Thursday, September 18, 2014

Like OMG I’m Back in High School!

Okay, so back in high school I was a total nerd. I say "was" because I can fake it better now . . . thank goodness. I mean, just imagine what the popular kids would say . . . err, not the aspect I want to focus on (though, being a nerd—and the fact that I grew boobs—help a little bit with my "author's life" in general . . . don't ask).

As an author, in this day an age, we're expected to be in constant learning mode. Every time I think I have something figured out, there's something new to learn—exactly like a teenager learning about life, fake friends, and algebra. We have to market ourselves so the popular kids, a.k.a. readers, accept us and not make fun of us. We have to watch our backs from the bullies, and we have to stand up for those in our clique. Not to mention sweat bullets when the midterm exam comes around, because we were busy shopping at the mall instead of studying. In our case, wait until the last possible minute to meet our deadlines. 'Cause come on, so what if ARCs are supposed to go out in two days? Imma crank my CD player up, revise, chew bubble gum, edit, format, text mah girls, stalk the cute boy online, AND send the ARCs out right on time. Because BOOM! That's how teenagers roll yo.

But seriously, how am I supposed to call myself a writer in this century? Half the time I'm off researching and/or learning new things, the other half I'm out "selling" myself. Where is the actual writing? Sure, I suppose way back when it wasn't easy either, but I'm here now. And the writing world now demands we learn entrepreneurial madness if we dare call ourselves authors. Like ermahgerd!

Nothing I can do about it though. Marketing is part of deal and just like in high school, I have to have a "look" and make my brand proud by not being sloppy. Well, unless sloppy is your brand, then by all means rock it out. You leave me better chances with my crush (readers), after all. And that is a good thing 'cause apparently readers are all the rage. All the popular kids have them, and I'm working real hard to sit at that table. Well, actually I'm trying to set up my own cool table, wanna join? 

Social media is the center of it all, as soon as I learn one another one pops up. Sad thing is high school students actually know to work them better than us adults . . . which sometimes makes me want to really go back. But nah, I'm good. For now I'll just continue faking I know the new "trends" and wing it while trying to survive, just like I did in high school.

How bout you? 
How is high school treating you?


PS. You can find a guest post on my take of giving writerly advice over at The Writer Diaries. Hint: I fear doing that thing.

23 comments:

  1. No desire to ever go back to high school!
    It is a balancing act. And we do keep learning. Or rather, realizing how little we know.

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  2. Hilarious. I can so see the parallels. Sometimes I do feel like I'm back in school trying to catch up on all the work that I blew off earlier in the weeks because...no good reason.

    But unlike high school, I've found the writing community to be extremely welcoming (we all seem to be in the nerd bookworm clique). Although, I've also see all of the personalities I remember from high school. The "kids" that are all work (trying to get the highest GPA--"sales"). The class clown. The one that tutors. The drama queen. The slackers who are always complaining when things don't go right.

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  3. I was a nerd in high school, too, and painfully shy. I never had a boyfriend and at one point I lost my best friend due to teenage drama. I definitely don't wish to go back!

    I know just what you mean about thinking you know everything about writing and then something else pops up and you think, "Are you kidding me? Now I have to learn this? And fix that in my book?" It's exhausting!

    Yes, I want to join your cool table, SK! ;)

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  4. Hey I was a nerd too, but luckily I was over 6 feet and around 200 pounds, I did what I wished. You are very right it is a lot of extra. If all we had to do was write wouldn't it be so much so much saner. Oh at least we can still make fun of the cool kids...oh wait no we can't. Crap, back to it I guess.

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  5. I actually enjoyed high school, but sometimes feel like the adult world is the worst parts of it with cliques, etc!

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  6. Ugh - high school! Then I was a nerd, who managed to change out of a nerd, but that's a story in itself. Hmmm...maybe a book idea. Anywho - I'm glad my kid's are in high school because this social media thing is really shooting over my head (anything past twitter, blogs and FB is in another galaxy for me). I've already begged them to help me and I think it's going to cost me a new pair of boots before they invest the time I'll need to learn. Teens *sigh*

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  7. I was too cool to be bothered by the other kids. I didn't go to high school very much.

    Love,
    Janie

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  8. I have to say, my author life right now kind of parallels my high school life. Not really popular, a few friends, and trying to do my own thing. Only now, I'd really like the cool kids to like me and my books. Back in high school, I was okay with being an outcast.

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  9. I never got to sit at the cool table at high school, so I'd love to sit at yours! For me, writers are much more welcoming than than the high school kids I remember. I was always on the outside looking in.

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  10. I think most writers go through a nerd stage. I think it's a law somewhere...

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  11. Must say, I hated high school and graduated a year early. (I had enough credits to do so) I'm always learning new things as a writer and I despise self-promotion and spend way too much time on social media. I just spent over an hour blog hopping when I should be working on my wip.(but I do love my on-line friends) I have a new book coming out in Nov. and I still can't think of anything unique or creative to "get it out there!"

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  12. Oy! If marketing is like high school popularity, then I'm going to get tobacco chew spit on my book any day now like it got spit on my locker . . . and the name-calling . . . yikes. Maybe if I just focus on the Drama, Choir, and French class moments I'll survive . . . Social media is actually friendlier than the cool kids table . . .even if I'm making a dork out of myself. :)

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  13. I'd love to sit at your table! I didn't like high school at all and couldn't wait to graduate and be on my way. I wasn't into all those cliques and didn't care about being popular. Sometimes it does feel like being back in school, though, having to learn about all the social media. I just can't keep up with them all. And the business side of publishing is another learning curve. But I'll get there.

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  14. I like Patricia Lynne's comment...it fits me. Except for wanting the cool kids to like me and my books. Too much pressure.

    I can't say I'm doing particularly well with the business side of publishing, but I am trying to learn and improve.

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  15. You're right, Katherine, it would be much easier if we didn't have so many things to cope with. But you're doing fine. Just take things one at a time and you'll be surprised. I think it helps to do that so you don't get overwhelmed with everything.

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  16. In HS I did everything I was expected to do and got all A's. For the last year, I performed in the social media circus and got nothing out of it (sales wise). From now on I'll do minimal promoting and concentrate on writing and working with my CP group.

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  17. I was in a happy group of people who were smart enough that the teachers liked us, but not so socially awkward that we got picked on. We fit into a nice middle ground and were basically ignored by both extremes of behavior. This meant, of course, that we weren't popular, but at least there was someone lower than we were for others to make fun of.

    I wish I'd had the confidence then that I have now (that crazy wisdom-comes-with-age stuff drives me nuts!) because I'd be a lot nicer to a lot more people and not worry about who thought I was dorky. I know I'm a dork. Embracing it is half the fun.

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  18. I have love-hate relationship to my high school days. They were disjointed to say the least. Glad I had them. Glad I never have to do it again.

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  19. Like Alex, I too have no desire to go back to high school. Yep, we writers are constantly learning and learning some more. I will sit with you at your cool table ;)

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  20. We are constantly learning, but we have each other! We have to find ways to help each other. The good news is, a lot of the marketing can be done from the comfort of your sofa, on your computer. It would be far worse if we had to pound the pavement every day to get the word out about our books!

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  21. This whole marketing thing scares me-- I'm in no hurry to have a published book of my own. Writing is so much better.

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  22. I love this! Stress has become so integrated into my life that when I hit a lull, I am ALL KINDS OF SUSPICIOUS. Haha :)

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  23. The two of us, who have known each other forever and most certainly in high school, were like Lynda. We were a little dorky, yes, but we weren't socially awkward so we were just kind of in the middle. Mostly ignored... which was how we preferred it. Now that we're writers in the real world, though, it's fun to market ourselves in wacky and outlandish ways. I mean, the ways that we market ourselves now would probably have gotten us suspended or expelled in high school.

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