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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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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The Football World Loses One Of Its Finest Players

Bart Starr passed away and NFL players, coaches, and fans all mourn the loss of the Packer legend, but his life and career will live on in hearts of Packer nation forever.

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Bart Starr passed away at the age of 85 in Birmingham, Alabama. The NFL lost a great player. The Green Bay Packers lost a hero. And, the world lost a true gentleman. Starr's legacy has surpassed his accomplishments on the gridiron. He inspired not only his peers but the generations that have come after him. He is — and always — will be remembered as a Hall of Famer, a champion, and a Packer.


Bart Starr was a Packers legend. Starr led Green Bay to six division titles and five world championships. As the quarterback of Vince Lombardi's offense, he kept the machine going and executed the plays like no other. His mastery of the position was a large part of the Packers success in the 1960s. Starr was also the perfect teammate for the perfect team. His leadership put him in command of the Packers. Starr's time in Green Bay will not be forgotten by former players, coaches, and the fans.

Bart Starr's resume is rivaled by few in NFL history. He played in 10 postseason games and won 9 of them. He led the Packers to victory in Super Bowls I and II and won the MVP award in both games. He was the MVP of the league in 1966 and was named to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1960s. The Packers retired his number 15 and Starr has been inducted into the Packers and Pro Football Hall of Fame.


After his playing days, Starr would become the head coach of the Packers. He could not repeat the success he had on the field from the 1960s teams. His coaching years do not take away from his legacy as one of the all-time great Packers. Starr was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

One of Starr's last visits to Lambeau field was on a cold November night in 2015. Starr and his wife attended a ceremony in which the Packers retired Brett Favre's jersey number. Starr was the perfect personification of what it meant to be a Packer. His most heroic moment came in the 1967 NFL Championship Game. The Ice Bowl came down to a third and goal in Lambeau Field's south endzone against the Dallas Cowboys. Starr came to the sidelines and bravely told Vince Lombardi that he can sneak it in for a game-winning touchdown. Lombardi then replied, "Run it, and let's get the hell out of here." Starr ran a quarterback sneak for the game-winner and the Packers were off to Super Bowl II. Without Starr, Green Bay would not have won a second straight Super Bowl. His leadership in big game moments will live with Packers fans for a lifetime.

Vince Lombardi: A Football Life - The Ice Bowl

Starr leaves behind his wife Cherry, his son, and three granddaughters. Packers fans will have a tight grip on the memories Bart Starr and the 60s teams created. Starr left behind a template for being a Green Bay Packer. He also left a template for being a good man and a gentleman of the game of football. He was a competitor and a leader. Packer nation mourns for the loss of one of the finest human beings the game has seen.

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