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Woman looking at what it means to be diverse.

Has Woke Culture Become Too Much?

I have been thinking about this for quite some time, trying to understand why film, television, and books seem to be filled with stories that want to push some form of political correctness agenda. They push into the foreground sexual relationships and gender identity issues that seem to have no context or relevance to the story. For me, this is a problem.

Before I get too far, I need to highlight that I deliberated for a long time about whether I should say anything about this on public channels or not. In the end, I decided that this push for diversity has created a gap within storytelling that is harmful to the industry as a whole. As a developmental editor and writing coach, I can’t let it go by without it being addressed.

I have zero issue with LGBT+ stories, as long as that sexual orientation is just a part of the character. I adore reading stories about characters from other cultures and different backgrounds, as long as those cultures are put into context. And as far as I’m concerned, the physical appearance of a character almost has no place in written stories, unless there is something significant that has an impact on the way the characters interact (or impacts on the plot). Everything that is on the page (or on the screen) needs to have context.

And in my opinion, that is the heart of the problem. In many stories being produced today (enough to be noticed), the push for diversity is without context within the storytelling.

If you are willing to humor me for a moment, I will explain why context is vital when it comes to diversity in stories.

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Confused Mother

What happened to “communication”?

As I write this, my husband and I are trying to work with a contractor to get our bathroom renovated. The house was built back in the 1980s, and we’re fairly certain that it’s the original cabinetry and other bits. The taps and shower head were changed out back in 2005, along with a new shower door, because that is all stuff that my husband and I did back when we bought the house. But now that we don’t have “little ones” anymore, it’s time to get rid of the dinky bathtub and give the room a bit of a facelift.

So, new shower, new vanity, new toilet, and new GIB on the walls and ceiling… along with new lights, new fan, new heater…

You get the idea.

Well, this entire experience of working with the contractor has opened my eyes to how contractors do business—or more appropriately, how they shouldn’t do business. And my biggest gripe: Lack of communication.

Let me give you a bit of history here, so you can see why I’m really getting miffed about this “lack of communication” issue.

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Quality vs Quantity: Where is the balance?

Where does one draw the line between quality work and the quantity of work? It’s an argument that has been around since the beginning of human society… and we still struggle to find a balance. And for a writer, it’s a question of personal standards vs the desire to make money.

Let’s face reality here. If you want to get recognized for your efforts in any industry, you need both. You need the body of work to provide a range of products that you can sell, but you need to produce quality products or no one will want to buy what you have in the first place. BUT if you spend all your time on creating quality products, you won’t have the quantity needed to build a back catalogue. AND if you pump out the work, focusing on quantity, then you are likely to slip in your standards and start producing sub-standard work.

It’s important to find that balance. But it’s not easy.

For many years now, I’ve been spending so much time on building my online presence and my overall platform. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. But when I started to look at what I had built vs where I would like to be, and compared it to what I still need to do, I started to cry—and not in a good way. I had fallen into the quantity trap. While I was still producing quality work in what I was doing, I was trying to do too much of everything that the most important parts of my platform were falling apart before my eyes. The things that I really wanted to do—the reasons why I became a writer in the first place—had completely disappeared from the equation.

My platform was in desperate need of an overhaul.

Step 1: Recognize where I was falling short.

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Louie, a Ginger Tabby

The Little Louie Effect

I believe everything happens for a reason. We might not understand the reason at the time, but there is always a reason. We may never discover the real reason for an event, but if we look hard enough, we will find the little lessons that make us see things differently.

And sometimes, it’s the cruel fate that was issued to a little kitten that force you to realize that, even if the choice fills you with guilt, your decision was the best for all involved.

You’re going to have to give me a moment here while I set the stage for what will seem like an odd lesson.

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I’m where chain mail comes to die

Frequently, I’ll see a post on Facebook (or some other social media feed, but mainly Facebook, because that is where I tend to spend most of my social media time) where the post is encouraging people to copy the post and paste it into their own personal feeds. It might be a “challenge” post, sharing a photo about something random. Or it’s a post about sharing some statement about being seen. Or something else entirely different. And…

Nope. Can’t be bothered. Seriously, peeps, I am that lazy.

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My Amazon Nightmares

Some of you will already know about my Amazon publishing nightmare, because I’ve made mention of it on my Facebook (or I’ve spoken to you behind the scenes and have sought advice). But for anyone who doesn’t know…

Mid-January 2024, Amazon’s automated systems decided that I’m a fraudulent and misleading person, and closed my account. It was a heartbreaking moment, because I honestly believed that the 2024 version of my book would get published without it being available for purchase through one of the largest online bookstores. To my relief, that is not the case—I managed to convince Amazon to give me my KDP account back—but we were running close to the wire.

There are positives in all of this mess, even though it is a mess. And there are lessons that I’m learning too.

Stick around, and I’ll fill you in on the details.

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