Authors: Do You Need Help?

Struggling With Your Facebook Author Page_

I want to help you increase engagement on your Facebook Author Page! Here’s what I’m offering:

Package 1: $10 – I provide you with 7 graphics to share on your page. At least 4 of the graphics will be designed specifically with your audience in mind. The others will be more generic book related graphics (created by me) to help spark conversation.

Package 2: $15 – Same as above PLUS: I will schedule the posts for you (if you want) and share them on my page as well. (I have over 1700 followers at this time.) This is a weekly service with a weekly price. No commitment for more than one week at a time.

Package 3: $20 – Same as above PLUS: 3 additional personalized graphics, one Twitter share/mention (I have just under 4k followers at this time.), and I will engage in the comments on each post to help boost conversation. This is also a weekly service with a weekly price. No commitment for more than one week at a time.

To help ensure your satisfaction, before payment is made I will provide you with one graphic as a sample of what you can expect. You will absolutely have final approval of all graphics! If you are not satisfied with the services provided, a full refund will be issued!

I will only be taking on a limited number of authors at this time. I don’t want to overwhelm myself and not be able to provide the absolute best work possible. If you are interested in purchasing one of these packages, please contact me through the contact section of this blog!

Random First Lines #1

As a way to help me get back in the writing groove, I’m going to be using a Random First Line Generator to write quick blog posts. They won’t be fully formed stories, but more word vomit to spark my creativity. Maybe I’ll come up with something worth pursuing further. Let’s see what happens: 

More and more people were refusing to obey the laws of the land. Some claimed it was because the newly appointed leader blatantly broke the laws herself. Others claimed it was because they were approaching the end of times. Me, I believe they did it for no reason other than they were assholes who knew they could get away with it.

Being the introvert that I am, I watched from a safe distance for years as society crumbled around me. I could see it happening. I left my house less and less as the years passed by. Eventually, I got to the point where I was having everything I needed delivered directly to my house.

At first, the few friends I had mocked me for not feeling safe outside of my home. As time passed, they began to see I wasn’t actually crazy. I don’t have any friends left now. They’ve all either completely isolated themselves, as I have, or fallen victim to the daily atrocities of the world surrounding us.

My windows are covered with metal. The only time I see daylight is when a delivery arrives. Most of my orders are delivered by drones. Actual delivery drivers are few and far between these days. It’s considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. If a real person delivers one of my orders, I make sure I add a hefty tip for them. No amount of money could convince me to do that job now.

When a package arrives I receive a notification on my phone. I check my exterior cameras to make sure no one is in the immediate area. If everything seems to be clear, I grab my shotgun before quickly opening the door and grabbing it off the doorstep. It only takes a few seconds, but it’s the most terrifying part of my life. I just know that one day, I’m going to open that door and someone will come out of nowhere to end my life.

 

To Thine Own Self Be True

true Over the last month I have done a lot of soul-searching. I realized that one of the issues I was dealing with was the fact that I wasn’t being true to myself online.

I wasn’t being fake by any means, but I was censoring myself for the sake of my “career” as an author. You hear it over and over again in writing circles. You shouldn’t say or do anything that might offend someone. You shouldn’t speak out on political or social issues lest you should lose a part of your audience. It’s not good for business.

To that, I say: I no longer care.

Let me be clear. I’m not the type of person to say or do something for the sole purpose of offending someone. I’m never trying to hurt someone’s feelings. However, I am not the type of person to keep my mouth shut when I feel strongly about something. I’m vocal about my views and beliefs. They are strong-held and important to me. Remaining quiet to simply appease someone else is not my style. It makes me feel fake, and I don’t like that feeling.

With that being said, I am removing the filter. If I see something and feel the need to speak about it, I will. Don’t be surprised to see me involved in a spirited debate. I actually quite enjoy them as long as they remain civil. I understand that this type of thing is not for everyone. That’s fine. I hope I don’t lose you as a follower, but if I do, I won’t hold it against you.

The biggest thing for me is that I know what I need in this life to be happy. One of those things is being authentically me in every aspect. I hope you can all understand and respect my decision.

When It All Becomes Too Much

too much I crashed and burned. Those are the best words I can find to describe the reasoning behind my abrupt absence from social media.

Words fail me and, as a writer, it’s disheartening. Forgive me if I ramble through this post. I’m still struggling, but I’m finally at a place where I feel somewhat capable of starting to fight my way back.

It started with the adverse reaction to the antidepressants. From there, everything spiraled out of my control. I began to feel overwhelmed with all I had on my plate. I had the insane book release schedule, the YouTube book reviews, the writer interviews, marketing… the list never seemed to end. Add those things, which were solely related to my work as an author, to my own personal life lists and it was a recipe for disaster.

Every time I failed to complete something in the time frame I had set for myself, or had promised someone else, I felt guilty. As the days passed, I was getting less and less done. Guilt piled on top of guilt. I stopped cooking. It has been the one constant joy in my life, and I had no desire to do it. I was sleeping 12+ hours a day. The rest of the day was spent as a zombie staring at the television but not even paying attention to what was on the screen. I wasn’t functioning. I wasn’t living. I wasn’t me.

I talked to my husband and my publisher, then I shut the laptop and walked away. I simply couldn’t deal with life at that time. I made the decision to put aside all of the things that were adding pressure. I had no choice. It was the only thing I could do to save myself from drowning.

It’s been more than a month. I’m feeling more like myself. I’m putting one toe back in the water before jumping back in. It’s going to be a slow process. I refuse to drown myself again. I will be slowly adding things back into my daily routine. For now, I won’t be making any promises of when things will be done. I’m living without deadlines. I’ll write, blog, read, etc. only when I feel up to it.

I don’t really feel up to answering a bunch of individual questions. If you have sent me a message and I haven’t responded, please don’t take it personally. I’m still feeling guilty for leaving people wondering why I didn’t answer and why I disappeared. All I can say is that I’m sorry for leaving you hanging. I had to do what was best for me.

The last thing I want to say is a HUGE “Thank You!” to Dawn Hosmer, LaKeah Smith, and Dori Ruboff for reaching out to me through alternative routes to make sure I was okay. You are amazing women. Your concern and support mean the world to me. Thank you for caring enough to find ways to check on my well-being.

Sometimes, I Disappear

Today, I am stepping out of obscurity. I spent almost an entire week nowhere. It wasn’t a decision I made. My mental health took a turn for the worse, and I was lost.

It started a couple of weeks ago when I re-started Lexapro to help with my situational depression and fibromyalgia. (We combined it with Gabapentin to help.) At first, everything was great. Physically, I felt so much better. It seemed to be working.

About a week into this, I started to notice I was sleeping more. I thought it might be a good thing because sleeping well has been an issue for me for quite a while. As the days passed, I was needing more and more sleep.

I went to my scheduled appointment with my psychiatrist last Tuesday. I sat in the waiting room for 40 minutes before I asked what was taking so long. No one gave me an answer. I watched the minutes tick by on the clock. People who got there after me left, having completed their sessions. The weight on my chest became heavier with each passing minute. I started to breathe heavier. I knew what was coming.

I asked if I could just reschedule my appointment. Tears flooded my eyes. They asked me to just wait a few more minutes. I told them I couldn’t. My heart was pounding in my chest. Again, they asked me to wait. Through broken breaths, I told them I had to get out of there and bolted for the door. The security guard at the front of the building said something I didn’t comprehend as I ran outside into the cold. It was below zero degrees outside, and the freezing temperature was a comfort.

I got to my car and waited out the panic attack. It took about twenty minutes for me to be able to think straight again. I went back inside, feeling embarrassed by my behavior. I wanted to explain myself. I was still crying and trying to control my breathing as I apologized to them for running away.

They had a nurse come out to get me. She was able to talk me back to a normal state of mind. The doctor was unavailable, but she promised to let him know what happened. We rescheduled my appointment and I left.

The three days that followed consisted of me doing nothing but sleeping and zoning out in front of the television. I didn’t pick up my computer even once. I didn’t play games on my phone. I was a zombie, sleeping more than half the day each day. We ordered take-out because I couldn’t function enough to cook or even make a sandwich. There was one day the only thing I ate was chips and salsa, and only because I forced myself to. Food wasn’t a priority.

Friday night, I made the decision to not take the Lexapro. I knew it was the culprit. Saturday morning I felt a little better. I spent the day playing The Sims, and managed to put myself together enough to go to dinner with my husband. Sunday was slightly better, and I picked up my laptop. I didn’t post anything anywhere, but I did check my email and social media notifications. It felt like a step forward. I didn’t respond to messages, because I didn’t quite know what to say to people about my delayed responses. Last night, I finally reached out and responded to a couple of people. I finally felt up to conversations again.

Today, I woke up feeling much better. I am dealing with guilt for having mentally disappeared for so long. I know it’s not my fault. It wasn’t a decision I made. It just happened. Luckily, I know the guilt will pass. Unfortunately, I don’t know that it won’t happen again. I just hope people will continue to understand.