Welcome back to the wacky stream-of-consciousness that is my thought process. Ha. I hope that you find your way to the end of this train and get ready to get lit with your favorite Herstun Writer!
Get Lit: Texas Tales
September has come and gone faster than I could have ever expected. Trying to juggle a full life has many challenges but the blessings are PLenTiFuL.
It’s only appropriate that I look back at where this began.
I will never forget, the weather in South Texas was beautiful. A warm, dry winter day fit for riding bikes and washing cars on the driveway.
I was stuck inside a drab, gray, sterile hospital. My mood was pretty upbeat, though.
I had just started Herstun.com and I was excited to be writing again. The feeling of finally knowing that my thoughts were dissolving into something tangible had the girl feeling better than the average bear.
As I passed a really big window, my cell phone started erupting. This particular hospital usually afforded absolutely NO cell phone service. WordPress notifications lit my screen.
I was shocked because I had just pressed publish before rushing out of the house for my appointment. The ONLY thing on my mind was that it was
Get Lit: Error Terror
When I left home for the doctor that day, I was still fretting about mistakes and misspellings. I felt that I had been working on it for long enough, and if I didn’t grow the nerve to publish, I never would. Every single blog post on this site is rife with mistakes, in my opinion.
Error-free writing is always the result of a group editing process and time that publishing to the web does not allow.
My super tech-savvy English teacher warned us about Error Terror when she was teaching us to code.
Now that I am perpetually writing, the Terror stalks me relentlessly. I can never edit my work fast enough for my tastes.
Sometimes, I lay in bed at night thinking about typos and misplaced commas that I won’t get back.
So, now that you know what keeps me awake at night… Back to how we all ended up on Herstun.com…
Get Lit: Call Me By Your Name
So, Call Me By Your Name was the first real blog post that made me believe that I was writing for more than just the bleak atmosphere of nothingness.
And now, a Herstun-sponsored word on the Nothingness and the Publishing Industry:
Don’t mistake the nothingness. I have never felt that I was writing for nothing. It has always meant something to me. I thought that I was writing for nobody. And that is another story altogether.
Writing on The World Wide Web
Therefore, it was the audience I associated with nothingness. If you are a writer or author and not published in print or traditional mediums, then it is easy to
Maybe it is easy for all of us to feel a little lost on the web sometimes.
Why am I sharing my writing on the web?
Many things are discouraging
- There isn’t an overwhelming amount of tangibility to web writing. I cannot feel it, touch it, grab it. I hope that this computer is holding my stuff!
- The script, as presented on the computer, doesn’t produce beautiful canvases like paintings. There aren’t any oohs and ahhs associated with it, for the most part.
- Text culture murdered the appreciation for the tailored language.
- Error Terror fam. Error. Terror.
As an art form, writing for the web is pretty ugly, with a low payout. Not to mention, I am pretty sure that I have a better chance statistically at becoming a rapper than I do at becoming a writer.
So, why do it?
I know that I struggled with why for a long time.
Stories in my head played out in blank stares and unfinished, awkward sentences.
Glancing off into abysses filled with the details of my imagination.
But, why write it down? For what? For attention?
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”Maya Angelou
I write because I have something to say.
Get Lit: The Birth of Herstun
My friend suggested that I start a site (again) to at least STORE some of my writing in a portfolio. Huh.
“Just store it here, so you can apply for things and hand out the link,” says this friend.
That first portfolio site was rough.
And once again, there is the struggle for why. Why am I spending all my nights working on learning to code rather than sleeping? Whenever I look back and read those early posts, they feel harsh to me.
I hate reading my own writing. Ha. It is probably why the error terror stalks me more than most. In my opinion, it’s like listening to a recording of my voice. Irritating. I do not know if this is something all writers struggle with but I do. Also, I have never lived in a place where my writing was private. Even in my own apartment, I was always afraid that people would come in and read anything at any time. We writers can be weird creatures. I am happy to have found that community online. It appears that reading the notes of any writer would lead one to some interesting questions.
The results of those phenomena are writing these random thoughts and poems on loose-leaf paper and letting them disappear. Its a terrible habit but one that I cultivated and lived by for years.
Sigh, because it’s beautiful woman.
Herstun was born as an effort to stop throwing my words away.
I will save my work because I am a writer.
Even if it only matters to me, I am important enough for that to be significant.
This is another part of the journey that I am still learning to walk down, but learning I am.
Get Lit: Publishing on the World Wide Web
And if you are still reading then part of the reason you are following along on this journey is because of our good ole friend, The Internet.
In January 1983, the network of all networks was born, the internet. And this web of connectivity has allowed us to connect and store data at alarming rates. And, it has changed the world of so many industries that involve publishing rights. Industries like music, movies, television, and knowledge are all facing significant overalls.
Because for years, huge media labels, companies, universities, and conglomerates made money on distributing art, information, and media to the masses. We would not know who J.K. Rowling is in America if she had not signed the book deal that brought her print media into our local American Barnes and Noble or book club.
The deliberations between Sony and Disney over Marvel and DC characters is public knowledge because of our interconnectedness on the web. In the 90s, as a child, I never knew who owned Spiderman or made Archie. I thought they were free people. Lmao. How very wrong I was.
This method of distributing data was useful. There are a lot of benefits like an assuredness about content quality. It also gave people someone to hold accountable when things when wrong.
For example, if the public opinion decided that Pochantas was racist, then
Get Lit: The Battle for Access
The arrangement between publishing authorities and the public also ensured certain parts of the industries remained cordoned off for those with the right access. Black fantasy writers didn’t really exist when I was a kid. I devoured Zora Neale Hurston and Octavia Butler because they were what was available.
That is probably way better than what was available for my mother when she spent her adolescence reading.
Enter the Internet and Social Media as we know it. Things got pretty lit.
Suddenly, with the type of a phrase,
I can find 25 black fantasy writers right now.
I can also find 30 reasons to vote for Bernie Sanders.
Or maybe even all the reasons to believe in Jesus.
Now half of us question whether we know the truth or not. Lmao.
The internet has changed the way the world sees reality. Industries like music, television, university, print media, all face significant overhauls full of fresh faces.
One word. Connection. These industries are dying because we can all get together, talk, and share what we know. The barriers to publishing are almost entirely removed.
Huge Benefit: Diversity on the interwebs is common.
Huge Pitfall: Anybody can get on the internet and publish.
It is brilliantly problematic. Like any other major historical event, the internet is completely left-field. Predicted only by the literary community.
Small book geek joke lol.
Get Lit: What an Age to be a Writer
So here I am. Living in the future. 2020 on the horizon. That is super dope.
And it means that I am a happier writer today than I may have been if I was born in 1939 or 78 AD. I am hoping to publish this tonight. (Error Terror and all.)
What an age to be alive. What an age to be a writer. The tools of the trade are in complete flux and all bets are off. I hope to bring Herstun to different mediums so if reading isn’t your thing then maybe one day you can watch or listen. Who knows. The sky is the limit if I learn to use my tools and stay resilient.
Check out my series Herstun Hike Poems. It is a passion project that I hope to pursue for a lifetime. Along with the development of this site and my writing.
What an age to be alive.
(Even if it all is a bit anxiety-inducing).
Get Lit: The Dreaded Target Audience
So, last month, I shared my hatred for the concept of target audiences. Well. I have had a pretty big niche all along, and it lies with the writing community. Somewhere buried deep in me is the desire to write my passions and see my dreams out loud. I want to hear and help usher forth stories because of the need to write my own.
I am just a woman that is looking to escape the agony of many stories untold and poems unwritten.
Reading is one of the best ways to learn how. It’s probably the biggest tool in any writer’s toolbox. In order to effectively communicate my story, I need to be an expert on the way that others communicate theirs. From the well-admired greats to the grinding independents, from genres trenched in longevity (Romance) to the genres forcing new conversations (YA), they all teach writers something. Even if they only entertain everyone else.
I love reading.
Ha. And I become slightly annoyed when I am pulled from it for too long, and insane when I abandon it altogether.
Any blog curated by me should dedicate more space
A Note on the Herstun FM Readio
I have made some of the most amazing connections doing the Herstun FM Readio. And it is growing all the time. The Herstun Writer will continue to host artists, content, and stories from all over the world. We will be adding Business, Fiction, and Food & Dining in 2020. There is much, much more to come!
Get Lit: Calling All Nerds
But my target audience has always been the people who love words with me. And the people striving to write them. The readers. The nerds. The weirdos that can imagine anything as long as they can see it in black and white before them. I still think that is everyone, but apparently, some of y’all go through life not reading a thang.
And that is not really ok, BUT I will have plenty of short stories, poems, and community stories to amuse that (non-reading) bunch IF you want to hang out around here anyway. Please do. Lol.
Big Book Break Downs
I think that the common problem is that so many people are intimidated by books. Especially big books with a lot of words or that are non-fiction. Part of my book coverage will be Da Big Book Breakdown. And we are tackling all those big ass books that you would never buy, but that has all the excellent info and life secrets. The first book up is Homo Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari.
Maybe the people never motivated to read will read suddenly! And maybe the sky will open and God’s magic will flow from the horizon. Ha. I doubt it. But, that doesn’t mean Big Book Breakdowns won’t be coming to a YouTube channel near you soon!
Welcome to the Litventure!
On the saddest days and in the emptiest moments, I just crack open the beginning of a new adventure and urge my mind to believe. It is a muscle that I have trained well. My imagination responds with a silent purr, and up the lights glow. The characters on the pages take center stage and the sadness recedes. The emptiness fades into the main character’s wariness.
I wonder if it’s that way with the video game. Do the characters of popular video games swallow the players whole and allow them to relax into new tales? New fantasies? New dreams? Ha. I digress.
It is in that vein that we begin the Litventure.
As the summer closes with a resounding bang and we enter the last quarter of the year, I need to celebrate. These days are the final 90 days of an entire decade that has blessed me with so much life and so many experiences.
October will be filled with joy because I declared it. October will be filled with Joy because I demand it. Hell, October will be filled with JoY because I COMMAND it. (My life that is). So, Let’s Get Lit. (As in LITerature for those who ain’t quite caught on yet. Ha!)
The heat in North Georgia is breaking now. They say that coolness is happening this weekend. I am excited for afternoon, sunset hikes with beautiful souls and tall trees, warm cups of coffee, chilly nights with N.K. and long cuddles with my sleeping baby.
This is my life. And it gets pretty LIT. #Wilde
Fall on the Herstun Writer
For the coming months, I will be writing book reviews from authors all over the world-
(like fantasy by R.F. Huang)
breaking down books you probably wouldn’t pick up and read for fun –
(like Homo Sapiens/Homo Deus)
from some authors you may not have heard of –
including stories that may be more relateable
and journeys to the future
Plus, the Herstun Writer likes to find new stories to tell. So we will be spotlighting more AMAZING human beings.
Humans like Perly of Creole Orleans Catering and her journey to owning her dream business.
And humans like Jermaine Middleton of Summit 413, a lifelong adventurer attempting to climb Mt. Everest.
Not to mention, you can always find your favorite contributors over on the Herstun FM Readio. And we will be welcoming new stories and artists to our ranks.
It is going down for the rest of 2019 and all of 2020, exclusively on the Herstun Writer.
Stay Tuned, Y’all.
It’s the first-ever Fall on Herstun. Let’s get LiT.
Written & Edited By W.D. Herstun
I love books, man. And a very close second is music. So it is safe to say that my book reviews will be laden with references to everything from rap to the blues. And that every now and then I will drop an album review, or two. I really hope to retain and continue gaining amazing contributors for the Herstun FM Readio. And the world can always learn from new and engaging perspectives. Let the artist in you reign supreme. It can only make the world better. #Wilde
[It’s nice to be back in the writer’s seat.]
Google Open Source for Mariah Carey Photo
Bitmoji.com is still the bomb.
I will never forget where I started. Facts.