Market, Betwixt

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This weeks market is a fun one called Betwixt. I have a soft spot in my heart for literary magazines, ever since I spent my youth carefully crafting submissions to them. (I only ever got into one, with some sappy teenage poem. My very first published piece, and I don’t even remember the name of the magazine.

Betwixt is in the same vein as the magazines I remember. It’s very artistic and not a fan of genres. They say they like stories that smas genres to smitherines.

Genre- Speculative fiction. Which basically means, tell your story and don’t worry about genre.
Word Count- 4,000 to 7,000
Sub date- August 31
Payout- 3 cents per word, up to $225
Wait time- two weeks
Rights- They purchase first rights, and ask for exclusivity for three months.

Here, then, is your link to the full submission guidelines.

And now, your writing prompt for the weekend.

Imagine, if you will, that you have been asked to write an episode of your favorite show. But when you arrive to start writing, they tell you that you will have to kill off your favorite character!

The Writing Life, July 28

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I have come full circle.  I spent a lot of time this week watching Friends with the older of my two monsters.  She’s old enough to get the jokes, and that makes me cringe a little.  (Okay, a lot.)  But I like sharing this with her.  We’re having a lot of family time this week, which has been really nice.  The monsters are going back to school in a month, so I’m trying to fit in as much mommy time as I can before fall.

Tell you what else has been rocking my world this week, Ray Donovan.  If you’re not watching it, do.  The fist two episodes were awesome!

Even so, I am not looking forward to the end of July.  I swear, Independence Day was just last week, and now all the school stuff is out.  But then again, all the school stuff is out!  I am going to buy so many notebooks!

What Rocked This Week

  • I got two rejections letters this week.  I know that sounds bad, but it’s not.  It means I have two stories to send out again.  Two stories, two chances to get published, and I’ve already written the stories.

What I’m Looking Forward to This Week

  • I’m going to be getting Go Set A Watchman on Thursday, (Actually, by the time you read this, I will have had the book since last Thursday, and surely nearly done with it.)  Look forward to a review.
  • As already mentioned, I will be hitting the back to school sale, and I will be hitting it hard!  Every year I buy all of the office supplies I will need for the whole year, except for my Le Pens.
  • We are hitting this great local museum on Thursday, dedicated to Asian art.  It’s one of my favorite things to do.  After that we’re going to our local frozen yogurt place, called Morgans.
  • I am still creeping along on the fourth draft of Broken Patterns, but I am an inch away from finishing part one of three.  I know that sounds like a stupid mile stone, but trust me, two years into this project and small mile stones are still shiny.

What are you doing this week?  Anything exciting and summery?  Also, don’t forget that I post a monthly brag board on the last day of the month.  I would so love to share with the world, or at least the small corner of the world who reads Paper Beats World, the fantastic things you guys are doing.  You are all awesome people on an amazing journey to being published writers.  Tell us all about it!

Balancing Social Media With Actual Writing

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So, I don’t know if this is a strength or weakness for me, but I really hate, loath and despise social media.  I hate Facebook, don’t have a private account.  I sort of like Twitter, if I’m very careful who I follow, (I am downright allergic to gossip.  Don’t care about celebrities, who’s doing what and all that mess.)  I have found recently that I like twitter chats, if peopled by cool people.  I love blogging because I’ve met some awesome people, but do I spend hours reading my Facebook feeds and chatting?  Um, no.

Here’s the problem, though.  Writers need social media.  Not just freelance writers.  There’s an anthology coming out with my story in it, and I get paid based on how many of them sell.  I kind of want people who like my writing to know about it.  Actually, I kind of want people who like my writing to be able to find it in general, know when it’s coming out and such.  I also like knowing this about my favorite indie authors.  So, while it’s taken me some time, I’ve warmed up to social media.  (Pintrest is the exception.  I fell in love, and I an never leaving Pintrest.)

There are a lot of people that don’t feel the way I do.  There are people who seriously need an intervention when it comes to social media.  They don’t have the struggles I do, trying to remember to tweet at least once a day and thinking of something witty to say on Facebook.  But they’re losing writing time to gossip time.  That’s fine, I’m not one to judge how someone spends their leisure time.  Just don’t spend an hour in a flame war with some jack ass from the other side of the world because they don’t like your favorite movie and call it work.

So, which side do you fall on?  There are pros and cons to each.

Social Media Haters-


  • We have a lot more time to write, which is good because time is our biggest commodity.  When I googled average hours spent on social media, the average result was three hours.  So ask yourself, what kind of writing could you get done if you spent three hours doing it every day?
  • Social media is a great place to make a horses ass of yourself.  I did it myself more than once, before I got wise.  I am really political, (not that you all might have noticed,) and it is so easy to lose my temper online.
  • I’m all about being super loud about what’s going on in my life, but I am very particular about what about my family gets shared.  Social media encourages people to share way, way, way too much.  We are trying to be household names here, people.  I want to be on the cover of Writers Digest, not The Sun.


  • I have to schedule tweets.  I have to think about what I’m going to say, unless responding to someone else.  Or tweeting Ray Donovan information.
  • I forget to update things.
  • I forget to read my feeds, which means when I open it after days and days, I’ve got so much to catch up with.

Social Media Lovers-


  • You get the word out, you writers who are all over social media.  Man, do I know when your books are coming out, and I am all over them.
  • You encourage followers to look at you over all sources.  So if you miss someone on one, you’ll get them on another.
  • When people love you, they share you.  They share your posts, your comments, your thoughts.  And that, I mean that feels great.  It means that if you’ve got a fan, he might share you enough that his buddy becomes a fan, or his niece, or his high school chum who stumbled upon you on his Facebook feed.
  • You have the opportunity to brighten someone’s day.  Which, I think, is one of the best things about being a writer to start with.


  • Time.  That’s the biggest thing about social media.  Time is precious, and social media takes up too much of it if not kept in check.

So, you’ve go to strike a balance.  Here are my tips, for no matter what side of the wall you fall on.

Tips for the haters, (like me)

  • Schedule it.  Put it on your to do list.  I might not like tweeting, but I do like checking things off my to do list.  It gives me one really easy thing to check off my list.
  • Take advantage of the fact that you really want to get on, write something, then get off by doing so.
  • Don’t connect with your friends and family on social media.  This sounds really hard, but you’ve got to set that barrier.  If your friends understand you, they will understand why you’re not friending them.  Besides, you’re probably already not friended to them anyway.
  • Don’t play games.  That was the quickest way I lost time when I was a Facebook addict.  It got to the point where I didn’t even want to log on, because it was going to take so much time to get through everything before I even got to reading my feed.
  • Reward yourself by enjoying the good side of social media.  I’ve made friends, joined in live chats for my favorite shows, and followed people I adore so that I enjoy reading my twitter feed.

Tips for the social media atticts

  • Again, a timer is your friend.  Decide before you get on how long you’re going to spend on Facebook, and get off when the time is up.
  • It’s hard to not want to multitask when it comes to social media.  You can tell yourself, “It’s okay that I’m checking up on my high school crush, because I’m also making important contacts.  To avoid this sort of self sabotaging talk, have two social media accounts.  One that’s personal, and one that you use as you, the writer.  Then, when you’re on to have fun, you’re on to have fun.  When you’re on to work, you’re not distracted by Farmville.  It also helps you get into the right mentality.  You are not you, the person when you are on your business site.  You are a writer, and you are here to do a job.
  • Once you have two sites, stick to friending and following writing and business related topics, so your feeds don’t get crammed with useless nonsense.
  • Have a buddy, perferably a writing buddy, hold you accountable.  Have them friend you, and take you to task if you start talking about useless crap or starting a flame war.  Then, do the same for them.

Finally, two tips for everyone

  • The internet is forever, don’t say anything you wouldn’t want your boss or an agent to know you said.  Unless you’re really ready to back that shit up.  I mean, I am all about being a democrat, feminist, pro gay marriage and all that.  These are things that, if they lose me a business relation, I didn’t want it anyway.
  • My general rule of thumb is this.  For every hour I spend writing, I should spend ten minutes, and only ten minutes, tweeting, pinning, or commenting on Facebook.  No more, no less, unless I’m attending a specific event.  (Though, as a tip, when I’m attending a twitter chat, I use that time to get caught up with Facebook, since it is my least favorite.)

What do you think about social media?  Does it annoy you, or control you?

Markets, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show

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So, I can’t get over how funny and awesome I find the title of this market. I mean really, it’s awesome. Medicine show is all about science fiction and fantasy, and I think it’s my favorite magazine I’ve found so far, and I kind of want to subscribe to it.

Genre- Science Fiction and fantasy
Word Count- Any length
Submission date- None. They take submissions all the time. So, you know, no excuses.
Wait Time- Not listed
Payout- Six cents a word.
Rights- Exclusive rights for the first year, non exclusive rights to re-publish at any time after that.

Here is your link to the full submission guidelines.

And, here is a quick writing prompt for your weekend writing. Imagine you’re stranded on a whole new continent. You don’t know the language, don’t know anyone, and have only a vague idea of where you are. What do you do? Now, put your main character in the same situation. What does she do? Who’s more likely to survive the experience, you or her?

The Writing Life, July 21

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It’s been an interesting week. Just full of ups and downs, and big news things. Well, big to me, at least.
If you’re an avid reader, you might have noticed something missing on Saturday. I didn’t post a writing prompt. I did add one to Friday’s market, but I did not devote a whole day to it like I have done in the past.

Here’s why. As the one year anniversary of PBW draws close, I have been taking inventory, looking at numbers, and thinking on what I want to do in my second year as a blogger. Making a business plan, and whatnot. My goal is simple, have a 5% increase on all of my numbers (page views, visitors, likes,) over the same month of the previous year.

I realized something though, when I was pouring over my stats. Check This Out and Writing Prompt Saturday are not super popular columns. Worse, I don’t feel like I have anything left to say on those topics. So I have decided to discontinue those two them.

Going down to three columns a week is going to benefit me, but I also think it’s going to benefit the site. You see, I realized I haven’t done anything but keep up recently. Keeping up is fine, and all, but it’s not where I want to be. Now that I’m not spending all of my PBW time writing posts, I can finally get a start on some major projects I’ve had on the back burner for way too long. Another perk is that I can focus on quality over quantity.

What do you think? Are you sad to see these columns go, or more interested in seeing what’s coming next?

What Rocked This Week-

* I heard back from two of the short stories that were out. They were both rejected, but I sent them right back out.
* I downloaded Pandora onto my tablet, finally. It’s been a very musical week.
* Yesterday, July 20, was the second anniversary of the day I created Woven. To be more specific, it’s the day I wrote the character outline for the main character, a boy who weaves named Devon. I’d written a few books before this, but they’d either been dead ends or so bad I’d rather they never see the light of day.

When I first started Woven, man was I terrified. I figured it would be one book, if I could even manage that. I sat in the park of my little town, the one right across from the courthouse where a year and a half later I would marry my husband, with a marble covered notebook and take out soup from my favorite coffee shop. Back then, I was in a dark place. I wasn’t happy, wasn’t writing, and working way too much. I wanted, more than anything, to be a writer again. And so I had promised myself that I would write, just twenty minutes a day. Something, anything, it didn’t matter. I fed the birds the bread from my lunch and scribbled out a prayer on the page. I begged God to not let this story die like so many others had. I sat there, with a character breathing on my lap, and I was so scared to lose him.

Two years later, I am months away from a final draft of Broken Patterns. The second book, Starting Chains, is rough drafted. I’ve got thirteen more ideas to come after. If I ever questioned whether God answers my prayers, I don’t anymore.

What I’m looking forward to this week-

* I’m buckling down this week to get ready for my vacation next week from the day job. Got a ton of little last minute things to do, and we’re not even going anywhere.
* I’m right at the finish line on two big projects, and I am working more than I should to get them done. There’s something about seeing the end of the tunnel that just makes me want to run for it.

So what are you doing this week? Anything exciting?

Making your own self employed work schedule, so that you get shit done.

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I am not yet a full time writer. In fact, I am currently a more than full time day jobber. Even so, I have work hours for my writing. I have to if I ever intend to be a full time writer.

I used to be a full time writer, when my little one was very little. Actually, I was a stay at home mom when I was with my ex. I learned a lot about making my own schedule during that time. Things that I use now while I’m trying to fit at least part time writing hours into my day. Things that will be essential to my life when I get my dream life.

Do you have a writing schedule? Or do you currently have more of a fly by the seat of your pants mentality about your work? Trust me, your writing and life will benefit from having a schedule. This is even more important when you’re becoming your own boss.

When you’re making your self employed schedule, here are some questions you need to answer for yourself first.

Your own internal clock needs to be your first concern. No amount of bullying and self hate will make you create good work if the time you spend at your desk is when you’re so tired you can’t see the keyboard, it’s just a fuzzy thing sitting on your desk. Now, I’m a morning person. I’ve been getting up at 5:30 to write before the day job, which I didn’t really think was going work at first. But it has to my joy. Writing after the day job has not worked, try as I might. By the evening I don’t have any creative energy left, so that’s never going to be prime writing time

You have to consider the schedule of people around you that you can’t control. If you live alone, go ahead and skip this part. If not, your partner’s work schedule, kids school and sleep schedule, these things will play into your writing time. Even your room mate can be a distraction. I have found that, since my writing space is in the living room, I work best when either everyone is gone or everyone is watching something I can tune out.

(That, by the way, is one of the secrets to my success. I learned as a little girl to read and write with the tv on. My mother, sadly, was a huge fan of trash tv. You’d be surprised how many novels I read and short stories I wrote while Jerry Springer was on.)

You should strongly consider the schedules of the people around you that you have control over. Like, for instance, if you have small children who nap. Or older kids that can be sent to play outside at opportune times. Or if your partner can be asked to go take the little ones to the park. Whatever pull you have on the actions of others, take it. Be loving, be flexible. Be willing to compromise. I find that if I take the monsters out of the house so my stay at home dad can have some personal time, he’s more willing to take them on errands so I can have some desk time. As for the monsters, they have learned that I need to be left alone for exactly twenty five minutes at a time, and then they can have my undivided attention.

Once you’ve taken some time to consider all of this, there are some tips that I, and many other awesomely productive people, take advantage of. Five, to be specific.
1. When you look at your to do list for the week, you want to consider what sort of work you have to get done. A week’s to do list for me might include a certain amount of chapters for Woven, editing a short story that I wrote a week before, a few stories that had been rejected that need sent back out, my Paper Beats World blog posts and a new rough draft of a new story to write. The first thing I consider is how much creative energy each of these projects is going to take me. Fiction takes the most creative energy. Rough drafts are the most draining, but editing takes a lot too. So I use my early morning time to write fiction. Whatever Woven book I’m working on comes first, followed by my short fiction. Sending stories takes almost no energy at all, because I can write a cover letter in my sleep. So I can spend an hour after work sending out some of my pieces without a problem. My blog posts also take little creative energy after I’ve planned out my posts for the month, because it’s basically talking. I really like to talk. So that’s another thing that I can do after work if I must, but it really is best done earlier in the day if possible. So think about how much energy each of your projects is going to take.
2. Deadlines are you friends, trust me. I know, it might not seem like it, but they are. Otherwise it is way too easy to say, “I don’t really need to get that done today. What’s it going to hurt if I leave it until tomorrow?” Make yourself realistic deadlines, and stick to them!
3. And when I say realistic deadlines, I mean it. You need to schedule days off, and even vacations. Why? Because you need to charge your batteries, that’s why. You need to switch off, watch bad tv, go to the beach, play video games all day, read comic books. Look, I love writing, I do. I understand the desire to keep going, every second I get. And while I’m still at my day job, I take almost every second I can get to write. But I always take one day a month where I don’t work, don’t write, don’t clean house and don’t stress about it. My family and I also take at least one vacation a year, and none of my writing goes with me. I also take my monster’s birthdays off, and spend the whole day not only celebrating their day, but the anniversary of the days that made me a mommy and step mommy. I’ve got to live my life, and so do you.
4. Finally, do have set work hours, and don’t write outside of them. Have a time when you are done for the day, as a rule (see below.)
5. Understand that there are going to be times when all of these tips go right out of the window. There are going to be nights when your stop time comes, and you just don’t want to. Let yourself keep going sometimes. There are months that I get to my day off, and decide to devote the whole day to my current writing project instead. And a deadline, for me, can always get pushed back if life happens, as I’ve said many times before.

Here’s the biggest thing to remember about making your own writing schedule, though. The whole point of being your own boss is working how you need to work. It’s all about writing our stories, and getting those stories to other people. Whatever you need to do to make that happen, do it so long as you’re healthy and happy. If you’re your own boss, be a good one.

Markets, Something in The Machine

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Augh, so this one is kind of late, as the deadline is creeping up on us here.  If it makes you feel better, I’m in the middle of writing my story, and might get it done today, I’m not sure.  But here it is, this week’s market, called Something in The Machine.

It’s an anthology that is going to center on horror and fright from the machines that our lives depend upon to an increasing extent every day.  Here’s the catch, though.  Your story needs to not come off as anti technology, or anti progress.  While the horror should come from the machine, it shouldn’t be demonizing technology.  As a techno freak, I approve.  Two thumbs up and all.

Genre- Horror
Word Count- Under 10,000
Sub Date- July 31 (I told you it was soon.)
Wait Time- Not specified.
Payout- $5.00
Rights- First publication rights and exclusivity for six months.

Here’s your link to full submission details.  Good luck.

Also, here’s a story prompt for your weekend pleasure.  Or to get you started on your story here.  What’s your favorite bit of technology?  How could it kill you?  I went with a tablet, myself.  I’m pretty sure at this point I need it to breath.

Check This Out, PayPal

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Honestly, is anyone not using PayPal at this point? I really love it, both personally and professionally.

So if you’re not using it yet, here’s why you should be.


Simply put, I shop on-line a lot and I don’t like the thought of someone stealing my card information. I spend enough money on things I don’t need myself, I don’t need someone else doing it for me.

I also use it to reign in my spending If I’ve only got a certain amount of money in PayPal, then only a certain amount of money is going to Jet Pens.

It’s also really, really easy. It’s just a button on most of my favorite sites, so I don’t have to type in my whole credit card number,


Take all of the reasons I love using PayPal for my on-line purchases. Now, those are your first three reasons for loving them as a small business owner too. If buying your book is easy, your readers are more likely to buy.

The big thing, though, is that it’s easy. What do you know about security when it comes to paying on-line? What do you need to do to make sure your customers are safe? Yeah, I don’t know either. That’s why I like PayPal, because I don’t have any idea how to do that. And you know what? With more books to write, social media to blast, books to write, editing to do, books to write, covers to design, and books to write, I don’t have time to learn it. I’d much rather have PayPal do it.

So this week, check out PayPal. Let someone else take care of the money portion so that you can worry about everything else.

The Writing Life, July 14

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My adventures this week included trying dry shampoo for the first time and introducing a new budgeting technique to avoid overdraft fees.

There are two reactions to what I just wrote; tell me more so that I may learn, and what the hell does that have to do with writing? If you had the first reaction, we will get to that. If you had the second reaction, I want to tell you why you should care first.

Being an indie writer requires a tight budget, a lot of confidence and a tight schedule.

And my new adventures, if they work, will save me up to sixty dollars a month, forty minutes a week, and make me feel more confident.

So, dry shampoo. I found this recipe on the awesome blog, Living Well, Spending Less. Now, I have super oily hair, which I usually either was every night or feel like a grease ball. My oldest monster has my hair. You would not believe the amount of times we have been late somewhere because I noticed, too late, that her hair or mine looked like someone had rubbed cheap pizza on it. With this dry shampoo in the house, though, my life is better.

* It is cheaper than shampoo, and now we use less shampoo. (Less water, too.)
* I save twenty minutes every time I’m not taking a shower I don’t need.
* I feel more confidant about how I look, and about my mothering skills.
* I smell like awesome chocolate.

As for my money saving tip, it’s pretty simple. I don’t keep track of my money, spend too much, and overdraft. So this week, I’m taking out the amount of money I know I can spend, then moving my debit card from my wallet, were it’s all to easy to retrieve, to my check book that lives on my desk. It’s simple, but I hope it will be effective.

So that’s what’s new in my life. How about you?

Things that rocked this week-

* Fail, my Mash story was way too long, and I couldn’t cut enough of it without hurting the core of the story. Win, I submitted it to Flash Fiction instead. There is no great loss without some small gain, I have always said this.
* Wal-Mart has their back to school stuff out. Fifty cents for composition books!
* I am so pumped about your reaction to Thirty Days, Thirty Ideas.
* I’m not lying, this dry shampoo is awesomesauce. I smell like chocolate!

Things I’m looking forward to this week-

* I should be finished with part one of the fourth draft of Broken Patterns. Okay, that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it is to me. It’s a step towards being done with the fourth draft, and there’s only one more draft after that.
* I’m working on the rough draft of a new story, the second to last one for my short fiction collection. Eight stories down, two more to go. I’m really getting there.

Not a super exciting week. I’m working a lot over overtime hours at the day job to pay for some computer upgrades around the house. So it’s a head down, nose to the grindstone, any progress is good progress kind of week.

What Self Published Writers and Stand Up Comics Have in Common, (And what we can learn from them!)

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I really like stand up comedians.  Louis C. K, Gabriel Iglesias, Kathleen Madigan, Lewis Black, Patton Oswald.  These are all some amazing people in my book.  I can’t talk about stand up without mentioning two of my favorites that passed on, of course, Robin Williams and George Carlin.  (Quick tip, don’t watch Robin Williams stand up with your kids or parents.  NSFW, kids, or your mother in law!)

Stand up has always been something I loved.  Like everything else I love, it influences my writing.

As self published writers, we should see the stand up comic as our brother.  They’ve got a lot in common with us, and a lot to teach us.

  • We’re all trying to get noticed.  Whether it’s sweating an open mike night or shouting at people from twitter to go download your newest book, that’s all we’re after.  We just want people to look at what we do, and like it.  We want fans, basically.
  • We all usually start out broke.  Most stand up comedians are just like you and me.  Working a day job, squeezing in hours to write, scribbling ideas down on paper during a thirty minute lunch break.  That’s the life, indi writer or comedian, until you make it big.
  • We are all busy.  Like stupidly busy.  That’s what life is when you’re working two jobs, but you work one for free.  Tell me this, have you ever written a blog post on your tablet while grocery shopping with your kids on your day off, hoping you might be able to squeeze an hour in at your desk in between cleaning up the house and doing some laundry just so you’ve got clean undies to wear to work during the coming week?  (Guess how my day is going.)  Stand up comedians do that too.
  • We’re all passionate, though.  That’s why we put up with the crazy and the sleepless nights.  Because we know what we want, and it’s those big shiny name in lights.  Comedians want to be headliners.  We want our name on that shiny book cover.  We all want to be somebodys.  Household names.
  • More often than not, though, we’re all just working for experience.  We want to say, “Here’s where my work’s been.  Here’s who actually paid me a few bucks for something I scribbled on the side of my shopping list.”  The credit is more important than the money, every time.

Stand up comics have us beat on a few things, though.  After a lifetime of loving them, here’s what I’ve learned from stand up comics.

Be Fearless-

Say the bad words people tell you not to say if it’s what rings true.  Write about the serious stuff, the humiliating stuff, the real life stuff.  Write about how you feel about things, even if you don’t think it’s popular.  Write about how people actually act, not how we wish they would.  Write like your parents will never read it.

Fight through rejection-

You got a rejection letter?  Great, that loser in the coffee shop who wears dumb hats didn’t get one, because he didn’t bother to try.  Go get another rejection letter, get boo’d off stage somewhere else.  Learn from it, and do it again.

Don’t be afraid to go solo-

Because why not?  If you try and try and try to get an agent and no one’s biting, what are you losing by self publishing instead?  Oh, you might not sell any copies.  Are you selling any copies right now, with the book sitting in your desk?

Always have fresh material-

No one would go see Kathleen Madigan if she told the same jokes over and over.  People set Carlos Mencia on fire when they found out he was stealing other people’s jokes.  Always have something fresh, something new, something that you just finished working on, and now you’re going to write something else.

Handle your hecklers-

Stand up comedians are ready for hecklers.  They are so ready for them.  And the good ones will rip a heckler apart.  They will make lifelong fans out of other people because of what they did to a heckler.

We get hecklers.  People who would rather hate on your work than make anything of their own.  It’s not a bad idea to have some witty zingers to defuse a situation and make them look stupid.  So be ready with some scathing, smart remark for haters, and then move on.  (But don’t do that to honest critics.  Take good criticisms with humility, and don’t lash back just because you’re pissed.)

Stay clean, and emotionally healthy-

So, we can learn this from our own ranks, but since I mentioned Robin Williams earlier I’ve got to say something about it.  Depression is a real thing.  I don’t know if writers and comedians suffer from it more than other people, but we hear about it more.  I have depression.  Some days no one, not even me could tell.  Some days nothing is okay, and there is no reason for it, but it’s still not okay.  That’s a real illness, and it needs medical care from a professional the same as any other illness.

Stay off drugs, too.  I kind of mean that for everybody.  July 5th was the three year anniversary of the death of a good friend of mine.  He was addicted to drugs, and caught hepatitis from it.  It killed him.  My daughter’s uncle died because of a compromised immune system due to drug use last year.  They both left behind children and friends who miss them every day.  Their drug use, in both cases, was largely due to depression that they didn’t have the tools to deal with any other way.  If you have a problem, get real help.

Don’t be a Hemingway, don’t be a Robin Williams.  Don’t become another famous face on a magazine, dead before your time.

Love what you do, even if you get no love for it-

I’ve never had a bad time writing.  If I never get published again, I’ll still write until the day I die.  Because I love it, I truly do.  Stand up comedians would tell jokes if no one laughed, if no one came to their shows.  The best would play to a house of one, and have a great time doing it.

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