjects on my other blog, Iterations of Zero, so feel free to check that out.
I bid you well, and hope for the best for you all.