Monday, February 27, 2012

Links to Your Right ->

I added some links to my blog a few weeks ago. I wanted to talk about those links. This is going to be a long post.

Blogs I Hit Every Single Day

A Newbies Guide to Publishing – How did I stumble across Papa Bear’s blog? Why do I call him Papa Bear? First things second. I call him Papa Bear the way Colbert calls O’Reilly Papa Bear. (please no political discussion). I call him Papa Bear because it’s cute to me. But for the sake of not confusing anyone I will call him Konrath. He has many names but Konrath will be the least confusing. And so how did I stumble across Konrath’s blog? At this moment, my blog should start doing a waverly thing where you are being transported back in time.

Maybe one year ago, maybe more, I googled something along the lines of: “how to get your book published”. That’s it. I can’t quite remember. I THINK the first post I read was the one featuring the book called The Dirty Parts of the Bible. I am not 100% sure. I do know that from that day forward I was hooked. As so many have been hooked before and after me. Konrath spoke to my heart. I had been out of law school and most likely trying to avoid studying for the bar.

I didn’t park myself on his blog at that moment. That didn’t happen for another nine months. I would visit the site periodically and keep up to date as much as possible with the topics. I was a complete novice. I didn’t know a thing or two about trad publishing. I didn’t know anything about any kind of publishing. All I knew was that I am a writer, I wanted to write and I was going to learn the process. I was stuck in a terrible job (I know I’m repeating myself from past posts and my bio). My job was…terrible. And I had this idea in my head that I needed to get on paper and out to masses that would purchase it in droves! (of course I haven’t written that story yet, but I will, you know it)

Fast forward to July 21st 2011. I know it was July 21st because of what happened on Konrath’s blog on July 22nd.  My high school friend had told me he wasnted to be a writer. Who would have figured?! I told him about Newbies Guide to Publishing and told him to get there ASAP and read up on what this Konrath dude was spitting. I explain to my friend how much Konrath explains the process and shares his experience and knowledge about what to do and not do.

July 22nd Konrath drops the post entitled: Are You Writing …Mother…fucker. Here I am telling my friend to read Konrath’s blog and spend time reading over all the great wisdom. Then Konrath says get out of here and go write! I found it amusing.

Fast forward to the week of August 8th. I took the week off from my awesomely terrible job to…write. I think I got down a grand total of…like…3000 words? Maybe? I’m not sure. I can’t even find the file on my laptop to check. That’s sad. And finally fast forward a final time to about October 2011. I quit my job. I had no job on the horizon but I just couldn’t do it anymore. They say there are two kinds of lawyers. The lawyer that works for himself and the lawyer that works for other lawyers. I was working for other lawyers and I couldn’t do it anymore. I quit with mounting school loans and only the hope of getting some contract work.

I land a gig towards the end of October doing contract work. Attorneys doing contract work is a bad thing because it’s not the contract you usually think of. It’s that other one. And it’s bad. It’s bad and it’s good. The bad thing is that you don’t gain any legal experience to help your career. The good is that it pays well and it’s mindless. I have never been so stress free. I leave work and literally never think about my assignments afterwards. This was a huge blessing. As an attorney all I do is stress. Now there was no stress. I had run out of excuses not to write. And since my job is so mindless it gives me hours and hours to read…blogs!

I started reading Joe’s blog (Joe has less letters than Konrath. The amount of words I am wasting here explaining why I am using Joe now instead of Konrath is negating the whole point, I know)…I started reading Joe’s blog backwards. Then forwards. Then backwards again. Let me explain. I knew more or less the date I had started reading his blog. But now I needed something to read inbetween clicking my mouse for work. I decided to go back to I believe January 2010 and start there. I read all the blog posts up until I was caught up. Well, now I needed more reading material!

Around that same time, Joe suggested to someone who had left a comment on one of his postings, to go back and read his blog from the beginning. He told that person to take the day off and read his whole blog. Ha! I won’t take a day off. I’ll do it from work. Perfection. I started reading his blog from the beginning. I am still amazed he slept where he slept in Elizabeth, New Jersey. That man has balls. I read ever single post. Not every single word of every single post but every single post. I skipped a lot of the updates from his road tours, mostly the numbers he posted. I read up to January 2010 and I was caught up again. Now what?

Well I had read all the posts. But…I hadn’t read all the comments. (fuck a space between and after my dot dot dots. I’m not doing it.) So I started reading backwards from the most recent posts and read through the comments. I started to see patterns of people posting. I became familiar with names. (and then when I branched out to other blogs I saw those same names and thought holy shit some people are everywhere)

I learned a lot from the comments. At first I only read comments that were 100 or more on a post. I’m not that bright, because when that was done I went back and read all comments. I knew there would be golden nuggets in the comments of any number of postings. I would park myself on Newbies Guide for well over eight hours. I did that for perhaps two months. I am sure I messed up his stats. I know he’s pissed. Ya, that was ME!

And so I’ve wasted a solid 1000 words just to say, Newbies Guide to Publishing is where you get your P.h.D. in self publishing. And so I call him Papa Bear. Do I listen to everything he says? I’d say yes. But what I don’t like I don’t keep. Take what’s good and leave the rest. Anything else is just being a baby.

From the comments I learned about this Dean Wesley Smith guy. I had no idea who Dean Wesley Smith was. (goddam that’s a lot of words = DWS) DWS isn’t offended he has no idea who I am. So I headed over to his blog. And I did the same thing I did with Konrath’s blog. I did DWS’ blog a little bit more in order. But I would park myself there all day reading the posts and comments.

Now with Newbies Guide I could set up the screen so that it was easy to hide the screen if someone walked by my desk. I could line up posts and comments so that graphics weren’t showing on my computer screen. Luckily at work we have two monitors. I could over up most of the blog with my outlook and read the blog at the same time while doing work. This is a little harder to do with DWS’ blog. It’s nearly impossible to do with Let’s Get Digital.

Anywho in my opinion DWS’ blog is where you get your master’s degree in self publishing. I know I’m going backwards but that’s the way to do it! Backwards! DWS brings years and years of experience to his blog. He covers all angles. I do the same with his blog as I do with Newbies Guide. I take the good and leave the bad. For example, I disagree with the way DWS does covers. BUT DWS has written millions of words more than me. So who am I to agree or disagree with him on anything? A nobody. And therefore I respect and appreciate all the words he writes for us. I affectionately refer to him as grandpa.

Finally, the last blog I hit everyday is Let’s Get Digital. It kept coming up in searches. I gave it a shot and haven’t been let down. Due to the layout of the blog I haven’t been able to read every post while at work. But I pay plenty attention to what Dave G is saying over there. He keeps up to date on all that is self publishing and therefore I visit the blog every single day. Dave is like the little brother. He is the youngin on the block and to me his blog is where you get your bachelor’s degree.

Blog I Hit Every Other Day

DWS’ wife has her own blog where she shares insight on the business end of things regarding publishing. Here is her site, I recommend it for everyone. Kris Rusch.

Terribleminds. I first hit this site after I read in the comments of Newbie’s Guide that Joe and the dude from Terribleminds, Chuck Wendig, had a disagreement? Or something? I disagree with a lot of things Chuck says but something keeps making me go back. To me that means there is value there. I dislike the way Chuck writes but the dude is passionate about his craft and I think I really appreciate that.

Bob Mayer’s blog Write It Forward also has a lot of great information. Bob shares lots of insight and information about what he is up to. It’s a good blog. I enjoy it and therefore I visit the site multiple times a week. I feel his blog is similar to Chuck’s. You feel the passion and you’re drawn in.

And I have to add a link above! I go to Passive Guy’s blog every single day too! I completely forgot. I apologize to my fellow attorney person. Mah bad. Passive Guy aggregates content and makes it easy to find all your publishing news. He also shares insight on contracts and other legal matters. (no legal advice though just like this blog).

And that in a large nutshell explains all the links I’ve added to my blog. I also park on Kindle Boards all day but that puts me in a mood that I am not always happy with. KB was part of my internet diet. (which I broke only like twice today!). KB can turn into the Bitter Boards quick IMO. And that’s just IMO. I get a lot of great info from KB. There are wonderful people over there who are very giving. They are appreciated.

And that’s roughly 2000 words on the links I added to the right. J