Children are cruel little people who sense anyone with a difference and separate them from the herd. It's instinct, of course. The one that's a bit different - in a herding species like our own - is the one the wolves also target and eat. Children LEARN compassion and kindness, and believe me, they only practice it when someone who cares is watching - at least for the first few years.
Now that I've gotten rid of about 90% of the soft, fluffy, children are our future people...
So I was different. I was highly intelligent, and extremely damaged. Raised by a psychopath and a child molester, keep isolated, treated as an adult (in every way) from the age of 2; I will be the first to acknowledge that I am fucked up. Because I figured I deserved another dose of it I married a Narcissist and endured another 8 years before I even started to shake off those chains. I was an introvert in the first place, and now there's Complex PTSD on top of it. We won't even get started on sexual and gender stuff. Bottom line, I never learned to socialize with other "normal" humans.
But I'm a writer, and an artist and apparently a good listener. The need to support myself forced me out into the world of the "normals" and I learned to at least pretend to be human and polite. And I heard and lived a lot of great stories that I would love to share. It's what I do. See, I actually care about you very much, I just don't really want you in the same room.
The very presence of another human being puts me under a certain amount of stress. Imagine being in the presence of a cobra. It's not even paying attention to you, just hanging out in the same room. But yeah, you're probably very aware that there is a cobra in the room. And you have to work there. Shop there. Learn there. In fact, you are expected to make friends with the cobra.
Personally, I'd rather be in the presence of a cobra. See, snakes have a very simple world view. You are food, or a danger, or something they'll ignore like part of the furniture. Humans? I have no freaking clue what you might do next.
I don't understand you at all. I never had the chance and now I'd simply rather not.
Well, actually, I do understand you. I understand how you interact amongst yourselves in a lot of ways. Lots of stories, you know. But as far as how I should act, and how you may react to me - no clue. My bullshit and lie detector was smashed before it fully developed, and my standards for friendship are apparently set way, way too high - although they are what I freely offer.
Along comes the Internet and the Kindle and I can write my little heart out and avoid the whole rejection letter and interacting with actual humans thing and I'm pretty happy.
Then I start reading about writing and being successful as a writer and I end up feeling like there is no hope for me.
As usual, I don't fit in your little boxes. I write in more than one genre and more than one voice. I write sex stories, kid stories, and non-fiction - among other things. I don't have a brand and I don't have 1000 fans breathlessly awaiting my next twitter blast.
Because I suck at social interaction. I thought I was going to finally get to climb into my lonely writers garrett and write in peace, and now you want me to blog and interact on social accounts and do it all in such a way that it "builds the brand".
What brand? I don't have one single interest. Sorry. I'm a multipotentialite. So the dog people cringe when I talk about Paganism, and the politics people cringe when I talk about dogs, and... probably the parents with the fluffy children who like my kids books cringe when I talk at all.
What's a writer to do? A writer who would like to make a little money at it anyway? I have no desire to be the next JK Rowling (I bet she has to share a room with people a lot) but you know, a living. Which is probably a lot less for me than for most people. But it's also a lot more than I am making these days writing.
One thing I have tried is pen names. In fact, I'm plotting right now for another one. And possibly more. I like it. If you want to read kids books, look for this author. If you want grim mysteries, this author. Sex stories by this author over here. And I pretty well talk on this blog, and my Facebook and Twitter about all of my various names and projects so if you just like my unique way of thinking about the world (in the words of one of my first readers) and you like to read in more than one genre, then you can follow me around without too much trouble, too. If you only like kids books, or sex books, or mysteries or whatever, go follow that name.
But does that mean I should have a Facebook page for each pen name? And Twitter and author page on Amazon and, and, and...etc.? Are you kidding? I can barely interact with my FishWorld friends on Facebook!
And I have to ask you, dear readers, do you seriously really follow your favorite authors that way?
I wonder because I am a reader, too, and here's the honest truth. I don't. I have a few FB friends who are authors, but I've dropped more than I keep and I keep the ones I do because they are interesting people, not because I buy or like their books. I've quit following authors on Twitter unless I actually buy their books, because all most writers tweet is "buy my book", "buy my book", "buy my book" and maybe "buy my friends book". I follow a few authors blogs. I follow one authors blog because I love her blog, but I fucking HATE her books. You couldn't pay me to read her books. But her blogs are really interesting. I feel a little bad because I never do anything on her blog that she could earn money from, and I can't bring myself to buy her books. I get a few authors newsletters, but, again, drop more than I keep because most of them are one very long, self involved commercial and I could care less. Let me know when the next book is out, and when they're on sale.
As a reader, do you really give a shit that the next Mr. Odon Ata is largely done (in my head) and only waiting on a larger plot curve in the kid's life to hitch it too, and the first book of the Locoweed batch has been set back into the back burner while I do some boring background outlining for the whole Locoweed series that I have decided has to be done before the first book comes out so that I've now started a routine to write 200 words a day period and then try to rewrite, edit, and mentally tinker with ideas for the other hundred things in my head? Do you care about that - or do you just want to know when I finally publish a new book? And if it is one of the ones you want to read?
If you read this blog, is it because you love my books, or because you know me personally (poor thing) or know my husband (now he does know how to socialize), or like that one poor reader, you like the way my quirky mind works and find my babble interesting AND you want to know when the next book is coming out. Because I've never succeeded in really BRANDING this blog so it's all about Mr. Odon Ata books, or nature, or kids, or sex, or serial killers, or kidney disease, or me.
And I can't play those people games at all - so my wonderful little Wattpad mystery has like three readers and probably less for my other work, and I seriously doubt anyone there has reached out so far as to click a link to my Amazon page because why would they when they can read free on the Internet?
I'm a writer. So my little mental crises tend to bleed all over the keyboard and the blog post, page, or Word doc. You may have noticed.
I don't want to BRAND myself. I don't fit into a little box. I not only think outside the box or jump the fence, I am standing in this big, marvelous world looking all around me and thinking WHAT FENCE?
I get it that they are visible to you, these lines, but I can't see them and never know when I'm over the lines. And further more, I don't really care.
Let me tell you a quick horse story and I'll go.
At one point in time, I had my QH mare Southbound boarded at a friend's little acreage. To pay my "board" I was training a three year old filly he had. I turned Southbound out and after hanging around for a while (she was horribly jealous of my attention to the filly) she wandered off to graze. While I was working with the filly, the young one had a little flip out moment and in the process yanked up a post and a short section of fence and galloped off with it. She was fine, calm down. This little section of fence stuck out of the barn and really had no purpose other than hitching a horse to it, but the route from the pasture to the barn required that you take a few steps around this bit of fence and then into the barn. But the bit of fence was gone. Completely.
At the end of the day, I called Southbound up for her dinner. She ran up to where the fence used to be and stopped. As if she couldn't believe her eyes, she stuck out her nose and waved her head around where that bit of fence used to be. Sniffed. Snorted. Pointed her ears at it. Nothing there. And finally, she very carefully walked around the fence that wasn't there any more.
I rolled around in the hay laughing at her.
What fence? I still can't see it. I'm going to do what I do and pray the Goddess sees fit to serendipitously send me the readers who will enjoy my quirky way of thinking.