Tuesday, December 12, 2023

I Wonder If . . .

 by Charlotte Hinger

Is there anything more frustrating for a writer than being half-sick and half-well? This year I've been plagued with intermittent health issues. Most of which can be traced to allergies to medications. That's a happy ending. All I have to do is quit taking them. But oh, the search to identify the culprits because the conditions produced mimicked rare forms of cancer. 

For instance, I'm diabetic and my body turned against Metformin, a medication I've been taking for twenty years. Why? And why can't I take Tylenol, everyone's go-to drug?

The medical mystery game show has come to symbolize all the "I wonder if . . . ." issues I've puzzled over this year. For instance:

I wonder if...When the mega-productive best-selling authors say they never ever ever miss a day writing, are they telling the truth? Do they ever have the flu? Covid? Just throw in the towel for a day occasionally? Have overwhelmingly difficult family situations? 

I wonder if. . . other writers take time off between books? During this time do they catch up on other stuff? I do. I've done everything I need to do for my new historical novel, Mary's Place. It won't be published until July, so I'm not going to do a thing about marketing until the first of the year. I've developed a sudden mania for making Christmas gifts. Five aprons down and two more to go! Plus, a quilt!

I wonder if . . .Does marketing on social media really pay off? If so, which sites are the best investment of time and energy? Some time ago mega best-selling authors Kathleen and Michael Gear tweeted about the vast number of books in their personal library. It's huge! For some reason the tweet went viral via a raging controversy over whether they were destroying the planet (all those trees cut down to make paper) and those to whom all the books represented a commitment to culture. Incredibly (I'm not making this up) there were 10 million views of this tweet. The Gears are serious archeologists and anthropologists.

The Gears later reported that all the views did not produce a single sale beyond the usual number of books purchased. Not one!

My media presence is not robust, but I'm going to beef it up come January. I'm sorting through what I'm comfortable with. For some reason, signing into Facebook has become an ordeal. That's just one of the many sites where I go through too-elaborate identification processes. On the other hand, I've had several friends tell of the horrors of ID thefts and untangling hacking situations. 

I wonder if . . .I'm making a mistake when I've turned my back on TikTok because my mystery publisher (Poisoned Pen) really likes it.  But due to all the controversy over that site, I'll skip it. I would love to say the decision is the result of conviction, but honestly, it's because I'm too lazy to learn the ropes to create an effective presence. 

I wonder . . .why I have to give a review for everything under the sun? I mean everything! From a visit to my dentist to an Amazon purchase. Why is it no longer acceptable to give an honest three-star review instead of the expected five-star? I can no longer heap praise on a book I think deserves the Pulitzer Prize through a five-star rating because five-stars are expected for anything that is well written. 

I wonder if . . . all our lovely readers will receive all the blessings I wish for them during the coming year.


Thomas Kies said...

I haven't succumbed to TikTok yet, either.

Sybil Johnson said...

No TikTok for me either. All of the different social media platforms...sigh.

Charlotte Hinger said...

Tom and Sybil-which makes us outsiders, but I'm happy with that decision.