Posts Tagged ‘writing’

I did another one of those newspaper things for work where I write poop jokes about dogs and stuff. Enjoy!

Dog City Digest August 2014

Remember when I was a real eager go-getter and spent a lot of time writing lengthy books nobody really gave a damn about? Well, here’s something I wrote for Yahoo that earned more money than I think I made in the first 3 months of self-publishing books! So the lesson to be learned here is that nobody gives a damn and you are better off selling out and writing for something corporate. And in a twist of being pushy, you can get a copy of the last book I self-published for free through the rest of the month beginning tomorrow after I post this. So if you happen to read this on Tuesday, come back tomorrow and get a free copy of this amazing book I put a lot of effort into.

Five Heartbreaking Moments From Self-Publishing

Self-publishing a novel can be incredibly rewarding. It’s a way to surpass agents and constant rejection from query letters. Best of all, you have final say in your masterpiece. After I self-published my first novel I thought for sure there would be only positive moments to follow. Then I waited a week and realized the heartbreak continues. Here are five things you should prepare your heart for when it comes to self-publishing.

1) Copies Sold: The biggest part of writing a book is how many copies it sells. You can write a masterpiece, but if nobody buys it then that means nobody is reading it. If nobody is reading it then what was the point? It’s like keeping the Mona Lisa as a bath mat in the guest bathroom of someone who never has anyone over. After self-publishing, it took a few months before I accepted I may never write a book that sells a million copies. I took it hard because I already made a down payment on a yacht made of pure gold.

2) Refunds: It feels great when you sell a book, especially when you know it’s to a complete stranger. Sometimes these strangers will purchase the book then ask for a refund. Why? Why did you want your money back for my product I poured my heart into? On certain self-publishing services you can see why they asked for a refund. My first refund someone reported their credit card stolen. As much as I hate thieves, I must say this one has good taste. When people ask for a refund the author is often left wondering if it was because the product didn’t meet expectations or if the purchaser bought the wrong thing. People are always buying the wrong thing. My dad bought us barbecue sauce thinking it was ketchup for five years. We were all too afraid of him to ever say anything.

3) Reviews: Many independent authors rely on the reviews above anything else. When you are essentially unrecognizable to the public, a good review can convince someone to buy your book instead of passing it over for vampire erotica. A good key to reviews is to have your friends and family leave the first ones, without of course making it too obvious that you know each other. It’s inevitable that eventually a bitter troll will come along, read your book, and then leave a negative review. When they do, get ready to cry and think about giving up on your dreams. Never give up on your dreams though, unless you are older than 35. After that they probably never will come true.

4) Typos/Errors: When you write long-form it can be a lot more difficult to properly edit. English is a language with so many strange rules that sometimes are acceptable and sometimes are not. It starts with the whole letter Y sometimes being a vowel. Shouldn’t it just always be a vowel? After you publish your book you may read through it and suddenly find a very obvious error. To avoid this you can always have your book professionally edited. Usually though the cost of paying an editor will far exceed the amount you will make from sales. You have to determine whether it’s worth it or not. Hopefully you can find intelligent friends to help find any errors in your writing willing to do it for the price of your friendship. Seriously. Threatening to never talk to someone ever again if they don’t help you out is a great loyalty test.

5) Does Anybody Like It?: By far the most important thing is whether or not anybody actually likes the book. You can be a fantastic writer forever, but if you cannot tell an original and captivating story that meets the reader’s expectations then you have failed. Do people like the books I have self-published? I have no idea. I am still not sure if many people even like me. The most rewarding thing that can happen to you after you self-publish a novel is when someone out of the blue mentions they read your work. Most people are genuinely nice and if they bring it up unsolicited it usually means they enjoyed what they read. Then they ask you for a favor and you remember why you wrote a character based on them who gets killed.

Child with learning difficulties

(People with ADD never dwell on the past. It’s beautiful in some ways really…until they start screaming for no reason at all)

Here are links to places you can find other works of mine.

cleat report

The Cleat Report: Anything baseball related

phalse philly sports logo

Phalse Philly Sports: Philadelphia sports satire

I had a golden opportunity arise today. Unlike you though when I say “golden opportunity” I do not mean something positive. I mean it more reflects someone peeing in your face.

On July 17, 2013 I signed up on Yahoo Voices to begin publishing online for money! Real money. Real money I have had transferred into my bank account. Money I can use to buy things. Money I could spend to have someone killed! Certainly I felt very powerful with this…umm…power?

Today all of the contributors were informed that the site would be shutting down at the end of July and no new contact would be published. Considering this is the first, and still only, time I have made money writing I am a little upset. It was an easy side gig that easily supplemented my grocery bills. While I didn’t earn a living off of it, in the time I was there I earned almost $1700, $1500 of it this year alone. Writing about sports, television, movies, and fat kids was so easy. It was pleasurable to know I could dedicate my entire evening to writing something that would be published then rewarded with money. In fact, ever since I began writing for Yahoo Voices it kind of became the most time consuming thing I would do. I put screenwriting aside because I can’t think of anything less rewarding than spending months to put together a story only for it to lead to nothing. Okay, maybe being the parent of an ugly baby is worse.

There are lots of other websites out there seeking writers. The problem is Yahoo Voices was easy. You could write on whatever topic you wanted. You only had to reach 400 words. The guidelines were so carefree. Anyone could have made a pretty penny on it. Other sites require more attention to boundaries and regulations. They want you to follow a strict format and avoid using the n-word. Well, Yahoo Voices probably wouldn’t allow it either. They barely edited though and I doubt they ever would have noticed, but it would have been a risky maneuver anyway.

The first heartbreak with Yahoo came after I was accepted as a beat reporter for the Philadelphia Phillies back in January. By beat reporter I mean I wrote about the team and I had no credentials to do it other than I submitted an article they liked. In about a month doing that I managed to get about $300 and baseball season hadn’t even started. I even was awarded something about an article of the week where they basically said I sucked but my sucking was entertaining.

Where does this leave me? I could write here, though, at this point I don’t feel the same about standard blogging. This Mooselicker blog is more for random thoughts which are not edited very much because there’s no reason to. That’s the most valuable thing I think I earned, even above money, from writing on Yahoo Voices. I think I truly did become a better, albeit sometimes more boring, writer. I flush out the information quicker and more precise. I am more aware of words I use as crutches too. I got a lot of practice there and I think the real unfortunate thing is I don’t know where to go next.

I remain active on my sports blog Phalse Philly Sports which I enjoy and there is always fresh content. The problem with that is it could never go far as it’s nothing more than The Onion for Philadelphia Sports. Pictures are taken all willy-nilly from Google without properly crediting the source and so on. I’d almost rather that never get too big as the more attention I get the less I could get away with. Until an actual offer is made where I know people are depending on me to write for it there’s no reason to put in the added effort of trying to “make it big.”

Right now it looks like I’ll….well damn I’m not even quite sure. The weather is so hot it’s hard to imagine doing anything other than following the routine. I do get plenty of chances to write at work which is nice. Still, the compensation is not the same as being able to publish a couple hundred articles and track how they are doing on a daily basis.

Maybe this is why so many writers end up attempting to murder their families while watching hotels in the Colorado Mountains during a snowstorm. It’s a frustrating gig that nobody really gives a damn about.

Now to spend my night depress-eating followed up by regret-trying-to-pooping.

P.S. Why does WordPress decide to change everything without warning every time I post something?

I think blogging here has jumped the shark for me. Or maybe I’m using that term incorrectly. Yes, I know for a fact I am. Jumping the shark should be used when a hotshot high school student tries literally jumping over a pool of sharks while riding a motorcycle and in no other instances.

What I mean is with this blog I spent so much time promoting in the past that I can never say anything awful about anyone I actually know. This is kind of shitty in a way. Isn’t that the point of blogging? To talk shit in a cowardly way?

Not that I have a billion bad things to say about people. Most people I would talk badly about most likely don’t know this blog exists or wouldn’t bother to read it. I think this is a problem we all have with being mean. People are inherently good, but then we bring out the worst in others to the point they want to say bad things about us on a blog. So really I’m fine if you want to say bad things about me on your blog because I get it. Just don’t expect me to meaninglessly click “Like” on your post.

I actually started anonymously blogging somewhere else on Sunday, speaking in half-truths. I’ll probably do it here too in some cases just to keep it present. A half-truth, at least to me, is when you start to tell the honest truth and it hurts the person it’s about so much that you end up tossing in something so incredibly ridiculous they assume the whole thing was a joke. A classic one is God tells a man to build a boat because a giant flood is coming and then he has to grab two of every animal.

noahs-ark1(There once was a man named Noah and everything after probably didn’t happen)

With everything going on in my life (eating lunch and eating dinner) I find myself becoming a more private person. Not so much private where I don’t go outside or interact with people ever. I’m actually much more social than I was a year ago. I have a job where I talk to people every day and on my way there at least one person’s armpit is shoved in my face–half of the time at my request to block the stench from someone else.

I don’t really have a point to this other than I couldn’t figure out anything else to write before going to bed so I figured I’d update here on how I really don’t have much to share, but at the same time I have a lot. I think my problem is finding a balance between what to say on a blog and what to keep private because to truly express myself in some ways would upset people. Never forget, I’m an angry white male in his mid-20s who never really achieved what he wanted in life. Plus my foot hurts and whenever someone’s foot hurts they usually lose control of their words.

One ride I always refused to go on at Disney World was the “It’s A Small Planet Full of Murderers, Rapists, and Telemarketers After-All.” Disney later decided to shorten the name to “It’s A Small World After-All” due to pressure from what Walt Disney called, The Jews.

jew

Even at my young age I found this ride very tacky and lame. I guess you can say I was wise beyond my years, which would also explain memory loss in my mid-20s.

The world indeed is a very small one. Two recent examples happened and I will mention them as a propaganda-like way to promote my other blog.

The first example comes to us from when I mentioned how I was offered the opportunity to create a weekly comedy segment for a radio station I listen to. I sent in my recording and never heard back from the guy. About three weeks have already passed and even with a follow-up email I have heard nothing back. In other words, this guy has chosen to ignore me after sending compliments my way and giving me the offer. While I am grateful for the compliments, I find it a little irritating that I never got a response back even telling me it was shit. From a radio host who brags about being honest, I find his avoidance a little shady. I’ll probably complain about this more in the future when I am fully ready to burn that bridge. He googles himself, which is how he found my blog, so he’ll probably see it.

UPDATE: Here’s the passive aggressive post I made about him. He replied to my email saying he forgot to respond then I never responded back because I am a busy man.

busy man

(Sometimes I get so busy I feel like this poor guy who didn’t even have the time to leave his home to work so he has to suffer with peace and quiet from the couch on his home. Poor guy)

The way this is a small world is that after ignoring my emails he later mentioned an article I wrote for Yahoo Sports on his show. Most likely he had no idea it was me who wrote it. He referenced the title verbatim and even said he saw it on Yahoo. The more I think about it the more I hate this guy for teasing me with having a reason to live.

My second example also has to do with this blog in a stranger connection. I woke up early to see I had a new Twitter follower with a familiar name. I immediately checked the picture matched the name. The Twitter follower was a comedian from Philadelphia whom I had met years ago, once. He didn’t know my name and there is no possible way he would have remembered me for any reason so do not jump that conclusion. He just happened to come across my blog via Twitter or other place and he just happened to be someone I had met 6 years ago.

I like weird little small connections like this. I like it when people don’t remember me too. It’s like a fresh start where I have the upperhand. I always pretend to not remember people. If they think they remember me and it’s not me they are thinking of, I go with it. A pretty girl hugged me once because she thought I was a college friend named Chris. My name is not Chris and I had no friends in college. The point of it is, I responded and did not ignore the sweet words sent to me like that fucking radio host. Christ I wish I was powerful enough to start a war with him.

FYI I wrote this back in March which just goes to show you how little attention I have given this blog. My apologies to anyone who still uses WordPress. Does anyone still use this site? I have no clue.

Here is one of the things I have been working on that has distracted me from angrily blogging. It’s the second edition of Dog City Digest, the newsletter I write for work. There’s actually a lot more serious moments in this contributed by other people, but it’s definitely a lot dirtier and contains far more penis jokes.

dog-city-digest-april-2014

You can also reread the first edition I did back in December if you have no friends/enjoyed it.

dog-city-digest-december-2013

And here’s a creepy picture of me using a dog butt as a pillow while he uses another dog butt as a pillow.

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