The Extraction List may not be that far off

We’d like to think that The Extraction List could never happen, but that may not necessarily be true.
Recently I was reading an article in Parents Magazine that, quite honestly, terrified me. In an age where we’ve decided everything from what we had for breakfast to a traumatic disease diagnosis is everyone else’s business, it seems there’s a new way that we can butt into other people’s lives. It was talking about the new, trendy practice of being a “parental vigilante.” Basically, instead of talking to each other like adult-type people, people are calling the police on each other if they see someone making what they would consider a parenting mistake. In the article, many a mother made a split second decision and found a police officer knocking on her door as a result. Of course, there are definitely situations where the police should be called, but as a society, do we really want to, for example, risk a child being separated from his/her mother because she left him in a car for fifteen seconds to put her cart away at the grocery store? Because yes, sending the kid into a broken foster care system is soooo much better (read thick sarcasm here) than him being in his car seat well within his parent’s sightline for a couple seconds. As I said, of course there’s a line where it’s appropriate to call the police, but how hard would it have been to just keep an eye out and let the parent be on her way? There has to be some balance. No one likes to think that there are children out there being abused, and we know that some children do need our help. But can we all agree to sprinkle a little sense into the situation and not make it worse?
What about you? Have you ever experienced a parental vigilante? Or have you been the vigilante? What made you decide to act? Would love to hear from both!

Pattern? Magic Pill? Who knows…

TEL FREE promo pic

I tend to be the kind of person who looks for a pattern to solve a problem…I figure if there’s a puzzle, there has to be a way the pieces fit together that makes the solution apparent.

I’m now wondering if I am completely off base.

In my writing journey, I have tried to look at other authors who are doing better than me (yes, I do the thing they tell you not to do, but how else do you figure out how to improve?) and see what they are doing that I am not. In the last couple days, I have gone through several things that made me think “Ooh! This must be it. This must be the thing she is doing that I am not and as soon as I do it the sky will open up and angels will sing.”

But then I will go look at a different widely successful author and discover that she is not doing the very thing the first author was doing. Or that she is, but not doing as well as myself or the first author despite her astronomical sales.

There was only one thing that I found that matched between both authors:

Ready for this?

Drumroll please?

Here it is: they both have written double or triple the books that I have. Which in turn also means that unless they are both crazy writing machines they have been in the game longer than I have.

And unless some writing fairy sprinkled some magical publishing success dust on their pretty little heads, they’ve worked their asses off PRODUCING WORK.

Yes, Twitter and Facebook are important for getting exposure. You can have a great book but if no one knows about it, it can go into Amazon oblivion. But the key part of it all is producing good work, and producing it often. It seems so simple, yet it’s the answer that’s hardest to wrap your head around.

There IS a pattern: write more

There IS a magic pill: write great work

Is the answer easy? No. It’s much easier to think I’m just not tweeting enough, or a Tumblr account is going to send me to the promise land. But in the time I take to do that, I could have written 200 more words that have a way better chance of getting me where I want to go. So in that spirit…

Stop surfing the blogosphere and get back to work!

That’s where I’m going.