Lessons From My Authors Community

Lessons From My Authors Community

How managing writers helped me as a writer.
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The above image is my most favorite meme about authors. I encountered it while hunting down images for a particular week of social media posts for Inkitt.com. I saved it for later, because it reminded me so very much of the community I managed at the time.

This piece has been more of a piece-in-progress for several months now, since every day in my former job was 3/4’s learning, and I had to grow with it each time I found something new. A bit of background info: in May 2015, I was invited to check out a very small, personable writing website named Inkitt. Having just started the final draft of Chimehour and wanting to build a readership for my planned indie novel, I was intrigued. My attempts at promotion with Wattpad and Goodreads had fallen flat, so I polished my first two chapters again and gave the site a shot. A very long and incredible road later, I became the community’s leader and popular reviewer, and my story hadn’t done too badly either. I assisted in the management of Inkitt’s authors (something the site had struggled with in the past)... so six months later, I had seen a lot. I experienced a lot. I spent every weekend in international conference calls that branched from Australia to Iraq. I had moderated AMAs with authors who were simply grateful for their ten followers who brought questions, or with Alan Tudyk, whose amazing, energetic personality alone drew crowds. It was a phenomenal, tireless, busy, annoying, and wonderful job in so many ways. It brings new surprises and incredible opportunities with every passing day.

Authors are just like all artists at the core: we are painters with words and sculptors of prose. But authors cannot be compared to, say, rock stars. They are a private and gentle company. They are quiet creatures who feed on late hours and passionate moods. They dwell, work, express, and share from under their quiet spaces, sharing little of themselves besides that. I am no exception to the rule, and often keep to myself as a creative type. Inkitt wasn’t my first community either, I had spent most of my early teen years lurking around Fanfiction.net, RP forums, and YouTube—to name a few. I had long been around the horse with other creative types. But it was never so obvious to me that other authors behaved the same way I did, not until I was the keeper of their corner of the Internet. We were the other to the Wattpads and FictionPresses of the net: a motley crew of authors who meant business, who loved literature. We were the foundations of a beginning; we were, for a moment, something tangibly different and beautiful. For a moment, we were writers, united in our solitude.

It was a tough job. It was early mornings for my Berlin crew and late nights for the U.S. It was presentation, prep, and a lot of pressure after I became the site’s sole American representative. Working with writers, so I learned, required a kind of bedside manner and humanity that companies can’t provide. Some days, I was organizer and hostess, always planning and presenting ideas to better my community. Some days, I felt like babysitter, keeping peace in a diverse and passionate community. Most days though, I felt like an author and equal, exchanging ideas and stories over Skype with my fellow writers, building ties for a strong community while we traded drafts. It never felt like work to expand my friendships, perhaps because it never felt like I was doing it for work anyway. I’m a big believer in finding one’s tribe; the people who are as passionate about something as you. I found that in Inkitt’s community, and we made for excellent company. My job became as personal as it was professional, and there was nothing quite like it. A realness ebbed through conversations and in every big project. It was incredible when you could reach out to so many people, from so many places, and make something work. It was the Internet’s magic at its finest.

I had to part ways with Inkitt not long ago, due to differences and school schedules. I have returned to my usual author business and hung up my manager badge for the moment, but its lessons and adventures promise to stay for a long time to come. There was something valuable and eye-opening to taking on such a challenging role, and I am wholly grateful for what it’s instilled in me since. I am equally as grateful for its community. I hope many of my companions have since stayed in contact, those connections outlasting the site and growing well past it. Perhaps we can form our own writing community some day. I can only be encouraged after the past year of experience, and hopeful for all the possibilities that have opened up since.

Cover Image Credit: Movie, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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10 TV Shows You Need To Watch On Hulu

Hulu is slept on

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I have recently moved to watch shows and movies on Hulu and Netflix. Hulu has a lot of great shows and movies to offer that aren't on Netflix. While Netflix is still great, Hulu is definitely starting to grow on me. Here are some shows that I have watched or have started watching on Hulu that I think are pretty great!

1. 11.22.63

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If you love James Franco and Stephen King, you'll love this show. The first episode is a bit long, but all the other episodes are only 45 minutes. The plot line is pretty interesting. I also like that it doesn't tell you everything, it shows it to you and you piece things together.

2. The Act

The fact that this show is based on a true story is just insane. The acting is really great, especially if you watch actual videos of Gypsy, Joey King does a great job.

3. Castle Rock

Another Stephen King masterpiece. This show is riveting and really makes you think about what the truth is in the context of the story, and brings in some ethical questions.

4. Future Man

I've only recently started this but it's pretty interesting and funny.

5. The O.C.

The O.C. (TV Series 2003–2007) - IMDb

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This show was great. Sometimes it was a bit annoying, but it is a classic show from the early 2000s. You really become invested in all the characters and your opinion may change on some characters because they grow and develop throughout the show.

6. The Handmaid's Tale

If you've read the book, you should definitely watch the show.

7. Obsession: Dark Desires

https://www.hulu.com/

I just love true crime stories and this really dives deep into crime stories and the darkest parts of humanity.

8. Intervention

This show can be really sad or frustrating, but I think it's good for people to see the reality of addiction.

9. Smallville

Smallville (2001-2011)

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I also started this one very recently and I've always wanted to watch it. It can be cheesy but it's pretty entertaining.

10. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

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This is a great show if you want to laugh. I love all of the characters and everything they bring to the table.

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