December Update and some thoughts

Nothing too new on my end. Working on book 4 and constantly tweaking book 3 while I try and find a new potential editor(s) since I’m starting over in that regard.

I’ve had some feedback on The Danger With Allies, and it’s still been very positive overall. As such I’m really hoping I can successfully navigate the search for a new editor and start planning a potential 2019 release date.

But, I have some concerns. I’ve mentioned my anxiety and its ever-present crushing sensation, and that anxiety is only getting stronger as of late. Which brings me to my thoughts and some questions.

What is the best way to contact someone you haven’t had previous conversations with regarding a potential service? And, if that first initial contact seems to have gone quite well, what do you do when there is no response for days afterward?

For the first part, we begin with politely, of course, and having hopefully done some research on them and their current status regarding openings and the like. But of late, this close to the holiday season, I’ve been seen less-than-friendly responses and just general comments thrown up almost flippantly on the various social media platforms and my anxiety is now at a height I didn’t know it could reach.

The words “blacklisted” have been thrown around like confetti just about everywhere by reviewers, bloggers, and editors. The details regarding what happened are generally limited to a person attaching a derogatory name to a (thankfully unknown) person who vexed them with a small rant about how said now-derogatory-named person needs to watch out because the group will spread the word regarding said interaction and they will find themselves with a terrible reputation they cannot escape from.

As someone who is already petrified about reaching out to request a potential review, editing services, or, quite frankly, just wanting to say hello to some pretty cool sounding bloggers…well, the struggle to view the writing community as “friendly” and “close” is almost an overpowering fail.

I don’t know if it is strictly the time of the year since my venture into being more present on social media and my determination to try and seek out a new editor happened to fall within this time…but I am worried, stressed, and frankly upset by what I keep seeing around me. I don’t reach out to bloggers who say they are open to doing reviews because of this, but I was hoping the search for an editor would be easier. But, I’m now worried it’s not.

I recently reached out to a potential editor. First contact seemed to go really well, and then I haven’t heard back to my reply to their reply. On top of that, one of those less than friendly social media posts went up, seemingly directed at no one in particular (no names listed) by said potential editor and since there has been no reply to my reply…I’m stressing. What if I inadvertently offended them? Or came across as rude? Or, heck, I don’t know, did something else? When I’m nervous (as I am sure my blog has revealed) I babble. And, I believe in brutal honesty so I will outline myself in a pretty aggressively accurate way. I’m also, to add more fun into the colorful crazy that is me, filled with dark humor and sarcasm that rears its head when I’m off balance – yeah…I’m a walking verbal disaster waiting to happen.

It’s been a little over four days since my reply to their reply to my initial outreach attempt. Should I follow up? Do nothing and consider it a fail? Email a general apology in case I did say something that upset them? Pray I am not now on some “do not ever help” list I cannot escape?

I’ve reread my final email several times and, while long, I do not see anything that jumps out to me as offensive or pushy or rude, but it’s long, and it was fairly open without a lot of direction – mostly a lot of ifs/ands/maybes due to my uncertainty and my willingness to listen/learn from someone I was hoping would be willing to be part of the team any author needs to in order to get a quality book in the wild.

So…if anyone from either side wants to comment their thoughts or suggestions on this, I’m all ears, preferably in private. Feel free to email me or reach out on Twitter or Goodreads, or even Facebook.

And, if this pitiful plead for help doesn’t have you pitying me, hating me, or laughing at me….I’m a friendly, socially awkward introvert who does actually like to make new friends if you’re also interested in making new ones yourself.

Also, some food for thought. It is my personal belief that you cannot judge someone off of brief non-face to face meetings unless their actions are absolutely morally and ethically lacking. People I originally disliked with a passion have become some of my greatest friends in time and others I was originally close with turned out to be vipers that left lasting scars…which is also why I tend to fail with strangers. Trust comes hard. But, despite that, I try to withhold judgment, try to figure out what is possibly situational, what could be a miscommunication, what may be not coming across correctly, and what may just be a bad moment. People are people – we all have days we come across as an asshole to someone, even if we do not intend to.

Plus, recall online interactions are completely devoid of tone, facial expressions, and body language. You’re reading just someone’s words and what they may think of as polite, funny, or humorous, you may be unable to catch or see. It’s one of the reasons so many things through text, email, and social media gets taken out of context. Humans use more than just words to communicate outside of the internet. Having a blind sister, what she used to be unable to understand because she couldn’t see us was astounding.

Another thing to remember is its the holidays. People tend to be stressed to the max starting in October and generally running into late January. As I’m still looking for a new job (in an unknown field in an unknown area) I’m feeling the pressure of the holidays with the pressure of extra financial concerns tacked on.

But…I am still working on my projects, I am trying to rise above the dark thoughts and general mood I’m seeing seemingly everywhere, and I do wish everyone Happy Holidays, no matter who you are, what is going on, or what you are celebrating/not celebrating. May the month of December bring something joyous into your life, even if it is small.

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