Today’s Writing Tip

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Interacting with fans, either on social media or at signing events, is what keeps them engaged. You have to sell yourself as a person as well as your work. This is not always easy for authors who are introverts.

One way to get over your trepidation step by step is to go to a few such events to scope them out, meet other authors, and observe how it works. Starting in your local area is also advised, where you’re more likely to meet friends and neighbors that make you feel comfortable.

Being active in a local writers group is another way to get over your jitters. If you’re well into the publishing world, volunteering to speak to the group is another avenue. If you’re terrified of public speaking, find your local Toastmasters club and sign up! They’ll help you get past it with flying colors.

Gender Equality: The Ultimate Oxymoron

Men and women will never be equal. They were never intended to be. It’s physically impossible. Furthermore, their brains function differently in ways that support their most basic biological function as intended by Mother Nature. While men have the ability to focus with sufficient concentration such that they become oblivious to anything else up to including a nuclear blast, women can multiplex. If they couldn’t, no child would ever live long enough to make it to maturity. One theory explaining this difference relates to physiological differences in the brains of the two genders. Supposedly, the corpus callosum serves as a barrier between the right and left brain in males but in females allows processing information across both sides simultaneously. This has led some women’s groups to claim rather rudely that all men have brain damage.

George Carlin summed it up nicely:


I’m glad that statement originated with a man because I don’t want to offend any of my male readers. Of course that’s an over-simplification. I don’t think men are stupid, just different. And I know some women whom I would agree are definitely crazy, two I can think of offhand.

I consider the ideal relationship to comprise a partnership where each supports the other while carrying equal responsibility within their unique roles. By collaborating, synergism can be achieved. No, I’m not going to say that women should be home, barefoot and pregnant, and men should be the sole provider for their family. In today’s society that no longer works and it’s not the point I want to make. Rather, it’s that each gender sees things differently which is a good thing. Neither is right or wrong, stronger or weaker, good or bad. Pitting one against the other is the ultimate failed comparison between apples and oranges.

An true partnership is about carrying an equal load, not who does what. Some women are happy being the breadwinner while some men are content to stay home with the kids. It only gets complicated when both want to play the same role or, worse yet, one wants to do neither and thus sits around the house all day as exemplified so well by Peg Bundy or Jefferson D’Arcy in the old sitcom, “Married with Children.” These roles are best customized to the mutual satisfaction of the people involved, not by culture-dictated stereotypes. Preferences are also likely to change with time and age. For example, at one time I preferred mowing the lawn to doing dishes. Not anymore. Now that I’m retired I have a deal with my neighbors where I cook them dinner in exchange for keeping my 1/2 acre lot looking civilized.

One fundamental difference that I’ve observed is that, generally speaking, men tend to be naturally suspicious of other members of their gender, whom they perceive as competitors. The only way they get past this is to wear the same color uniform, literally or figuratively, which promotes male-bonding. Conversely, as a rule women tend to be less autonomous and have more friends, even though this brings its own share of complications. There have probably been more women betrayed by a false friend than men, who are more likely to duke it out in the parking lot and then go off together to enjoy a beer.

Of course thousands of books have been written about the battle of the sexes. I always thought that John Grey’s “Men Are from Mars, Women are from Venus” did a pretty good job of spelling it out for relationships. Summing it up in a single sentence, women want to talk about a problem and men want to fix it. For women trying to survive in the workplace, which was originally designed and occupied nearly exclusively by men, “Games Mother Never Taught You” by Betty Harragan is an outstanding tutorial for navigating the corporate jungle. I can’t describe its content any better than its subtitle which declares, “Corporate gamesmanship for women.” But I digress, something I’m prone to do, perhaps because I’m a female whose brain operates like an old-fashioned pinball machine.

Nonetheless, the members of the supposed “weaker sex” seem more inclined to be helpful and nurturing toward others as opposed to competitive. One place where I’ve seen this come about is in Indie author support groups. I can name two right off the top of my head which were founded by women to provide direct help to other authors. There are definitely excellent groups out there founded by men as well, but it’s interesting to see how their functions differ. The groups set up by women tend to be more personal. All members are encouraged to be active participants, get to know each other, and provide help and answers for new writers as well as reviews and moral support for established ones. On the other hand, groups founded by men tend to be more focused on technology and services, operating more like a team, if you will. Both are effective and helpful but in different ways.

If you wonder where this blog is going, at this point I’ll tip my hand. It’s part of a blog blast and competition (probably a man’s idea) to promote the Rave Reviews Book Club. This outstanding group which comprises over 600 members of both genders was formed by author, Nonnie Jules, and is the ultimate in author support. New authors are often starved for reviews which this group helps provide. They maintain high standards via a Code of Conduct that assures the books they promote are not offensive. (In fact, this is a trait of both author groups to which I referred earlier which were formed by women. Some of us are still old-fashioned enough to want to avoid certain genres.) Activity is rewarded, particularly to those who recruit other members, since this is one group where “the more the merrier” is implicit to their mission to provide reviews.

If you enjoyed this blog I’d greatly appreciate it if you’d go to the following link and give it a vote! And if you’re an author who writes material considered “clean” consider joining this awesome group. You won’t be sorry. And be sure to mention my name when you do.