One of my resolutions this year was to blog more, but as one reader correctly deduced last year, I’ve been hankerin’ to write about more than just writing, at least once in a while. So the original choice for a blog name and, more importantly, domain, was none too swift, eh brau? Not with a little writer’s sleight of hand. Like making a 4 out of a 7 when you realize you misheard the check amount—and therein ends the writing lesson today, dear reader.
No, seriously. I know most of my readers are writers and I don’t plan to lighten up with the writing parts. Just going to throw in an (or…) once every few blogs. Or, of course, when the mood strikes. So guess what the first (or…) is about?
Yep, New Year’s resolutions. I know. So cliché it makes you want to about face, forward march, make sure you’re ass ain’t over any tea kettles or that you’re raining on anyone’s parade, buck up, find a road less-traveled, and though you are a peach of a guy or gal, rub some salt right into my wound.
But let’s face it, many clichés become clichés because they run like shit through a goose. (That cliché-metaphor doesn’t work so well, but I think you get the point.) Billions of people make New Year’s resolutions every year, and I usually don’t, because the second most cliché to do, not write, is break said resolutions. And when I used to make them, I always broke them. So I’m trying a proven approach; sort of a #11 AND a cliché, rolled into one (or did that just make it three?): strengthen my resolve.
I know you’re slobbering in anticipation, so go get a napkin, soak that shit up, and let’s get going!
10. Stop being such a nice fucking guy. This one would have been close to the top, but it’s too much of a slippery slope. I tried being honest the other day in order to improve on a real train wreck I felt was imminent (admittedly doing so when I was in a rotten mood—mental note: stop making suggestions whilst in a rotten mood) and blew up the situation like Oppenheimer’s first successful explosion of the atom bomb in New Mexico (had Oppenheimer first filled said bomb with goose shit). What also gets slippery is that the world needs more nice people (even though I still believe that most nice “people”—trying not to be sexist here—get run over by the smarmy-mouthed, agenda-chasing, slick, ladder-climbing, narcissistic douchenozzles on steamrollers every fucking time). ‘Nuff said. World, hear me roar my cliché roar: I’m not taking shit anymore. Life’s too fucking short, Goddammit.
9. Use the Lord’s name in vain less and swear less in general. Never gonna happen; let’s move on.
8. Stop taking my wife for granted. I don’t know if “stopping” anything in totality is actually possible, but I hope it is because there seems to be an abundance of it on my list. Suffice to say this resolution is lower on the list because I actually worship my wife and tell her “I love you” as many as twenty times a day. I also appreciate everything she does, I simply don’t say so enough. So perhaps your resolution should have been to thank her or “say so” more, douchenozzle, you may be saying, having picked up on my favorite derogatory term (to which I cannot lay claim and give all props to Nikki Britain, a great friend and one of the funniest women I know—also a “writer”; I use quotes there because she is at the stage where we each likely found ourselves once: not writing and getting it out there. Nikki, you need to be writing. Your wit is second to none and you could easily be the twenty-first century’s answer to Erma Bombeck (a much more edgy, controversial profanity-laden Bombeck, may the comedic legend rest in peace).
7. Lessen my use of parenthesis (and non sequiturs). I have no idea how my resolution to not take my wife for granted ended up being a plug for Nikki (though you REALLY need to check out her posts and encourage the hell out of her—we need more published funny women in the world who are also brilliant and talented writers). (Something tells me I am going to have a tough time with this one.)
6. Don’t beat myself up (fucking clichés). All right, just cancel #9 altogether. We’ll look into that one in 2014. I figured the spot for this resolution was around mid-list. The worst thing you can do in life is give yourself an MMA smack-down for failing. Robert Louis Stevenson said: Our business in life is not to succeed, but to continue to fail in good spirits. We learn from our failures, which hammers them into gems. (You can quote me on that one. Seriously. Quote me on that somewhere or I’ll send some side of beef with sunglasses and gnarled, hairy-knuckled fists the size of cantaloupes knocking on your door. And you know what that means… Broken door; and you, my friend, spending all Saturday morning waiting in the big item line at Home Depot then returning two or three times for the wrong tools and parts. Not pretty.)
5. Keep LOVING (and using) great quotes. Done.
4. Organize my marketing, promotions, and PR better this year. I’ve been in this game for a little over a year. I published my first novel in May 2011 but didn’t get on the Social Marketing Express until almost September, same year, after deciding readers we’re NOT going to march into the thick Amazon jungle, machete in hand, to find my lone(some) book. Since then I have published three more, promo’ed my way to #4 overall on the Amazon Free Bestsellers list and #71 on the overall PAID Amazon Bestsellers List, and increased my monthly sales from bupkis (literally) to over a thousand units a month at full price. Not bad for one year, but I had NO IDEA what I was doing most of that time. I’m smarter now, and I have a big brain or two that have taken to whispering in my ear once in a while. (And I always thought writing the book was the hard part—it is, I’m not being arrogant—but the rest of the work is like nine freaking jobs mashed into one).
3. Write full time. Wait, I conquered that one last year. Of course even a thousand or two books a month isn’t much when you’re talking about coming off a 23-year-long, six figure career and, like many overspending Americans, not saving quiiiiiiiite as much as I should have. Yeah, it’s going to be a tough 2013 financially. But I don’t think I have ever heard a great success story that didn’t begin in a pretty tough spot from which to earn your way out through dedication, guts, and perseverance (and certainly none worth making into a movie, e.g.Cinderella Man—I mean, please, is there any better example of rags to riches or any better go-to actor?).
1. Write more. Can I please get an AMEN!
I figure since I cancelled number nine, I owed you another resolution, but I am going to make one that’s already completed (mostly because this one ALWAYS shows up at number one but I really didn’t have to worry about it this year or ever again):
0. Lose weight. One hundred thirty-five pounds and counting. Look out college playing weight, you’re getting really close to my grasp!
Oh, and I briefly thought about coming up with a new signature, but I still like mine. As well as the disclaimer. So they stay.
Hope you do, too.
The blank page is dead…long live the blank page.
Author known to use spontaneous satire, sarcasm, and unannounced injections of pith or witticisms which may not be suitable for humorless or otherwise jest-challenged individuals. (Witticisms not guaranteed to be witty, funny, comical, hilarious, clever, scintillating, whimsical, wise, endearing, keen, savvy, sagacious, penetrating, fanciful, or otherwise enjoyable. The Surgeon General has determined through laboratory testing that sarcasm can be dangerous, even in small amounts, and should not be ingested by those who are serious, somber, pensive, weighty, funereal, unsmiling, poker-faced, sober, or pregnant.)
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