The blog of D Kai Wilson-Viola

Author, advocate, designer, mental health advocate and parent. 

When a good (wo)man goes to war

When a good (wo)man goes to war

I’ve been pussyfooting around one of the major reasons that this merge is happening – happened now actually.

About six months ago, I started getting involved in a very specific area of the writing community.  That involvement was, in part because after closing five presses with Glass Block, I decided I’d had enough and was going to publish it on my own.  Couple that with the fact that the average writer that I know has no technical expertise to speak of and a lot of the questions I was seeing and hearing was specifically to do with blogging and I thought ‘what the hell‘.

The hell…?

Here I am four weeks in and not only am I arguing with people who don’t know their twitter feed from their RSS feed that spam is spam no matter where it’s stuck, I’m now in a special kind of WTH, because sometimes it really is kinda hellish and difficult to get people to see what they are doing to the community as a whole.  There are some *seriously* serial unprofessional people out there.  And before people say that it’s true of any community, yes it is – that’s not the point I’m making.  The point I’m making is there are some seriously, terrifyingly badly behaved people in the community who don’t deserve the benefits that the rest of us are securing for everyone.  And we don’t deserve to be tarred with the same ‘can’t even keep a tense straight, bloody hell is this what I’m in for if I buy indie books’  brush.

There, I’ve said it

I’ve been avoiding the rant about the level of unprofessionalism in the community for a while now, but having had the worst week to date with my community mates, and losing my site to an ill advised email from an author who shall remain nameless (The Indie Author Community was removed because, basically, someone complained and though I’d had a chat with my host, they pulled the plug and refunded me rather than waiting for my side).  Apparently threatening to sue the host works, well done.

The point being, I’ve decided that there are going to be more than just a few domain changes happening around here.  One of the biggest ones is that I’m going to stop – or at least *try* to stop worrying about ‘the crazies’.  The low barrier of entry to the Indie community isn’t anything to do with me, and while I’m being shoved into the limelight in the community far more than I enjoy, all I can do, personally is emulate the behaviour that I hold to be the kind that I’d expect others to show.

The other side to that though is that I have to go ‘to war’.  To war against perception.  Against everything that I revile in the community, and I have to lead by example all at the same time.   So.

From now on, I review books to my standards – no gentling the authors and giving them the chance to ‘update’ their stuff.  No working with ‘known’ troublemakers in the community (because contrary to popular belief, we moderators do chat together) and no bending my standards because I know the person ‘couldn’t afford’ an editor, or has just chosen to forego that aspect of publishing.  I totally appreciate the money reality for some is that they can’t afford an editor, but I hate to say it,  putting out more books isn’t going to change that you’re making the same mistakes and while readers don’t read the same way as ‘professional’ reviewers do, they still know a crap book when they read it.  And while there are some writers out there managing the same as ‘poor’ traditional presses that are pressed for time and get most of the mistakes out, I hate to break it to people, but the majority of indie writers aren’t *them*.
Readers might not be able to point at something and say ‘that’s the wrong tense’ or ‘thats a plural participle that’s dangling off a grammar cliff’ but they still know that it’s poorly constructed and doesn’t match the standard of publishing they are used to and that’s where many indie authors are shooting themselves in the foot – and the wallet ultimately.  How are you going to make enough money to afford an editor if your book is so horrible people return it for a refund for example?  Or worse, you put them off the indie community entirely, and the only non publisher stuff they load onto their readers are knitting patterns?

Next post?  The projects 🙂  I have to have artillery to go to war after all 😉

When a good (wo)man goes to war

So we merge

First up, I’m rocking the nightly WordPress build.  You guys are in for something gorgeous, seriously – the UI is just so pretty, and everything seems so much faster.
Second – the overwhelming response I’ve had about merging my site down is that I should just do it.  Most people are aware of what I do, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to get things to where I want it to.
What it does mean however is reorganising a couple of bits and pieces, which means the archives are going to ‘go away’ for a little while.  Probably no more than a week, but the best laid plans tend to go sidewards when you’re me.  While I’m at it, I’m going to fix a couple of tiny things in the code of the design, and make things a bit better.

So welcome along for the ride.  It’s going to be a lot of merging down and merging into various bits and pieces.
I am still keeping a couple of blogs seperate – one of which is ‘bipolarbears’ – because it’s a community in it’s own right. Places like lit-for and other projects that are community based are getting evaluated on a site by site basis.

But what is going to happen is there’s going to be more geeky stuff on here – whether it’s tutorials, or talking book formatting, editing and gaming.  I already keep a game design blog over at Proud Lion, so I’m going to start re-running them here with a link back, and start moving on with the projects that I’ve got going on.  Wordpress tutorials and some other fun stuff can get split off onto other domains, with various advertising.  It’s going to take a bit of setting up, but I’m planning as we speak.

I’m also going to keep track of what the merged down domains bring in – if it’s low, I can let them go, but if not, I’ll have to look at it from the perspective of what it’s worth to me.  For now, I just need to handle the merges and how we build the new archives.

When a good (wo)man goes to war

Dilemmas Dilemmas

I’ve got a bit of a problem. Dilemmas if you will.

Y’see, for the last few years I’ve been trying to get my life ‘under control’.  And by ‘control’ I mean sitting with work that I can manage easily, covers everything I like to talk about and gives back to the community.  This has been going on for a while now, I’ve been kinda talking about it since January (‘I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed right now‘) and then again in March.
and now we’ve come a full circle.  Well, kinda.

I’m thinking about amalgamating everything down onto – and then keeping one blog.  After all, what makes me most passionate and what floats my boat is everything I do anyway – coding, writing, books, fiction, indie author support, reviewing and editing.  If I did that, I’d also have time to launch my indie community project, but the problem then becomes ‘are people really gonna be interested in everything I do?’

And I think the answer is going to be yet.  People are, after all, interested in me.  Everything that makes up me are all of the fragmented sites.  I’d want to work with a couple of things that wouldn’t be on the main blog, but the majority of it is coming back to here.  And I think that works.

If I’m branding as ‘Kaiberie’ anyway, it all works 😉  Welcome to my new world.

When a good (wo)man goes to war

New twitter hashtag #tIAG

As many of y’all know, I’m part of a wonderful group of Indie writers on Facebook.  To keep track of one another in Twitter, we just lauched a new hastag, at @lil_tufel ‘s suggestion.  SO join me in using #tIAG – the ‘twitter Indie Author Group’ tag

(with thanks to Lili Tufel, whose book, Sand is brilliant!)  Lili was also the very savvy mind behind the Indie Author Blog Hop, which I help to maintain.  We also have a webring to give authors *even more* traffic.  Check it out.

When a good (wo)man goes to war

Finally getting it together

One of the major issues I’ve had lately is finding a balance between work and ‘play’. I don’t knit nearly enough for the stash that’s the size of the one that I have, and worse than that, right now I’m just too tired to enjoy reading on my Kindle.

Last week really highlighted now bad it was getting – I was up three times in the space of ten days either all the way overnight, or till at least 3am. Augmenting that disturbed sleep pattern was the fact that I was taking Oxynorm on a regular basis (Vicodin) because my side and stomach, all the way down into other regions were hurting badly. I stopped the painkillers about 4 days ago, and spent most of the last four days either in a daze or unable to sleep properly. Not good, basically.

But, I took the weekend off – a long weekend at that, so I could catch up on some of the stuff I’ve wanted to get on with for the last few weeks/month – and because my lovely fiancée decided to set up an extra monitor upstairs to make it easier to write and work (though, I’m writing this on my laptop still, because I still prefer this keyboard for now. Typical, huh?) and to reexamine my priorities.

I finish Uni permanently in July. My graduation ceremony is in November, which means technically, in less than three weeks time, I’m going to have 20 hours – or so – of study time back in my pot of ‘time’. Which has been bled dry these past few months, it has to be said.
But this weekend, I was entirely ‘off’. Friday was spent mostly cleaning out old short story snippets, and working through the heavy thinking that I’ve had to get done to work out ‘where next’. Saturday was a mix of the once monthly deep housecleaning I get up to because I’m ittitated by the piles of kids stuff all over the house, and seeing my younger brother, who stopped by for a visit, and Sunday was this indolent day where I caught up on reading, reorganised my tbr piles into something a bit more equitable, and sorted out the last of the cleaning ‘stuff’ I wanted to do. All of it accomplished while spending more time downstairs with the kids, knitthing and generally relaxing.
The truth of the matter is I have an amazing job as a full-time SEO copywriter with Apple Copywriting. The owner of the company gives me plenty to do and likes to shake things up for me once in a while, and while I’m certain I’m doing ok, I could be doing better, but not while I’m feeling this burnt out and irritated with the slightest wrinkle. It’s not – really – helping that I’m a full-time moderator on about 12-15 writer’s groups now (three are one week on, one week off).
So. I now have plans. My plans are still at least predicated on working with other writers for a bit, and keeping up mostly full-time copywriting work, but I have an idea, and I’m getting there, slowly. As for what they are?
Watch this space!